The History of Coleman
Coleman is a small community located in the eastern part of Johnston County, in southern Oklahoma on Highway 48, 21 miles north of Durant, Oklahoma and about 20 miles east of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, county seat of Johnston County.
“Coleman has had three town sites. Originally it was Ego, Indian Territory. After statehood in 1907, and when the K.O. & G. Railroad came through, the town was moved and renamed “Coleman”, now called Old Coleman. When the highway came through, the town was again moved to the present location.
Ego, I.T. was a thriving trading point with five stores, two gins, post office, drug store, restaurant, and blacksmith shop. The store owners were: Van Moran, Chas. Morgan, Luke Snider, and McGlasson had the drug store. Fred Emerson had the restaurant. Mr. Rowsey ran one of the gins. Firefighting was done by wagon from the Rock Island railroad depot at Wapanucka. There was a one-room school house.
Old Coleman had eight general stores, a drug store, hardware store, a restaurant, barber shop, printing press, garage, bank, hotel, lumber yard, livery stable, and two gins. The store owners were: Vsn Moran, M. L. Moran, F. M. Jones, Joe Price, W . E. Smith, Hiram Morgan, Jake Sullivan, Huddleston, and others.
As of this date (June 1973) New Coleman is in existence and known.
Ego, I. T. was a rough town, having only Territorial laws, and outlaws were common. On one occasion three outlaws rode their horses across the store porches and shot out all the store windows. The store owners returned the fire, but no one was killed.
The social life was gay at Old Coleman. There were dances, parties, rodeos, ball games, and band music. Horseback riding was a favorite sport and so was hunting, and swimming parties. Many girls and boys visited here from other towns.”
Coleman is a small community located in the eastern part of Johnston County, in southeastern Oklahoma on Highway 48, 21 miles north of Durant, Oklahoma and about 20 miles east of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, county seat of Johnston County. Ego, as it was called in Indian Territory days, was established in the 1890’s with a population of about 40 persons. The first businesses of Ego were a blacksmith shop, a gin, a drug store, two doctors’ offices, a barber shop, post office, and cafe. All being run by local townspeople.
M. O. & G. Railroad was finished in 1909, the new town was named Coleman for a railroad official, who laid off the town site, in all probability. Merchants and businesses of Ego started moving to the new town of Coleman. The new school was built, being completed in 1911, having 10 grades. The high school was completed to 12 grades in 1925. The size of the town was about one mile square, at this time. The surrounding country is basically farming, the chief crops being peanuts and cotton. Along with World War II came the depression. Prices dropped to a low and Coleman seemed doomed. The banks, along with many other businesses, closed and gradually people moved away to bigger cities and better jobs.
Coleman’s troubles were not over with the depression. In 1929 fire destroyed most of the empty buildings, then in 1948 a tornado struck the remaining “old” section of Coleman. Highway 48 was completed west of Coleman in 1938, and all the new buildings were built near it. Coleman now consists of three stores located on Highway 10, a school, a laundry, a beauty shop, and a Farmer’s Cooperative. All that remains of a once booming town is the foundations and the old well, which was dug in the middle of the street by the merchants to furnish water for the businesses and for the horses. Once each year there is an “OLE SETTLERS REUNION”, a day set aside for the people who once lived in and around Coleman, Oklahoma was their home.
D. J. ( Jackie ) Germany
(Moved to Coleman November 1929)
COLEMAN – One of the highly favored sports in the GREAT STATE of OKLAHOMA, is surrounded by the most fertile lands, both sandy and black – about “half and half” – producing cotton at the rate of one-half to a bale per acre; corn, 30 to 60 bushels; oats 30 to 65 bushels per acre, wheat and barley do well, especially barley, Sudan, Rhodes and other pasture and hay grasses do well here. No finer fruit can be found anywhere, our Sandy Soil is the natural home of the famous “Sweet Tater”.
Coleman has shipped 21 cars of grain up to November, 1919, and will ship several more before the year closes. Three thousand bales of the “fleecy staple” Cotton leaves our yards. Livestock of all kinds find a natural field in which to grow and develop.
Coleman has three good Cotton Gins, eight General Stores, one Drug Store, One Theatre, a splendid Telephone System. Two good churches and another in the course of construction. Our $35,000.00 School Building is our Pride.
Coleman State Bank does safe, sane and Sure Banking Business, and offers accommodations and courtesies to all wide-awake and Industrious people who desire its assistance.
The deposits average $175,000.00 per year and will go far beyond that figure for the year 1919. Come among us and grow with us. Correspondence will be promptly attended to.
George C. Houck ------------ President R. P. Brewer
R. P. Brewer ------------ Vice President T. F. Owens
T. F. Owens ------------ Vice President Geo. C. Houck
S. W. Philpott ------------ Cashier