Pawhuska is a city in and the county seat of Osage County, Oklahoma, United States, and the capital of the federally recognized Osage Nation. It is in the Tulsa metropolitan area, which includes part of Osage County.
The population of the city was 3,589 at the 2010 census, a decline of 1.2 percent from 3,629 at the 2000 census.It was named after the 19th-century Osage chief, Paw-Hiu-Skah, which means "White Hair" in English.
The Osage tribal government, which opened offices in Pawhuska in 1872 when its reservation was established in Indian Territory, continues to be based in the city. The United States' firstBoy Scout troop was organized here in 1909.
Historic Downtown Pawhuska
Location of Pawhuska, Oklahoma
The town, originally known as Deep Ford, was established in 1872 with the reservation for theOsage Nation, part of Indian Territory. The Osage Indian Agency was located along Bird Creek. One of the three main bands of the tribe settled here. Traders followed, building stores during 1872 and 1873. Pawhuska's first newspaper, the Indian Herald (also known asWah-Sha-She News.), was founded in 1875 by George Edward Tinker, an Osage who became the father of Clarence L. Tinker, highest-ranking Native American officer in the US Army.The first post office opened in 1876.
The Midland Valley Railroad reached Pawhuska in September 1905. By the time of statehood in 1907, the town population was 2,407.
During the Osage oil boom of the 1910s and 1920s, Pawhuska was the site of public lease options. The population grew to 6,414 by 1920. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad extended its line from Owen, a community in Washington County, to Pawhuska in 1923. As the oil boom declined and the Great Depression set in, the population declined. The steady decline has continued through each census to the present.
Other than cattle ranches nearby, local employment consisted primarily of a brick plant, a creamery, an ice factory, and a rock crusher. The Osage Nation has opened a gaming casino here, hoping to generate revenue for the tribe.