Hugo History, from various websites:
Hugo was founded in 1902. Located in southeast Oklahoma Hugo is a mecca for hunting, fishing and all other outdoor recreation. In addition to abundant and virtually untapped natural resources, Hugo offers both a great place to live for your staff to live and a supportive business environment which equates to higher profits for your operations. Add to that, unmatched economic incentives and Hugo becomes the only choice... the natural choice.
Hugo is winterquarters for two circus groups. Carson & Barnes & Kelly Miller Circus.
Welcome to Hugo Oklahoma, from Chamber of Commerce website:
Hugo is the county seat of Choctaw County, located in deep Southeast Oklahoma, approximately 60 miles from the Arkansas and Louisiana borders, and 25 miles north of Paris, Texas.
A part of Indian Territory until statehood in 1907, Hugo was first explored by other than Native Americans when Bernard de la Harpe, explored for the glory of France in 1718. Unlike Western Oklahoma's flat, red and dry lands, Choctaw and surrounding counties abound with beautiful wilderness rivers and streams and numerous lakes. The area is often billed as a "Sportsman's Paradise" because of plentiful game and fishing opportunities in, and surrounding Hugo and Choctaw County. Much of this outdoor paradise lies in and around the Kiamichi (Ki-A-Mee-Chee) Mountains and the Kiamichi River, from which the Hugo Lake is formed. Though once believed to be an Indian word, the word 'Kiamichi' was introduced by early French explorers, who found the area abounding with wild game, and also a very large and outspoken woodpecker. They named the bird and the area 'Kiamichi' --their word for "raucous bird."
In the 1800s The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek required the removal of many Choctaw Indians from Mississippi to the Oklahoma Indian Territory. In these early settlement days, supplies were brought into Fort Towson 15 miles east of Hugo. Fort Towson, built in 1824 along with Ft. Gibson in anticipation of the coming of the Five Civilized Tribes, became a hub trading village. Supplies were brought up the Red River from the Mississippi on steamboats going to Denison, Texas. Stops were made at Pine Bluff Ferry on the way upriver and Folson's Gin on the down-river return trip. Later, the St. Louis-San Francisco "Frisco" Railway was completed in 1887, providing rail freight and passenger service from Monette, Missouri to Paris, Texas.
Today Fort Towson gains in historical significance as History buffs discover that it was there that the very last treaty ending the Civil War was signed By Brigadier General Stand Watie, the last Confederate general officer to surrender and lay down his arms on June 23, 1865.
In 1902 the Frisco built an East-West line from Hope, Arkansas, to Ardmore, Oklahoma, creating the territorial town later named Hugo. Almost overnight with the completion of these two strategic rail lines, tents and Conestogas converged on the new territory. A local rail depot was the center of attention with trains coming and going all day long. The Harvey House Restaurant in the Depot grew in popularity. There were dance hall girls, hustlers and gunfighters. The city of Hugo was named by the wife of a local surveyor, W.H. Darrough. Mrs. Darrough was a fan of French Novelist, Victor Hugo and she recommended the name "Hugo."
The oldest continuously operated Christian children's home in America (Goodland Presbyterian Children's Home), is located two miles south of Hugo. Operated by the Presbyterian Church, the home continues to enrich the lives of young men who are residents of the school. As the railroad grew, so did Hugo. Into the 20s and the 30s, the city continued to grow. As cotton yields diminished and highways improved, railroads faltered as a primary mode of travel, and Hugo was forced to seek other means of growth and development.
In the late 60s Hugo was designated as the termination point of the Indian Nation Turnpike, which provides a major transportation artery to northern and central Oklahoma. In the late 60s, Congress authorized the construction of the fabulous Hugo Lake, a 13,000 acre hot spot for fishing and camping enthusiasts. Most recently, Hugo has won distinction as one of only 30 rural Enterprise Communities in the United States.
A new breeze of change and economic development began blowing in Hugo in 1995. Then, Hugo citizens voted to change to a Council-Manager form of government. The Enterprise Community effort was launched and obtained, resulting in over $10 million dollars of new local projects with many more projects on the drawing boards. Renovation of the Hugo Depot and Museum is continuous and in the Spring of 1996, the old Harvey House Restaurant re-opened in the Depot. Hugo also proudly lays claim to being the home and winter quarters of three of America's largest Circuses: Carson & Barnes; Kelly-Miller Brothers; Circus Chimera and Culpepper-Meriweather.
Hugo's Mount Olivet Cemetery is internationally famous for its Showman's Rest section which includes a special section of Circus Tents and Animals as monuments to the men and women who spent their lives entertaining American children and families as Circus performers.
Another tourist attraction in Mount Olivet Cemetery is the resting place of two Rodeo Legends. The first was Freckles Brown, who rode the never-before ridden bull "Tornado" in the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City in 1966.
Later, a young PRCA Champion Bull-Rider would be buried only a few feet from Brown's grave. Lane Frost, for whom the International Movie "8 Seconds" was made, died after being gored by a bull during a rodeo performance. He said if anything ever happened to him he wanted to be buried next to Rodeo's all-time Bull-Riding legend, Freckles Brown.
Today there is a tremendous amount of optimism and developmental spirit in Hugo, Oklahoma. Economic Developer James Rayhas a plate full of projects underway to enhance tourism and economic development.
The citizens of Hugo welcome you to the history-rich community. For additional information, call the Hugo Chamber of Commerce (580) 326-7511, (Fax: (580) 326-7512), email the chamber at email@example.com.