The LeFlore County Courthouse is one of five sites in Poteau listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Location of Poteau, Oklahoma
Poteau was founded in 1885. It was named from the Poteau River.A group of French explorers had given the river its present name during the early 18th Century. Poteau is a French word meaning outpost.
The Fort Smith and Southern Railway built a rail line through the Poteau area in 1886-1887, en route to Paris, Texas, including a station at Poteau. A Poteau post office opened in 1887. The Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (acquired by the Kansas City Southern Railwayin 1900) started serving the town in 1896. Poteau incorporated in 1898.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.7 square miles (82 km2), of which 28.6 square miles (74 km2) is land and 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), or 9.54%, is water. It is about 12 miles (19 km) west of the Oklahoma-Arkansas border.
The city is located in the valley below Cavanal Hill, the "World's Highest Hill."