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OK-AR boundary monument -- Polk Co. AR-Leflore Co. OK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 34° 41.641 W 094° 27.335
15S E 366677 N 3840075
Quick Description: A favorite stop along the Talimena Scenic Byway, this historic border area, the site of much controversy in the 19th century and beyond, is reached by the short path to the monument
Location: Arkansas, United States
Date Posted: 12/7/2017 11:38:44 AM
Waymark Code: WMX7BA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Ernmark
Views: 1

Long Description:
In 1877 the US government undertook a survey to mark the border between the United States (Arkansas) and the various Indian tribes that had been assigned lands in Indian Territory, which was not officially part of the US, Indian Territory being sovereign tribal lands given the tribes by the US government after they were forcibly removed by the Government in the 1830s, a shameful episode now known as the Trail of Tears.

This 1935 pipe cap was set by the US General Land Office (GLO) in 1935, long after the lands in Indian Territory were opened to settlement by whites, and nearly 30 years after Oklahoma shed the name Indian Territory upon its attainment of US statehood.

This marker replaced an 1877 iron marker post. There are a few of those old posts remaining to be seen, but you have to do a lot of bushwhacking to get to them. (The nearest one we know of is in Dora, AR.)

This GLO mark is down a nice sloping trail, with a rock plaza area around it.

The Wikipedia article about this monument is WRONG -- the iron post was removed after 1977.

From the Arkansas Preservation website, the National Register listing for this monument dating from 1977: (visit link)


Location: Just north of the highway on the Ovachi ta National Forest where Oklahoma State Highway one and Arkansas State Highway 88 run into each other at the State Line

Site contains State Line Mileage Marker (48th mile). It's made of cast iron weighting over 100 pounds. The marker is part of the original survey defining Oklahoma territory and the State of Arkansas.

The marker is octagonal sided pipe with the raised letters "48 M" near the top - on the north side, "1877" south side, "ARK", east side and "CHOC. west side.

The site of the marker is about 50 yards on a 4 foot wide trail from a paved parking lot just north of Highway 88. About half of the parking lot is in Oklahoma.


Site Alteration: The Forest Service constructed a native stone and morter base for the marker in 1974. This was done to prevent someone from stealing it. The marker location was not moved. No other physical alterations have occurred to the marker. [AS OF 1977 -- BMB]


This site is one of the few places where pub1 ic access is available to one of the original 1877 State Line Mileage Markers. The survey of the State Line was a controversial government act ion because more than one survey occurred. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, dedicated the
Talimena Scenic Drive at this location June 7, 1970.

The first State Line was agreed to in the Treaty of Doak's Stand in 1820 {Ark.Hist. Quarterly XXVI I Z 204.)

The Washington or Choctaw Boundary Treaty of 1825 (Baird, 17; Bearss, 97-99; Debo, 50; McReynolds, 118-119; Morris, Map No. 19 and text) set the present boundary south of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

All white settlers west of this line were to be removed. All Choctaws to the east were to relocate west. Future settlement of U.S. Citizens west of the line was to be prevented (Bearss, 97-99; Morris, Map No. 19 and text).

There was much dispute over this line by the Arkansas Territory but a U.S. Attorney Generals' opinion in 1829 confirmed this line. (Ark. Hist. Quarterly I XXVIII 210-2113)

James S. Conway. of Lafayette County was appointed by President Jackson, surveyor of Public lands (I Hempstead, 24). He certified the surveys as follows "I do -- -.- -- hereby certify that the above plat of the line forming the boundary of the Choctaw lands in the Territory of Arkansas has such marks and bounds both natural and artificial as are represented thereon and described in the field notes thereof and returned with this "Plat" into the Office of the Secretary of War". (Morris, Map No. 55 and text).

This line was later proved to diverge to the west (Debo, 195-137; Morris, Map No. 19 and text). The error may have been intentional (Ark. Hist. Quarterly XXVIEI, .209), I

The line became a focus of illegal liquor traffic (Bearss, 121-122, 126-127).

Many more arguments ensued until the Three Cornered Treaty of 1855 (Debo, 17-73 and Morris, Map 19 and text) which defined the same starting point and direction from Fort Smith.

Upon resurveying, for only eight miles they found the old line diverging to the west. Choctaw witnesses resigned in protest when the Secretary of Interior gave orders "'merely to retrace the boundary line as surveyed and marked in previous years" (Ark. Historical Quarterly XXVI II , 213-215; Debo, 195-197). .. -

At the Civil War's end a new treaty was signed in 1866 and new efforts by the Choctaw were made to get the boundary changed to the east. The matter was finally settled, legislation confirming the old boundary in 1 March 1875 (Ark. Hist. Quarterly XXVI Z I 216-218; Baird, 181-132).

The resurvey was made in 1877 and a new survey was made on a true south line. The acreage difference was calculated at 135,204.02 acres({Ark. Hist. Quarterly XX1/I1l, 219; Baird, 182-182; Morris, Map No. 19 and text).

Congress authorized settlement at 50 cents per acre on January 5, 1886, (Baird 182, Morris, Map 33, 13 and text)."
Condition: Mark found in good condition

Designation: WC 48M OKLA|ARK

Benchmark Agency: U.S. General Land Office Survey

Monumentation type: Pipe Cap

County: Polk Co. AR and Leflore Co. OK

USGS 7.5' Topographic Quadrangle Name (optional): Rich Mountain

Find type: Found by luck/skill/knowledge

Benchmark Agency (if other): Not listed

Monumentation type (if other): Not listed

Special category (optional): Not listed

Special Category (if other): Not listed

Web address of this benchmark's datasheet (optional): Not listed

NGS PID: Not listed

Local database's URL (optional): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
  1. A closeup photo of the mark taken by you is required.
  2. A 'distant' photo including the mark in the view is highly recommended. Include the compass direction you faced when you took the picture.
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Benchmark Blasterz visited OK-AR boundary monument -- Polk Co. AR-Leflore Co. OK 11/11/2017 Benchmark Blasterz visited it