U.S. Federal Courthouse of Indian Territory
The now demolished and essentially forgotten courthouse in Purcell, Oklahoma, played a major role in Oklahoman history and Native American history. In the town of Purcell, there is no marker for the courthouse. Or any recognition of the pivotal role it played in the unfair dealings with the five tribes. However, despite it’s forgotten existence, the courthouse left its mark on the lives of the Native American families of Oklahoma. It is for this reason, the courthouse should be remembered.
Backstory and Context
The federal courthouse was very important to the processes of dividing and allocating land between the Native American tribes of Indian territory following the creation of the Dawes commission, Dawes act and finally the Curtis act which extended the original Dawes act to include the five civilized tribes. Due to all of the legislation passed by the United States government, the five tribes were requiered to register as members of their tribes in order to be added to the roles and by extension receive allotments from the government of the unassigned Indian territory. If an applicant was rejected from registering with their tribe they had the option of appeal. The federal courthouse of Purcell, Oklahoma was were rejected applicants had to go to file said appeals.