While perusing this fascinating analysis of the reported use of airplanes during the notorious Tulsa race riot of 1921, I came across a reference to the black community of “Wybark, Oklahoma,” which Google and Google Maps report to be located somewhere in the precincts of Muskogee. This newsletter reports that the community “was located at Section 6 Township 15N Range 19E in Muskogee county (north of Muskogee).”
I find it interesting that Google Maps apparently include historical data, as the same reference notes that “Wybark, Oklahoma does not appear on the Oklahoma maps of today.”
This AOL Hometown page describes the community thusly in a list of “African ghost towns” in the Oklahoma region: “WYBARK—Established in 1890, though settled a bit earlier, Wybark was 4 miles north of Muskogee. The town operated a post office from 1890 to 1940. It is believed to have absorbed some of the old settlement of North Fork though no remains of that town are noted. The town faded in the 1940s.”
I’m intrigued. The exhaustively researched genealogy that Quentin Whybark worked up in the early nineties clearly implied unexplored and lost Whybark family branches, including Civil War era references to a doctor, if I recall correctly, who may have chosen the Confederacy instead of the Union. All of the Civil War era information centers on the area around Marble Hill, Missouri, where the second-generation American Whybark settled while the area was still under the control of Spain.
I wonder if this lost Oklahoma hamlet relates to that unexplored branch of family history, or if the town’s name could possibly have arisen independently. It seems awfully improbable for the name to have an independent etymology.