The town was first called "KeeOtter", and was later changed to "Keota". The town's name may come from a Choctaw word meaning "the fire gone out", referring to an entire tribe being destroyed by disease. Another account is that Keota was derived from "Jim Keese", a rancher who owned the land where the townsite was located, and "Otter," for Otter Creek, a tributary of the Sans Bois Creek which winds its way through town.
Location of Keota, Oklahoma
Keota began as a tent town and trading post, but quickly flourished.
Keota was founded in 1904 by the Midland Valley Railroad's land company, and a post office was established in 1905.
By 1911, the town supported several businesses, a hotel, and a lumberyard.
The town supported local cotton growers, and was a railroad shipping point for their product.
In 1971, the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System was established on theArkansas River, about 10 miles north of Keota. A dam on the river created the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir, which reach down to Keota. This enabled the Port of Keota to be established.
Light industry was beginning to be drawn to the town at the end of the twentieth century, though by 2013, little remained of the port but a boatlaunch, and the railway had long been abandoned.
On December 31, 1974, the nearby Otter Creek Archaeological Site (NR 74001661) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Keota is located at (35.256907, -94.921363).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), all of it land.