Oklahoma City to Atoka and Ada

The Oklahoma City, Ada and Atoka Railway

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This short section of track is located on Lonnie Abbott Boulevard in Ada, where the OCA&A headed north out of town past the current municipal airport. Photo by Terry Hall.

As its name implies, the Oklahoma City, Ada and Atoka Railway (OCA&A) ran through the gentle rolling hills and pastures of central and southeastern Oklahoma, connecting the towns of Atoka and Ada to Oklahoma City via Shawnee. Other towns along the route included Midway, Lehigh, Coalgate, Centrahoma, Tupelo, Stonewall, Konowa, Maud, Harjo, Woods, Marion, and Barnard. The railroad was formed from track that was not included in the 1923 reorganization of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad.

According to the History of Pontotoc County, the railroad began as a KATY extension from Atoka boasting four passenger and four freight trains per day serving Pontotoc County. With the closing of the coal fields in Coalgate and uncertain economic times, the KATY sold the railroad in 1923 to Mr. H. R. Hudson, changing the name to the OCA&A. Atlantic (4-4-2) engines and Pacifics (4-6-2) were used on the line at this time. Coaling towers were located in Konowa and Tupelo, so only a water tower and wye were needed in Ada. In addition to passengers and their personal property, revenue was generated through the transport of poultry, cattle, dry ice, and cement.

In 1929, the OCA&A joined the Muskogee Company (which also controlled the Midland Valley and the KO&G). In 1964, the OCA&A was sold to the Missouri Pacific's Texas and Pacific Railway which operated it until selling it to the AT&SF Railway.

Thanks to Terry Hall for contributing information about this route.

I am interested in the oca&a, my dad worked on this railroad in about 1936-38 as a section hand. I was born durning his time of employment. I was born just west of the picture on 16th street I beleve it was in the 300 block.

george gideon
Oklahoma City, OK
1/3/2009

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The OCA&A ran through our farm near Newalla and I have several pictures taken by my grandfather. There seemed always to be a fire on the right of way.

Dillon Wilson
Stella, OK
5/7/2009

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My Grandpa, D.E. Bray, was the section foreman for the OCA&A for many years. He worked out of Coalgate, but eventually moved to Ada when it became property of the ATS&F. He retired in Ada. I have many fond memories of going with him to the Coalgate Depot (an old caboose)and seeing the steam locomotives. Many summer afternoons my uncle and I would find out which direction he was working out of Coalgate, and late in the day we would walk the rails in that direction to get a ride in the motor car as the gang returned from the days work. Very, very good memories.

Charles Creek
Moore, OK
6/20/2009

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I own the right of way and siding shown in the picture taken looking East of Post Road. Located to the South of this picture, on the siding, is the foundation of a cotton gin. I have been looking for a picture or any other info about the gin. My family has lived in the Marion siding area since before statehood. One Uncle's home was located on lots 9, 10 and 11 in Marion.

Kenneth Drye
Midwest City, OK
2/26/2012

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A family with the last name of Canon lived west down the tracks from Post rd back during the 50's and 60's. They owned the land where homes now sit called Rhapsody heights. I use to hear the train come through at night.

Wayne Arnold
Midwest city,, OK
12/23/2013

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We lived at 921 E. Ferguson in MWC before the town was condemned. The railroad ran behind our home and on Westward towards Midwest Blvd after crossing 15th. The whistle would blow about 9:45pm in the evening which would be our curfew to come in the house.

Claire Herford-McCann
MWC, OK
12/25/2013

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The Glenwood area was condemned, not the town. My brother tried to grow a garden near the rail tracks and somebody came and made him destroy it as it was too close to the right-of-way.

Claire Herford-McCann
MWC, OK
12/25/2013

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My dad was the section Forman. He worked from 1930-1973.

Marilyn canon peters
Oklahoma City, OK
9/3/2014

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My dad was John Canon. He took me on the motor car to the bus stop at 2313 south post rd. daddy had a 99 year lease on the land beside the railroad.

Marilyn canon peters
Oklahoma City, OK
9/3/2014

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When I was in Shawnee, the AT&SF still operated some of the OCAA track around that town and BN operated more around Ada. According to "Ghost Towns of Oklahoma", the OCAA abandoned track east of Tupelo (to Atoka) in 1956, after the mines around Lehigh and Coalgate played out. AT&SF bought the rest and replaced the line from Tinker AFB to Shawnee with trackage rights over the CRI&P in 1970 (from "Wheat Lines and Super Freights"). Tupelo to Ada came out around 1973 under Santa Fe, and Ada to Shawnee came out in 1982 when the bridge south of Konawa was damaged in a flood. The last section served the power plant just north of Konawa.

Tom Tiger
Chattanooga, TN
12/13/2014

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Marilyn did you have two brothers? Didn't you live west of Post Rd down the tracks on the north side of the railroad. If so what ever happened to your brothers?

Wayne Arnold
Midwest city, OK
12/14/2014

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Marilyn, I believe your dad is my great-grand uncle (making you my 1st cousin, twice removed).

It's been several months since anyone's posted here, so I'm hoping somebody sees this!

I would love any and EVERY bit of information anyone can provide about the Canon/Cannon family. (Wayne, that includes you, as well! I see you have some memories of this family. :) )

John's parents are a huuuuge brick wall for me; I've been researching this line since 2008, and still have not broken through. I'm a little closer now, but not much.

Finding this page is very exciting to me--it puts me that much closer. (And lets me know that some of the info I have in the John Canon branch is correct--hooray!)

cheers,

christa

Christa Cannon
North Hollywood, CA
5/24/2015

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My father Ralph Gillock was the same as a section foreman for the 13 miles of railroad inside Tinker AFB. We went to the OCAA section house in the 50's and visited Mr Canon. He had just hit a car with a motor car at a grade crossing.

Terry Gillock
Sulphur, OK
11/18/2016

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