Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 09:04
Tecumseh, Oklahoma offers its population of 6,667 the friendliness of a small town just minutes away from the city. The town is located just 40 miles east of Oklahoma City along Interstate 40 and just 5 miles South of Shawnee. With a central location in Pottawatomie County, Tecumseh really has many opportunities for its residents and visitors.
Historically, Tecumseh has a unique past as it is one of only two towns founded by settlers in the 1891 Land Run. At exactly noon on September 22, 1891, a gun shot sent settlers racing to claim land to build homes and businesses. In a short time, many buildings were built and the town was named in honor of the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, a Native American leader who fought and died with the British in the Battle of Thames in 1812. Tecumseh had the pride of being the Pottawatomie county seat from 1891-1937 until it moved to Shawnee after a controversial election.
Once Tecumseh started to grow, local businessmen organized the construction of a railroad to connect to the Choctaw railroad on the East side of Shawnee. In 1907, Tecumseh and Shawnee were also connected by a street car line, which stopped at the popular amusement park named Benson Park. Sadly, Benson Park was forced to close in 1932, due to the Depression. Today, there is no park to see, but the name lives on in the street names and businesses like Benson Park Pecans.
Tecumseh has worked hard to preserve multiple historic buildings and treasures from the past. The Opera house, built in 1905, is no longer the stage for events and school graduations, but is still a landmark on S. Broadway. Another historical building is The Barnard School, 315 E. Locust St., which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009, and is still used for some classes. Several of the churches around town are quite old as well, and are worth a look. For more glimpses of the past, the Historical Museum at 114 S. Broadway, is open on Saturdays from 10am - 2pm. The museum is home to many pictures and items, including the tables and chairs from the Morgan Drug Store. Check out the Pioneer Library System's Tecumseh Gathering Days album on Flickr for more historic photos and the opportunity to share your comments or stories about the people or places pictured.
Tecumseh also is home to the state's oldest continuing alumni association. The first school classes were held in 1894, and the 1903 graduating class (less than 10 people) held the first alumni banquet. Each year, Tecumseh High School graduates gather on Memorial Day weekend to share stories of the present and past. Visit the Tecumseh High School Alumni Association website to find more information.
Currently, Tecumseh is a rapidly growing, prosperous town that offers a wide range of services and activities for residents and visitors. The Streetscape program has revitalized the town with new sidewalks, flowers, trees, murals, and clean business fronts. New businesses are attracted to the area as well to create a stable economy with several stores and restaurants. Each year the town celebrates many events including: alumni gathering (Memorial weekend), Frontier Days (3rd week of September), July 4th celebration, Art of Broadway, BBQ contests, and holiday parades. A great place to stay when visiting is the Maverick Hotel (formerly a bank). The beautiful Victorian house called "Honeysuckle Rose" is a nice venue for weddings and events.
If you are interested in living in Tecumseh or already a resident and have children, check out the Tecumseh Public School district website. Find information on schools, athletics, grades, and events calendar. For more information on the Tecumseh schools, visit the Academic performance index (API) and Accountability Report Cards provided by the state as part of the "No Child Left Behind" initiative.
For information on the town's public services and departments, the City of Tecumseh/Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce website is a good place to start. Information on the left is about Tecumseh, and Chamber of Commerce information is on the right. It is here that you can find contact information on animal shelters, parks, utilities, the cemetery, municipal court, police and fire departments, chamber activities and scholarships, and much more.