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CHRISTMAS - OFFICES CLOSED

The Pittsburg County Courthouse, Animal Shelter, District Shops and all other administrative offices will be closed December 24 through December 26, 2018 in observance of Christmas.

Pittsburg County


Pittsburg County History

Pittsburg County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 45,837. Its county seat is McAlester. The county was formed from part of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory in 1907. County leaders believed that its coal production compared favorably with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the time of statehood.

Pittsburg County comprises the McAlester, OK Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The area forms the present Pittsburg county was part of the Choctaw Nation after the Choctaw tribe was forced to relocate to Indian Territory from its home in the Southeastern United States in the early 1830s. Some important trails, including the Texas Road and one route of the California Trail passed through it. In 1840, James Perry established a village called Perryville that became an important stop near the place where the two trails crossed. During the Civil War, Perryville served as an important supply depot for Confederate forces until the Union Army captured and burned the town. It became defunct after the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway (MK&T) bypassed it in 1872, and the remaining inhabitants moved to McAlester. The Butterfield Overland Mail route followed a route through this area.

James J. McAlester moved to the Choctaw Nation in 1872, opened a trading post and married a Chickasaw woman. This qualified him to obtain citizenship rights in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. When the MK&T built its line, McAlester laid claim to the coal deposits in the Perryville area, which he and some partners leased to the Osage Coal and Mining Company, which was owned by the Missouri Pacific Railroad and acquired by the MK&T in 1888.

Pittsburg County was formed on July 16, 1907 as an original county from Choctaw land. County leaders, thinking its coal production compared favorably with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was named the new county after the Pennsylvania city with the "h" removed. Coal mining continued to expand until the early 20th century. Production began to decline after 1920, and never fully recovered. By 1966, the county production was no longer reported.

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County Statistic
1907 founded in
McAlester, OK Seat
44,703 Population /2013/
1,378sq/mi total area

What is County Government?

Counties are one of America's oldest forms of government, dating back to 1634 when the first county governments were established in Virginia. Ever since, county governments continue to evolve and adapt to changing responsibilities, environments and populations. Today, America's 3,069 county governments invest nearly $500 billion each year in local services and infrastructure and employ more than 3.3 million people. Most importantly, county governments are focused on the fundamental building blocks for healthy, safe, resilient and vibrant communities:

  • Maintain public records and coordinate elections
  • Support and maintain public infrastructure, transportation and economic development assets
  • Provide vital justice, law enforcement and public safety services
  • Protect the public's health and well-being, and
  • Implement a broad array of federal, state and local programs

No two counties are exactly the same. County governments are diverse in the ways we are structured and how we deliver services to our communities. The basic roles and responsibilities of our county governments are established by the states, including our legal, financial, program and policy authorities. Under "Dillon" rules, counties can only carry out duties and services specifically authorized by the state. Meanwhile, home rule or charter counties have more flexibility and authority.

In general, county governments are governed by a policy board of elected officials (often called county board, commission or council). Nationally, more than 19,300 individuals serve as elected county board members and elected executives. In addition, most counties also have a series of row officers or constitutional officers that are elected to serve, such as sheriffs, clerks, treasurers, auditors, public defenders, district attorneys and coroners.


With permission. Original Source Oklahoma State University, County Training Program

Pittsburg County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 45,837. Its county seat is McAlester. The county was formed from part of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory in 1907. County leaders believed that its coal production compared favorably with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the time of statehood.

Pittsburg County comprises the McAlester, OK Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The area forms the present Pittsburg county was part of the Choctaw Nation after the Choctaw tribe was forced to relocate to Indian Territory from its home in the Southeastern United States in the early 1830s. Some important trails, including the Texas Road and one route of the California Trail passed through it. In 1840, James Perry established a village called Perryville that became an important stop near the place where the two trails crossed. During the Civil War, Perryville served as an important supply depot for Confederate forces until the Union Army captured and burned the town. It became defunct after the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway (MK&T) bypassed it in 1872, and the remaining inhabitants moved to McAlester. The Butterfield Overland Mail route followed a route through this area.

James J. McAlester moved to the Choctaw Nation in 1872, opened a trading post and married a Chickasaw woman. This qualified him to obtain citizenship rights in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. When the MK&T built its line, McAlester laid claim to the coal deposits in the Perryville area, which he and some partners leased to the Osage Coal and Mining Company, which was owned by the Missouri Pacific Railroad and acquired by the MK&T in 1888.

Pittsburg County was formed on July 16, 1907 as an original county from Choctaw land. County leaders, thinking its coal production compared favorably with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was named the new county after the Pennsylvania city with the "h" removed. Coal mining continued to expand until the early 20th century. Production began to decline after 1920, and never fully recovered. By 1966, the county production was no longer reported.

- Click here to read more