Emergency - 911 Non-Emergency 405.263.7972 Okarche Police Department 300 W. Colorado Okarche OK 73762
Okarche is located on land that, before 1830, was within the historic area of the Wichita people. The location was in territory assigned to the Creek and Seminole people when removal of tribes from the southeastern United States began in 1830. After the Civil War, parts of Indian Territory were designated for resettlement of Plains Indians. The site of the future town of Okarche was just inside the eastern border of the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation. From 1867 to 1884, cattle were driven through the area on the Chisholm Trail from Texas to railheads in Kansas. Later the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad and the state road which would become the Meridian Highway and U.S. Highway 81 would follow roughly the same route through Oklahoma Territory. On March 2, 1887, the U.S. Congress approved construction of a railroad through Indian Territory. The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway was given a 100-foot (30 m) right of way through the territory and authorized to take additional right of way for stations every 10 miles (16 km) of track. Railway assets would be turned over to the CRI&P in June 1890. Construction proceeded southward from Caldwell, Kansas, and was completed to Pond Creek by April 1889 and to El Reno in January 1890. The railway depot where Okarche was platted was completed at that time. The Okarche post office was established June 28, 1890. Cheyenne and Arapaho lands were opened to settlement by land run on April 19, 1892. The town was incorporated in 1905 two years before statehood. The name of the town is derived from parts of three words, Oklahoma (OK), Arapaho (AR), and Cheyenne (CHE). The Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne Native American tribes had been relocated to Oklahoma from the northern Great Plains in the late 19th century. The town's population hovered in the 400s for more than three decades after statehood had risen to over 1,200 by 2010.