In 1884, the Tonkawa, once called "the best friends of the Texans," were removed from Fort Griffin in northwestern Texas to first one and then another reservation in Oklahoma as part of their own "Trail of Tears." They had been moved previously in 1855 and 1859.
By the late 20th century, it was rumored that the Tonkawa had disappeared altogether.
They had not. Although their numbers dwindled for a time, the tribe of 950 citizens now operates a reservation as well as a casino, hotel, food court, movie theater, bowling alley and steakhouse in the town of Tonkawa, on the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River near the Oklahoma-Kansas border.
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