Doesn’t sound too interesting, does it? But take a look at the official description:
The Incorporation Records for the Oklahoma and Indian Territories have been digitized in a joint project with the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s Office. The ledger books were generated by the Territorial secretary as new businesses and municipalities began conducting business. There are 27 volumes of Oklahoma Territory Incorporation Records and 15 volumes for Indian Territory. Some examples of the entries found in the ledgers include: Agreement & Incorporation, Incorporation Amendment, Appointment of Agent, Dissolution, as well as lease and mortgage transactions. The entries begin in 1890 and continue until statehood is established in 1907.
Keep in mind that included are transactions for churches and lodges and private business as well as the larger banks and coal and, of course, oil companies. While the database is not searchable by personal name, it is quite user friendly if you spend a bit of time getting use to the terminology.
For example, a search using the name of the small town in western Oklahoma Territory where my grandfather was born, Taloga, yields entries for 4 churches as well as a bank, 2 lodges, a rail company and a mill and elevator company–9 entries in all. His father and uncle are listed as working at a mill on the 1910 census–perhaps the very one listed in this book of incorporations. PDF images of the original entries are linked to each organization so you can read the personal names included in each incorporation or charter or document.
I am currently researching a man who was a coal miner in Indian Territory and after statehood. A search using just “coal” as the search term yields almost 200 coal companies–who knew there were so many coal companies that early in this area?
If you had people pre-statehood Oklahoma, take a look. You might find information on a church or a lodge they were a member–or, if you’re related to a mover and shaker, perhaps even the incorporation papers for their oil and/or gas company. We have lots of those in Oklahoma.