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Trip Planner USA  /  Oklahoma  /  Wakita

Wakita

4.8
Specialty Museums
Wakita is a town in Grant County, Oklahoma, United States, founded in 1898. It is south from the Kansas border. This town's population was 344 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 18.1 percent from 420 at the 2000 census. Wakita is notable as a location in the 1996 motion picture film, Twister.GeographyWakita is 12mi northwest of Medford, Oklahoma, the county seat, on State Highway 11A.According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.3sqmi, all of it land.HistoryBefore the town's founding in 1898, there was a dispute over the right to name the town. The owner of the First General Store and the town's first Post Master pushed for the town to be named Whiteville. Local Deputy U.S. Marshall Herbert John Green motioned that for the town be named after a Cherokee chief (of local notoriety) named Wakita (pronounced Wok-ih-taw). Green and other local settlers wanted to name the town in the Chief's honor because of a protective spell cast by the Chief's tribe to protect the area around the town between Crooked Creek and Pond Creek from tornadoes for a time span of 100 years. The name was also favored because of a battle that had occurred in the area of the town under the leadership of this Indian Chief.Citing historian George Shirk, the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture states that Wakita is a Cherokee word for water collected in a small depression, such as a buffalo wallow. The same source states that Charles N. Gould claimed that it is probably a Creek word meaning to cry or to lament.
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