The History of Cookson Oklahoma

In the 1890’s, the Ballew family settled on the gentle, crystal clear Illinois River. The location of the homestead was under a bluff that spanned over 200 feet high. In the early 1890’s the Ballew family operated the Ballew Brothers Store which supplied the local families with everything from guns, to general household goods, to wagons, and even custom built caskets.

With the coming of the post office in 1896, which was operated from the home of Jack Cookson, the Cookson Indian Territory address was born. In 1947 the Corps of Engineers began building a dam across the Illinois River, creating Tenkiller Lake. All of the affected structures that could be moved were relocated to higher ground. Many of the structures that were moved are still being used today. What you may know as the Cookson General Store is the original store that was located on the river and operated by the George Stratton family. The structures that could not be moved are now covered by beautiful Tenkiller Lake.

Today, Cookson is a hub of activity. Located on the east side of the lake, Cookson has the only public airport available on the lakeshore. There is a 2,600-foot runway with an attendant always on duty to serve flying visitors to the lake area.

Cookson is also home to many businesses to serve visitors. From restaurants to convenience stores, dive shops to lodging, Cookson is here to meet your needs.

Source: Tenkiller Lake Central.

The Cookson Hills of Oklahoma were made famous in the movies, as the hide out of such bank robbers of the 1930’s as: Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker, Baby Face Nelson, and most of all, Bonnie & Clyde.

Source: Visit USA.