Pontotoc County, located in South Central Oklahoma, is one of the smaller counties in the state. The word pontotoc roughly translates to a Native American phrase meaning “cattails growing on the prairie.” Dotted with many communities, some booming and others slowly disappearing, Pontotoc County is rich with history.
This county was the epitome of the Old West at its most raw and dangerous. Pontotoc’s lowest moment came on April 19, 1909, when a band of unknown Ada citizens made one of the most infamous decisions in American history and hanged four men without a trial. The modern consensus is that Ada, the county seat, became the horizon on which the sunset of the Old West was witnessed.
Today, Pontotoc County is home to the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, the corporate headquarters of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Holcim Inc., Tornado Alley Turbo, and the Chickasaw Nation Headquarters. This thriving county has much to offer—not only to the United States, but also to the world.
Gary Haney is a collector of historical memorabilia and lives north of the community of Byng. Dare Strickland authored the Arcadia Publishing title Ada in 2010 and honors Haney for his help in that endeavor. Strickland is an award-winning playwright and poet and is involved with the Ada arts and humanities.
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