Stage at Boggy Depot
click picture to
enlarge |Artist: Joe
Sponsor: William Lobeck & Kathryn
Dedication: April 26, 2004
Size: 16" x 20"
Type: Oil on Canvas
Location: Outside Senate
In 1858, John Butterfield won
a government contract to carry mail from St Louis to San
Francisco twice a week. Butterfield spent more than a million
dollars to start up the company, employing over 800 people
and running up to 250 coaches, 1,000 horses and 500 mules.
The large, high quality coaches weighed about 2,500 pounds
and cost about $1,300 at the time.
The Butterfield Overland Mail
Company originally followed a southern route to avoid heavy
mountain snows, and traveled through Oklahoma with stops
at Boggy Depot, among others. The entire trip of about
2,800 miles was made in twenty-five days and sometimes
less. Lack of water and hostile Indians plagued the route
throughout its existence. Although the coaches had the
mail as their first priority, they also accepted passengers.
The coaches traveled at breakneck speed twenty-four hours
a day with the only stops at station houses where horses
In February 1861, when the citizens
of Texas voted to secede from the Union, the southern mail
route was discontinued in favor of a more northerly route,
but the old Butterfield Road was later used by both the Confederate
and the Union armies.
Boggy Depot's contribution to
Oklahoma outlasted its structures, for it was the source
of the state's name. Boggy Depot was home to Chief Allen
Wright, principal chief of the Choctaw Nation, who suggested
the word "Oklahoma" ("Home of the Red Man”)
in 1866 as the name for the proposed Indian Territory. In
1907, the word was made the official state name.
The Boggy Depot State Park near
Atoka in southeastern Oklahoma, is popular among travelers
for its pleasant surrounding, recreational facilities and
its significance as a major historical site.
Images are copyright
of The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund,
Inc. and the artist. Please contact Sandra Shelton at 521-5663
or firstname.lastname@example.org for
further copyright information.