The Choctaw Nation were among the Native American tribes who inhabited the area prior to statehood. In 1901, St. Louis-San Francisco Railway constructed a route from Hope, AR to Ardmore, OK, which led to the establishment and growth of what would become Hugo, Oklahoma. When it was founded, Hugo was in Kiamitia County and part of the Pushmataha District. In the 1940s, Hugo became known as “Circus City” due to its popularity as a winter destination for circus companies starting with the Kelly and Miller Brothers Circus.
Kiamichi County and “Little Dixie” are popular Oklahoma destinations both accessible from the Hugo, OK area. Endangered Ark Foundation is home to the second largest herd of Asian elephants in America. The facility opened in 1993 as a preserve for endangered elephants with the goal of also educating the public. The Hugo Frisco Depot was built in 1914 and remained operational until the 1960s. Today, the building features a museum dedicated to local railroad history as well as a full-service restaurant. An RV park with 48 spots, a clubhouse and internet service is adjacent to the depot.
The Kiamichi Trace was established as a military trail and offers a picturesque route through Choctaw Country traveled by nearly 3 million visitors annually. Hugo Lake State Park includes resort cabins, marina with 56 slips, abundant fishing and boating. Hugo Lake features approximately 8,000 acres of water, more than 25,000 acres of hunting land and 3,000 acres managed for deer. The annual Hugo PRCA Rodeo at the Hugo Fairgrounds is a two-day event with traditional events, grand parade and a dance.
Since statehood, agriculture, ranching and lumber have been the leading industries. Among the largest employers today are retail businesses and healthcare facilities. Hugo Public Schools is comprised of four campuses serving approximately 1,200 students. Kiamichi Technology Center is part of Oklahoma’s network of technology centers offering specialized career training in more than 90 instructional areas. Choctaw Memorial Hospital provides healthcare to improve the well-being of patients, while continually working to improve its services.
The Hugo, Oklahoma area weather is categorized as continental. Summers are hot, winters tend to be cold and precipitation includes 47 inches of rain and we have 220 days of sunshine each year.