Tulsa County History


Located on the Arkansas River on lands that were once part of the Creek and Cherokee nations, Tulsa County was created at statehood and took its name from the town of Tulsa in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory. The name, Tulsa, is derived from Tulsey Town, and old Creek settlement in Alabama. The county is part hills and bluffs and part wide prairie, marking the dividing line between the ridges of the Ozarks in the East and the broad plains of the West.

Tulsa, Oklahoma Skyline

Tulsa County History

It could be said that it is the gateway to the area of Oklahoma known as "Green Country" for its lush rolling hills. Tulsa County's western tip reaches Lake Keystone, while the Arkansas River, in its wide bed, rolls southeastward across the county. Cattle and horse ranches and rich farmland lie almost within the shadow of urban buildings.

The county has the state's second largest city, Tulsa, whose energy, aviation, finance, computer and electronics bases are supported by a broad complex of institutes of higher learning. Surrounding this core, is a rapidly growing ring of suburban cities, including Broken Arrow, Bixby, Collinsville, Glenpool, Jenks, Mannford, Owasso, Sand Springs and Skiatook. A secondary ring of thriving rural communities include the towns of Liberty and Sperry. Beyond these areas, close at hand, there are still quiet, backwood areas.

History runs deep in Tulsa County, from the early Native American inhabitants to the cattlemen, the coming of the railroads, and the oil boom. Near downtown Tulsa lies the historic meeting place of the Creek, Cherokee and Osage nations, Council Oak Tree.



  • County Seat - Tulsa
  • Area - 571 square miles
  • Population 603,403 according to last census
  • Farms - 766
  • Land in Farms - 134,050
  • Recreation Area - Keystone
  • Major Lake - Keystone
  • Major Stream Systems - Arkansas and Caney rivers, Bird Creek, Crow Creek
  • Museums and Historic Sites - Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Philbrook Art Center & World Museum, Fenster Gallery of Jewish Art
  • Institutions of Higher Learning - Tulsa Community College, Oral Roberts University, The University of Tulsa, OSU-Tulsa, Tulsa


Cong. 1
D.A. 14
Ct. Of Appeals 1,2
Supreme Ct. Jud. 6
St. Sen. 11,18,33-35,37,39,51,54
St. Rep. 29,30,35,36,66-80
Ct. Of Crim. Appeals. 1
Tulsa-Pawnee Jud. Adm. 14