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History of Northern District of Oklahoma

In 1889, the Indian Territory was set aside for five civilized tribes: Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole. The Territory of Oklahoma was created on May 2, 1890. On March 1, 1895, the Indian Territory was divided into three districts: Central, Northern and Southern. On May 27, 1902, the Western District of the Indian Territory was established. The Act of June 16, 1906, merged the Oklahoma and Indian Territories, thereby forming the State of Oklahoma. The Act was effective upon admission of Oklahoma as a state on November 16, 1907.

On June 16, 1906 Congress organized Oklahoma as two judicial districts, the Eastern and the Western, with one judgeship each, and assigned the districts to the Eighth Circuit. The act became effective upon the admission of the State of Oklahoma on November 16, 1907.

On February 16, 1925 the Northern District of Oklahoma was established.   It transferred the temporary judgeship in the Eastern District to the Northern District and made that position permanent.

On February 28, 1929 Congress assigned the District of Oklahoma to the newly-organized Tenth Circuit.

On June 22, 1936  one judgeship was authorized to serve all three districts.

On May 19, 1961 one additional judgeship was authorized to serve all three districts.

On October 20, 1978 one additional judgeship was authorized for the Northern District.

On December 1, 1990 one additional judgeship was authorized for the Northern District and one of the two judgeships previously authorized to serve all three districts was assigned exclusively to the Western District.