Skip to content Skip to footer

Arrow Going Home

This story appeared in the June 28, 1953 Claremore Progress by R. H. Fowler.

Different versions as told by researching   ceases to die. Destined to be a byword from time it was first used, the name CLAREMORE has a unique historical back ground from which very few facts have been discovered.

Its origin is an Osage name Grah-moh, Gra-moi or Grahmoie, meaning “arrow going home” or hitting the mark and pronounced Gla-mo.  One of the many Indian customs among various tribes was to name a male newborn a worthy name and whoever the first Grah-moh was, he must have been an outstanding warrior to have had his name perpetuated in ensuing generations. Early French traders recorded the name, Grah-moh as they pronounced it Clamo, Clermo and later altered to Clairmont, Clarmont, or Clamore.  The English corrupted it to Claremore. Records show that Claremore was known as Clermont’s Village, Clermont’s Mounds, Claremont, and finally Claremore through a misspelling by a court clerk.

Historical accounts concerning this area reveal the name of not one Chief Clermont, but three: father, son and grandson, all excelling in their own rights as head of the Grah-moh band. The town of Claremore was named for the father who was called “the builder of towns.”  He died a natural death in 1828 and not in the battle of Claremore Mound which to this day is relived and exaggerated as a wonderful story to both young and old natives of Rogers County. There was said to be three villages located not very far apart, being occupied by an Osage tribe divided, and numbering some 5,000, known as Clermont’s Village, Black Dog’s Village and White Hair’s Village. Posona, Pasuga and Pahuska were undoubtedly the first names used by the Osages themselves. Pasuga (Claremont’s Village) was situated on the east side of the Persimmon River (later charted “Verdigris” by mapping French traders so-named when very low) near the rugged, rocky Claremore Mound and Posona (Black Dog’s Village) on Dog Creek, was east of the present site of Claremore. Concerning the location of the third village, Pahuska (White Hair’s Village), records have little to say but strange as it seems, history repeated thrice in the site of Claremore was indeed coincidental:  the three related Grah-moh Osages, the three villages, the three Claremore sites under three Indians-Chief Clermont, the Osage; John Bullette, the Delaware and Teesey Chambers, the Cherokee.

Claremore has indeed come a long way since its incorporated September 24, 1896. First figures accounted for, it was said to be a small village of some 250 residents in 1895. The first official census given in 1900 records 855. The following figures denote the steady growth throughout the years:  1907- 2064; 1910-2866; 1950-5949, and slowly the “arrow going home” seems to aim straight and true since its evolution from the Indian village to a modern small town.

Claremore Museum of History© 2024