There are only so many town and city names a state can go through before having to resort to some, well, weirder choices. There are some truly bizarre territory, town and city names in Oklahoma, some of which seem completely made up. However, many have interesting origins, which we explore below.
Located in the Oklahoma City area of Cleveland County, Slaughterville was named after James Slaughter and a local grocery store he owned. In 2004, PETA petitioned the town to rename itself to Veggieville, offering a donation of $20,000 worth of veggie burgers. The town council voted it down.
A small, unincorporated area in Cotton County, Cookietown comes from a mercantile that was owned by Marvin Cornelius around 1928. Apparently he was known for giving out cookies to children, creating his very own Cookietown!
An unincorporated hamlet in Beaver County, this town was originally called Nye, after the U.S. Senator Gerald Nye. The man who owned the plot of land, Tom Lemmons, opened a store during the Great Depression to try and kickstart the small town’s economy. According to legend, patrons of the store were often told by Lemmon’s sister that they were “slap out” of whatever it is the customer wanted. Although Tom insists the phrase was never used, the name stuck. After a tornado took out the sign for Nye, Lemmons gave in and started calling it Slapout. The total population today is four.
Another unincorporated community in Choctaw County, Frogville comes from a fairly guessable origin: the abundance of frogs in the area. Reportedly, at one point, were massive in size and often ate young ducklings.
A census-designated area in Rogers County, Bushyhead gains its name from Dennis Bushyhead, who served as the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1879-1887. The current population is 1,292.
A town in Seminole County, this one is named after Holata Micco, called Chief Billy Bowlegs by white townsfolk during the Second and Third Seminole Wars. He was a prominent and crucial leader during those divisive times. Billy’s Creek, located in Fort Myers, Florida, is also named after him.
A historical freedmen’s town located in Okfuskee County, IXL’s origins are contested. One version says it means Indian Exchange Land, a reference to the town being on Muscogee land. Another says that the letters were taken from the names of three men, although those names are not known. Lastly, it could be seen as an onomatopoeic exclamation, akin to “I excel.” None of these are known to be fully true, but at least they tell an interesting tale.
A truly odd case, there are actually four unincorporated communities with this moniker. Located in Comanche, Okmulgee, Muskogee and Cherokee counties, Pumpkin Center’s origin is generally unknown, although theories exist. The most popular involves Cal Stewart, a spoken word recording artist in the late 1890s. He often featured a character named Uncle Josh Weathersby who hailed from the fictional town of – you guessed it – Pumpkin Center.