MAYES COUNTY, Oklahoma - What's in a name? Well, if it is the name of the town where you live, quite a bit apparently.

Right now, there’s a small tempest brewing over the name of the Mayes County seat - is it Pryor or Pryor Creek?

At the intersection of Highway 69 and Highway 20 in Mayes County is Pryor, except that 100 yards up the road is a sign welcoming you to Pryor Creek.

According to Mayor Jimmy Tramel, "Pryor Creek is hereby designated as the county seat of Mayes County."

The state constitution says the town is Pryor Creek, not Pryor.

Here's what you need to know:

  1. Pryor Creek was incorporated back in 1909.
  2. Shortly after, the Post Office Department dropped “Creek” from the name.
  3. Since then the name on the post office building has always been Pryor, but officially Pryor Creek.

"Now it's time to get it right, that's my opinion," Tramel said.

Down the street in her real estate office, Harriett Dunham has a different opinion.

"People are used to the name Pryor. We like the name Pryor," she said.

But Tramel continues to point out it's officially Pryor Creek, and he aims to get with the official name. The new City Hall says Pryor Creek City Hall and he created a new seal for the city council room that says Pryor Creek too.

Dunham said, "I think some citizen input on this would have been great."

The Mayor is ready for that too, “The other thing is the people voted to leave it," he said.

They voted in 1962, overwhelmingly, for the name Pryor Creek; of course that was 50 years ago now.

With the Internet and so much of our business done there, the two names are confusing to outsiders say business leaders.

But the mayor says call it what you will, the legal name is Pryor Creek.

"Let’s just do it. Put your best foot forward and let’s go,” he said.
The mayor had to re-submit paperwork for federal reimbursement of storm damage because his original paperwork said Pryor, not Pryor Creek.

Tramel said he's asked Congressman Markwayne Mullin to help get the Post Office Department to recognize Pryor Creek as the official name of his town.