city, seat (1907) of Bryan county, southern Oklahoma, U.S., in the Red River valley, a few miles north of the Texas border. Settled about 1870 and named for a well-known Choctaw family, the city grew steadily after the arrival of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad in 1872. Durant developed as a service centre for a diversified farming area, and in 1909 Southeastern State Normal (teacher-training) School (now Southeastern Oklahoma State University) was established there. Its economy has been sustained by oil, gas, and industry (including peanut and cotton processing and the manufacture of utility truck bodies, clothing, and cement blocks). With the completion of Lake Texoma, impounded on the Red River by Denison Dam (1943), 14 miles (23 km) west, Durant has also become the focus of a recreation area. Fort Washita (1843), on the east side of the lake, was used as a Confederate military post during the Civil War. The city houses the administrative offices of the Choctaw Indian Nation, the capital of which is at Tuskahoma, about 150 miles (240 km) northeast. Inc. 1872. Pop. (1990) 12,823; (2000) 13,549.
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