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Tishomingo, Oklahoma
City of Tishomingo
Main façade of the Old Chickasaw Nation Capitol building in September 2018
Main façade of the Old Chickasaw Nation Capitol building in September 2018
"Progressive, Growing, Beautiful"
Location of Tishomingo, Oklahoma
Location of Tishomingo, Oklahoma
Country  United States
State  Oklahoma
County Johnston
Named for Tishomingo
 • Type Home Rule (council-manager)
 • Total 4.47 sq mi (11.58 km2)
 • Land 4.36 sq mi (11.30 km2)
 • Water 0.11 sq mi (0.28 km2)
669 ft (204 m)
 • Total 3,034
 • Estimate 
 • Density 706.39/sq mi (272.74/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-73900
GNIS feature ID 1098926

Tishomingo is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Johnston County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 3,034 at the 2010 census, a decline of 4.1 percent from the figure of 3,162 in 2000. It was the first capital of the Chickasaw Nation, from 1856 until Oklahoma statehood in 1907. The city is home to Murray State College, a community college with an annual enrollment of 3,015 students. Tishomingo is part of the Texoma region.


Tishomingo was named after the Chickasaw chief who died of smallpox on the Trail of Tears near Little Rock, after the Chickasaws had been removed from their original homelands, located in and around Tishomingo, Mississippi.

Before the founding of Tishomingo in 1852, the area was known as Good Springs, named for the presence of several springs that made the place a suitable camp site along the road between Fort Washita and Fort Arbuckle. The small town had replaced the old campsites with permanent structures and renamed Tishomingo by 1856. It was designated as the Chickasaw capital in 1856. A post office was established in 1857.

The Chickasaw capitol building was built in 1897 from local red granite and officially dedicated in 1898. It housed the tribal governor, the bicameral legislature and other government officials and clerks. The territorial court also met there from time to time. The territorial government was dissolved at statehood. In 1910, the building was sold to Johnston County, becoming the county court house.

The Western Oklahoma Railroad was built from Haileyville to Ardmore via Tishomingo in 1902, and bought by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway in the same year. It was abandoned in 1938.

Tishomingo is home of the Texhoma Oil and Refining Company, established in the 1920s by the industrialist Joseph A. Kemp of Wichita Falls, Texas.

Tishomingo Cemetery dates back to at least 1832. Notables buried there include two former Oklahoma governors William H. Murray and Johnston Murray and Chickasaw Nation governors Douglas H. Johnson and Robert M. Harris.


Tishomingo is located at 34°14′8″N 96°40′39″W / 34.23556°N 96.67750°W / 34.23556; -96.67750 (34.235575, -96.677542). It is 31 miles (50 km) east of Ardmore and 115 miles (185 km) southeast of Oklahoma City. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.3 km²), of which, 4.7 square miles (12.2 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.63%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,408
1920 1,871 32.9%
1930 1,281 −31.5%
1940 1,951 52.3%
1950 2,325 19.2%
1960 2,381 2.4%
1970 2,663 11.8%
1980 3,212 20.6%
1990 3,116 −3.0%
2000 2,987 −4.1%
2010 3,034 1.6%
2019 (est.) 3,082 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,162 people, 1,218 households, and 768 families residing in the city. The population density was 671.0 people per square mile (259.2/km2). There were 1,407 housing units at an average density of 298.6 per square mile (115.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 73.12% White, 4.65% African American, 15.24% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.98% from other races, and 5.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.04% of the population.

There were 1,218 households, out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.8% under the age of 18, 14.2% from 18 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,938, and the median income for a family was $28,462. Males had a median income of $25,655 versus $16,957 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,429. About 21.8% of families and 27.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.6% of those under age 18 and 20.9% of those age 65 or over.

Tishomingo Iron Ataxite — 5x Macro Zoom -3 (50870080721)
The Tishomingo Iron Meteorite, found in 1965

Notable people

  • Bill Anoatubby, governor of the Chickasaw Nation
  • Neill Armstrong, Chicago Bears head football coach, 1979–1982
  • Charles W. Blackwell, first ambassador of the Chickasaw Nation to the United States (1995-2013)
  • Linda Hogan, Native American storyteller
  • Alfred P. Murrah, federal district and appellate judge
  • Blake Shelton, country music singer (current resident)
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