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Pontotoc County, Oklahoma
Francis was originally called Newton. The first postmaster, W. I. Cleveland, named the city after his home place, Newton County, Mississippi. The town was first settled in 1894, near the present-day town of Francis. However, for some reason, it later moved about 2 miles east. The Frisco railroad decided to build a railroad through the county and built nearer Newton's original site. The town moved back to be near the railroad. The town wanted then to change its name to "Francis" in honor of David R. Francis, Secretary of Interior under Pres. Wm. McKinnley. This wasn't permitted by the Post Office and Dept. of Interior, however, until the fall of 1902, because of another town in Indian Territory near Sapulpa, I.T.
The railroad was the center of the town for its support for many years. The railroad had constructed everything it needed in the town, eventually naming Francis as a Railroad sub-division. Francis had a round house, a Harvey House, storage buildings, railroad offices and other building that the Railroad used until about the early 1950's. Francis declined in population from its greatest growth in 1905 with a little over two-thousand people to the 1970's with just about 250 people. The town as of 1990 had 403 people living in the town. It is a quite town with friendly, hard working people.
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