A small section of lake atoka created by impounding waters of a tributary of the muddy boggy river in neighboring atoka county provides recreational access in southeastern coal county the coal county mining and historical museum coalgate interprets the areas history. Coal county is in many respects typical of oklahoma politics once mainly democratic it has become extremely strongly republican in presidential elections although even today most voters identify as democrats coal county was not won at the presidential level by a republican until richard nixon did so in 1972. Overall from the 1870s to the 1980s more than 200 million tons of coal came out of oklahomas mines if the development of oklahomas coal mining industry can be attributed to a single person that person was james j mcalester early histories of oklahoma successfully turned him into a nearly mythical character after finding coal on his . 1907 coal county was formed at statehood from the former shappaway county later renamed atoka county of the pushmataha district of the choctaw nation in indian territorycounty seat coalgate interactive formation boundary map of oklahoma shows boundary changes for oklahoma counties oklahoma historical boundary changes list of all boundary changes by county provided by newberry library
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