History of Ada & Pontotoc County

History of Ada

Pontotoc Co. Historical & Genealogical Society

221 W. 16th Street
Ada, OK 74820
No Phone


Hours of Operation

12:30 to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday
1st & 3rd Monday nights each month.

Ada Area History & Attractions
Ada is the county seat for Pontotoc County
Senator Robert S. Kerr was born near Ada.
Ada is the home to the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Laboratory.

Area History Resources

Available for use in the library

  • The History of Ada
  • Cabin in the Blackjacks
  • History of Pontotoc County
  • 1910 Pontotoc County Census
  • Four Men Hanging

Pontotoc County History

Created at statehood, Pontotoc County bears the Chickasaw name meaning “cattails growing on the prairie” and was named after the original home of Chickasaw Tribe in Mississippi. An abundant source of water is provided to the area by the Arbuckle Uplift. Also abundant is the State’s richest oil production. (OSU Cooperative Extension Service)

  • Pontotoc County Population: 35,143
  • Area: 725 Square miles of land
  • Average Rainfall: 45.8 in.
  • Average Temperature range: 42.4 (Jan.) to 80.6 (July)
  • Industry includes: Cattle, Horses, limestone, shale, silica, sand and clay
  • Manufactured: glass, cement & brick

Byrds Mill Spring

With recorded flows in excess of 20 million gallons of water per day, Byrd’s Mill Spring is truly an incredible resource. Acquired by forward-looking citizens in 1911, the famous spring has served as the primary water supply for the City of Ada for over 90 years.

Water from Byrd’s Mill spring flows to the Ada storage reservoirs via gravity. From there it is chlorinated and pumped to the water towers using five electric pumps. A back-up generator at the water plant assures continued availability of water in the event of a power failure. Pressure from the pumps and gravity flow from the water towers distributes the water through the city’s system to homes and businesses throughout Ada and Pontotoc County.

Ada has 7,000,000 gallons of in-ground storage at the municipal water plant. There are 2,000,000 gallons of overhead storage in three water towers, the newest having been completed in 2001 using funds provided through an infrastructure sales tax approved by Ada citizens in 1998.