Afton is a town in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,049 as of the 2010 census, with population growth stemming from the near abandonment of nearby towns of Cardin and Picher because of ground contamination sites by local mining quarries. The town may have been named for the Scottish river Afton.
Location within Ottawa County and the state of Oklahoma
|Coordinates: 36°41′31″N 94°57′50″W|
Afton developed in this part of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory after the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, or Frisco) built tracks through the area to Vinita in 1871. Oklahoma historian George Shirk asserts that a Scottish railroad surveyor, Anton Aires, named the town Afton after his daughter. Others have claimed the name comes from Robert Burns's poem, "Flow Gently Sweet Afton." Both Afton Aires' name and the Burns's poem honor the Afton River in Scotland.
A post office was established in Afton during 1886. In 1901, the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railroad, which soon became part of the Frisco system, constructed another line through the town, creating a shorter route to Kansas City. The town became a Frisco division point and shipping center.
Afton is located at (36.691845, -94.964024).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), all of it land.
Originally a farming and railroad community, Afton is located on the historic U.S. Route 66 in Oklahoma. Route 66 was bypassed by I-44 in 1957. Businesses which formerly served US 66 travellers in the town's heyday included the Palmer Hotel, Rogers’ Motel, Rest Haven Motel, Green Acres Motel and Avon Motor Court, Baker’s Cafe, Clint’s Cafe, Smith Store and Barrett’s Food Store, Mack’s Place and Fred’s 66 Bar.