From Sans Bois Creek Bridge West to Stigler
The Beale Wagon Road of 1860 ran almost due west nine miles from Sans Bois Creek to what would later become the hamlet of Newman in 1889, changing its name to Stigler in 1893. Major growth occurred in Stigler in 1904 when the Midland Valley Railroad passed along the southern side of downtown, crossing the old military road just southeast of downtown. One can easily travel a paved four-mile section of the Beale Wagon Road beginning downtown near the Haskell County Courthouse at Main Street at Broadway and traveling easterly down Main Street (OK 9) to the first curve, go straight on southeast down Old Military Road past the industrial park for one mile to the City Lake Rd. intersection. After stopping at the complex intersection (the Old Military Road didn`t square-up nicely with the later section-line roads that just happened to also cross here), carefully take the easterly skewed road (paved CR E 1219) for another two miles. Most of CR 1219 appears to closely follow the Beale Wagon Road until it reaches the end of CR 1219 at, of all things, Tamaha Road, the road corridor that Major General Price’s retreat from Arkansas seems to have followed in November 1864 and his weary army camped nearby on November 8, 1864.
On West To Whitefield and Enterprise
Beale’s road survey journal, like those of Price’s Army, note the good quality of the prairie road they rode on west to about Whitefield (Camp Pike). Evidence indicates that the Beale Wagon Road followed the OK 9 highway corridor prairie country for over ten miles on west past the community of Enterprise (OK 9 @ OK 71), while avoiding the need to bridge Emaehaya Creek and Brooken Creek.
And Northwest To Longtown Creek Bridge Near Bower and North to North Fork Town
OK 9 soon turns northwest toward modern Eufaula, passing thru rugged hills and crossing Longtown Creek (now part of Lake Eufaula) near the recreational town of Longtown, OK. Examination of 1898 USGS initial land survey plats of the area (albeit 26 years after the MKT Railroad thru Eufaula was opened) suggests that the old military road (Beale Wagon Road) crossed Longtown Creek near of the present lake recreational town of Bower (which was also present in 1898 as P.O. Bower). The proposed route then goes into Bower and then turns north along present Bower Rd, crossing OK 9 in Longtown, and continuing northward until it reaches Eufaula Lake. From there, the wagon road must have proceeded north, dodging Choctaw farm land, until it reached and forded the South Canadian River just above the mouth of the North Fork of the Canadian, now all in Lake Eufaula. The historic wagon road operated prior to the arrival of the railroad which started nearby Eufaula in 1872 and quickly killed historic North Fork Town.
And Finally Little River Bridge
On November 3, 1858 after rising early from camp west of North Fork Town, E. F. Beale and his men headed 50 miles west to Edwards Trading Post, located five miles south of Holdenville in Hughes County. The Beale Wagon Road headed toward Hanna (Hillabee) and on southwest to Edwards Trading Post on the left bank (here, the west side) of Little River, a mile north of the (South) Canadian River. The details of the 100-foot Little River Bridge that Beale sited on November 5, 1858 have been covered in previous posts.