Welcome to Redbird!

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Red Leg

          Settlers arrived in Redbird before the year 1900. The first Baptist Church was organized there in 1889 by E. L. Barber, one of the town developers. This was the largest church in the town. It is said the town received its name because of the large amount of red birds, Cardinals, in the area. In 1902, its post office was attained. Barber became the first Justice of Peace in Redbird as well as the first mayor. With the establishment of the Redbird Investment Company, more than 600 new residents showed up to the grand opening of the town as a result of the recruitment of African American families from all over the South. Miller Washington High School was a staple of the community from 1919 until 1959. Both the high school and City Hall are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Redbird once had a golf course. Out of the 600 potential new residents 336 remained until 1920. The Redbird Drugstore as well as Sharp’s Grocery/Masonic Hall are listed on the Oklahoma Landmark inventory. The two buildings were constructed in 1910. The population of Redbird would fluctuate due to a number of things including the Great Depression, but would soar to its height of 411 residents in 1950. The same as the other black towns, Jim Crow laws restricted the rights of African Americans in the counties were these towns were established. In 1938, I. W. Lane, a former mayor of the town, challenged a law that restricted the right for blacks to vote in Wagoner County. The law was similar to the Grandfather Clause, but Lane successfully gain blacks in the county more rights. The population is less than 150 today. Redbird, like Taft has a very vibrant atmosphere. Among the historical buildings still standing is an old rock jailhouse. Redbird is located 35 miles Southeast of Tulsa and is a notable stop along the Red Leg of the Black Towns Motorcycle tour.

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