Land Rush of 1889
The Land Rush of 1889 is one of the largest settlement initiatives into "Unassigned Lands" in western history. Made possible by the Indian Appropriation Acts, the 1889 Land Rush took place in modern Canadian, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties. On the day of the land rush, April 22nd, 1889 an estimated 50,000 people participated. Of those estimated participants 10,000 would claim plots of land around a rail road station called Deer Creek. This mass of people would be the first settlers of a town that would be later named Guthrie. Guthrie became the first capital of the Oklahoma Territory and later the capital of Oklahoma.
Backstory and Context
The land rush began on April 22nd, 1889 with an estimated 50,000 people participating. The rush effectively created towns in a single day with Guthrie being the best example. Guthrie would go on to become the Capital of the Oklahoma Territory and later the Capital of the State of Oklahoma. The title of State Capital would be moved to Oklahoma City after a 1910 vote.
The 1889 Act also coined the term “Boomer” and "Sooners". "Boomers" are the people who attempted to enter unassigned lands before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889. "Sooners" refer to people who went into the Unassigned Lands before the Land Rush officially began. This is where the University of Oklahoma’s fight song, “Boomer Sooner” comes from.
One of the most famous "Boomers" and the arguable founder of the Boomer movement was David Payne who capitalized on the the demand for land in "Unassigned Land" territories. Payne moved into the "Unassigned Lands" and settled the town of Ewing in 1879. Ewing would eventually become what we know as Oklahoma City. David Payne would sell off plots of land illegally to other members of the Boomer movement. Later in April of 1979 President Rutherford B. Hayes issued the proclamation forbidding unlawful entry into the Indian Territory until the Land Rush of 1889, 10 years later.
Everett, Dianna. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Enabling Act (1906)." Retrieved January 10, 2012