Keystone Crossroads Historical Society For many, tracing your family tree can become an obsession. It seems that knowing and understanding where you came from is part of the human psyche. But even for a relatively recent immigrant arriving in the area, finding out as much information about the surrounding region you live in can open many doors to the history of the region and how it has changed over the years. Living in Basin some four miles north of the Town of Mannford on the edge of Keystone Lake, it is difficult to imagine what the area was like prior to the building of Keystone Dam. Even more challenging is to imagine what it was like prior to white settlement or even when Washington Irving passed nearby in the 1830s. One thing you can be sure of is that the land has changed dramatically and there are many stories to tell. Today’s Basin is a small section of Pawnee County cut off from the rest of the county by Keystone Lake, but prior to the building of the dam, it was similarly cut off by sharp a u-turn of the Cimarron River. Following the forced relocation of native Indian Tribes from their eastern homelands to today’s Oklahoma this area was part of the Cherokee Outlet. This land was allocated to the Cherokee Tribe to allow them passage from their land in the northeast of the state to hunting grounds in the west. However, following the Civil War the Federal Government took this land away from the tribe and allocated it for settlement, so in 1893 it became part of the US’s largest land run for homesteaders. The Basin area was officially described as part of Township 20N-Range 9E recorded in many documents, including the Federal Census, as Jordan or Cimarron Township. This area stretched in thirty six tracts of land running from the Creek County Line in the south to the Arkansas River in the North and East to approximately today’s Highway 48 in the west. As well as the settlement of Basin, this area also included other communities that have not survived such as Sinnett, Dixie, Leroy and parts of Appalachia and Keystone. The following list of names is of those homesteaders listed in the Federal Oklahoma Tract Book who had valid claims to homestead the lands of Basin in the Cimarron Township and include their land individual plot number: Nobles, Nathaniel E – 20 Smith, Robert J – 20 McMahon, James H – 20 Zickefoose, Lewis M – 20 Clifford, Francis M -20 Brock, Samuel J Ackley, Aba L Sloan, Millard F Robinson, Perry Baker, William J Zickefoose, Charles M Baker, George W Coats, Charles – 26 Lawmaster, Edward W – 26 Lincoln, Thomas – 26 Martin, Columbus -26 Virgie, Lynn A – 26 Spess, Charley – 27