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Sallisaw

Trip Planner USA  /  Oklahoma  /  Sallisaw
(3.9/5 based on 35+ reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, casinos
Sallisaw is a city and county seat of Sequoyah County. Its name was derived from the French word salaison meaning "salt meat" or "salt provisions". The population was 8,880 at the 2010 Census, an 11.2 percent increase from 7,891 at the 2000 census. Sallisaw is part of the Fort Smith, Arkansas–Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area.HistoryIn the 1840s and 1850s Sallisaw had been the name of a steamboat landing on the Arkansas River, between Fort Smith and Fort Gibson. Modern Sallisaw's beginning as a permanent community began in 1887–1888, when Argyle Quesenbury, a white man, and Will Watie Wheeler, a relative of noted Cherokee leader Stand Watie, laid out lots for a town. Several post offices had existed in the area nearby, even before there was a named community. There was a post office called Childer's Station from 1873 to 1888 when its name was changed to Sallisaw. Another community fifteen miles north bore the name Sallisaw for a period until 1888 when the name of the post office there was changed to Mays, remaining so until it closed in 1896.Will Watie Wheeler established several businesses in the town during the 1880s and 1890s. These included a cotton gin, saw mill, grist mill and lumberyard. In 1896, he opened the Coffin Shop, which later became the Wheeler Funeral Home. The latter was still doing business in Sallisaw in the twenty-first century.The Kansas & Arkansas Valley Railway (later the Missouri Pacific Railroad) built an east-west line from Van Buren, Arkansas to Sallisaw in 1888-90. The Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad built a north-south line through Sallisaw in 1895–96. The two intersected in Sallisaw.
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