When traveling along State Highway 48 you are bound to come across IXL, Oklahoma. This All-Black Town is located in Okfuskee County Sections 7, 8, 17, and 18 about three miles north of Castle, Oklahoma. IXL was first settled in 1900 by Black populations resulting from Muscogee Creek land allotments. The town’s creation through land allotments is important to the theories about its name as some say it stood for “Indian Exchange Land” or it was the term used to describe Black populations scattered throughout the area. Other ideas include the name standing for names of three original residents or as seen on the town’s website is an acronym for “I exceed, I transcend, I surpass.” This last idea truly embodies the spirit of IXL because they have endured and continue to push toward making their town better than ever.
Surprisingly, despite historic populations seen through census records, IXL was not formally incorporated as a town until October 24, 2001. IXL’s late incorporation did not take away from its history and achievements between settlement and incorporation. The town has a rich history of having a strong community and centering around its school since the early 1900s. For example, in 1907 the community loved having ice cream parties together inviting anyone in the area who wished to join. Additionally, newspapers throughout IXL’s history report on the success of its schools. In 1905, The People’s Press from Perkins, Oklahoma detailed the success of IXL’s first day of school celebrating its high attendance. The IXL school had its highs and lows throughout history, but it’s clear the community always placed education first.
The prioritization of education is especially shown through IXL residents’ actions in the 1920s. A grant from the Julius Rosenwald Fund gave the residents $1,100 to build the IXL District School 12 building which would serve 1st through 8th grade. They were also granted $900 for faculty salary. The residents and school district covered the remaining funds to create the school house to further their children’s education.
More recently IXL residents again have united to better their town as a whole. In the late 1900s the community began to center the town at the intersection of State Highway 48 and County Road East-West 1030. Their first action before incorporation was creating a fire department and building a fire station to keep the town safe. Next, along with incorporation, a town government was formed with a mayor and city council to lead the town through its growing process. So far in this process the town has created a community building, public park, and two churches which have been centers of community events. IXL has held events including an annual Sing-A-Thon, Bar-B-Que, and continued building efforts which show the ever-lasting spirit of community in IXL.
Oklahoma Historical Society: https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=IX001
IXL Town Website: http://visitixlok.com/uncategorized/come-join-us/
Oklahoma Historical Society Newspaper Database: https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc305235/m1/4/?q=IXL and https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc305177/m1/4/?q=IXL
Oklahoma Territorial Plaza: http://www.okterritory.org/school.html