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The Durant area was once claimed by both Spain and France before officially becoming part of the United States after the Louisiana Purchase and Adamsu2013Onu00eds Treaty. During the 1820s and 1830s the area was designated as part of the Choctaw Nation in the southern Indian Territory. During the Indian removals the Choctaws followed the Choctaw Trail of Tears from their ancestral homeland in Mississippi and Alabama into this area. The Choctaw Nation originally extended from the Mexico|Mexican border in the west (now part of the Texas panhandle) to the Arkansas Territory in the east, from the Red River (Mississippi River)|Red River in the south to the South Canadian River in the north.
Pierre Durant and his four sons, all of French-Choctaw origin, made the journey up the Trail of Tears on the way to the southeastern part of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma|Choctaw Nation in 1832. The brothers, grown, with families of their own, established homesteads from the Arkansas line to Durant. One son, Fisher, married to a full-blood Choctaw, found a beautiful location for a home between Durant's present Eighth and Ninth avenues.
Fisher Durant's son Dixon Durant is recognized as the founder of Durant and is honored as its namesake. A minister, businessman and civic leader, Dixon Durant is credited with pastorates in local Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodist churches. He established the first store selling general merchandise in 1873,
[Milligan, Keith L. [ http://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=DU010 "Durant,"] ''Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture'', Oklahoma Historical Society, 2009. Accessed April 15, 2015.] around the time of the 1872 creation of the Missouriu2013Kansasu2013Texas Railroad (Katy Railroad) siding at Durant, which was the initial impetus for establishing the community.
The first post office at the site was known as Durant Station, opening on February 20, 1879, and closing on July 11, 1881.
[Shirk, p. 74] A.E. Fulsom was postmaster. [Foreman, p. 6] The U.S. Postal Service re-established the post office at the site as Durant on March 8, 1882, dropping the word "station" from the name.
W.H. Hilton was elected the first mayor of Durant.
A memorable event in Durant's rail history occurred on April 5, 1905. A special southbound Katy train stopped in the city with none other than President Theodore Roosevelt aboard.
Bryan County was created from Choctaw lands in 1907, the same time as statehood, and was named after William Jennings Bryan. Bryan was nominated three times for President of the United States and at the age of 36 lost to William McKinley. He lost to McKinley again in 1900, and to William H. Taft in 1908. Woodrow Wilson appointed the county's namesake as United States Secretary of State in 1913.
11 people were killed in Durant by a tornado in April 1919.
The town's population grew from 2,969 in 1900 to 5,330 in 1910, 12,823 in 1990, and to 13,549 in 2000.
In 1953, actor Josu00e9 Ferrer and actress/singer Rosemary Clooney were married in Durant while Jose was performing in the musical ''Kiss Me, Kate'' in Dallas.
Parks and Recreation
The City of Durant maintains and operates 11 parks totaling more than . They include:
* Durant Multi-Sports Complex
* Dixon Durant Park u2013 formerly Northside Park, or Rocket Park, renamed in honor of the founder of Durant.
* Carl Albert Memorial Park & public pool
* Billy Miller Park
* Schuler Park
* Lake Durant
* Silverado Golf Course
Less than away, Lake Texoma has between 8u201310 million visitors every year and is the 12th largest lake in the United States, and also one of the largest reservoirs in the country, contributing to Durant's economic growth|economic and population growth.
Durant is served by a daily newspaper, ''The Durant Daily Democrat''. No television studios are located in the city, but it receives over the air reception from the Sherman-Ada DMA, which happens to have studios in Sherman, Texas|Sherman and Denison, Texas, with branch studios in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The city has an independent cable television and Internet provider called CommuniCom Services.
The city receives the following stations:
* KTEN Channel 10 u2013 (NBC)
* KTEN DT Channel 10.2 u2013 (The CW Texoma)
* KXII Channel 12 u2013 (CBS)
* KXII DT Channel 12.2 (My Texoma)
* KXII DT Channel 12.3 (Fox Texoma)
* A low-power translator of OETA and its subchannels
Public-access television cable television stations include:
* Durant Public Schools 24-hour station which usually only airs slide shows
* A local classified advertisements with KLBC playing
* Duane Sheriff Ministries
* FBC-TV, which relays FamilyNet and Worship when there are not local church broadcasts
* A NEXRAD station
The city receives the following radio stations:
* KSEO, AM 750
* KLBC, 106.3 FM, "Today's Best Country", the top-rated Oklahoma radio station in the Sherman/Ada DMA and the most listened-to radio station in southeastern Oklahoma, according to a 2008 Arbitron Rating survey
* KSSU, "POWER 92", a SOSU station aimed at college students
*KICM, 96.1 "the mix 96" playing assortment of what's hot
Durant's KLBC publishes a monthly entertainment guide, ''The KLBC Buzz''. Available online and the print version is distributed to a six-county region of Texoma.
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