Welcome to Vernon!

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Black Leg

Vernon was founded in 1911, in the Creek Nation, with the help of Thomas Haynes and named after the Bishop of the African American Methodist Episcopal Church. Black town promoter E.P. McCabe, also known as the father of the Black town movement and founder of Langston, was said to have encouraged the founding of the town as early as 1895 when it began as a small farming community. Thomas Haynes was able to secure land on the Tankard Ranch to further establish the town. Vernon is located about 70 miles south of Tulsa just below I-40 along the Indian Nations Turnpike. It is the first stop on the Black Leg of the Black Towns Motorcycle tour. Ella Woods became the towns first postmaster in 1912. Though the town was never incorporate, the first school and church were established by Louise Wesley when she began teaching out of her home with church service being held under a tree. In 1917, members of the community were able to complete the first church building, the New Hope Baptist Church. Vernon was one of the first black towns in Oklahoma to receive money from the Julius Rosenwald Fund. A public school was built with the help of the generous philanthropist. That same building eventually served as Vernon’s grocery store, recreation center and dry goods store. The towns first president was Edward Woodward, but his run was short-lived. Like the other towns, the great depression, the war and the lack of economic opportunities caused many residents to migrate to urban cities. The population has not been determined as of recent, but appears to be no more than fifty. The Rock Hill school is listed on the Oklahoma Landmarks inventory with the Vernon Rock Front Post office listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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