FRIENDSHIP, OKLAHOMA – Verna Johnson & Don Butler
Friendship, in Jackson County, is a rural Southwestern Oklahoma Community with a unique, colorful history. At various times Southwestern Oklahoma was claimed by England, France, Spain, Mexico and the Republic of Texas. Before Oklahoma became the 46th state, Friendship was located in Indian Territory, Oklahoma Territory and Greer County, Texas. The Navajoe Mountains, located four miles east of Friendship, are a part of the Wichita Mountain Range.
Southwestern Oklahoma was once part of a vast sea of grass stretching as far as the eye could see, populated by millions of buffalo and claimed by Texas, but ruled by the Comanches and Kiowas. After the last free bands of Comanches and Kiowas were confined to the reservation at Fort Sill in 1875, the area became safe for cattle drives. From 1876 to 1892, millions of longhorns were driven from Texas to Dodge City and Ogallala, Nebraska, over the Western Cattle Trail which passed through the middle of what is now the Town of Friendship.