The Oklahoma Castle
Built in 1890, the castle was
Captain J.E. Reynolds' gift to
his wife, Felicity.
Marker for the Castle
A nearby highway marker tells
the story of the unique home,
built by an "unreconstructed
Captain's Castle - Cameron, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Castle - The Oklahoma Castle
Captain's Castle
This unique structure in Cameron, Oklahoma, was
built by Captain J.E. Reynolds in 1880.
Oklahoma's Historic Castle
Without doubt, one of the most unique private
residences in the South is the Captain's or
Reynolds' Castle in the small community of
Oklahoma. Cameron is located in
LeFlore County, between the cities of
Smith, Arkansas and Poteau, Oklahoma.

Constructed in 1890 of natural stone mined
from a nearby quarry, the castle was built by
Captain J.E. Reynolds for his wife, Felicity
Turnbull Reynolds, who listed among her
ancestors the prominent Choctaw leader
Greenwood LeFlore.

A Confederate veteran who had been
wounded in Tennessee, Captain Reynolds
came to LeFlore County after the Civil War
and established his family just outside of
Fort Smith where the community of Arkhoma
exists today. Reynolds prospered in the
Indian Territory and became a successful
merchant and rancher. He was heavily
involved in the development of coal mines in
the region.

The Reynolds family, which grew to include a
number of children, lived in their Arkhoma
home for more than twenty years until the
Frisco Railroad was built southwest from
Fort Smith to Paris, Texas, in 1886. Two
years later a post office was established in
the new railroad town of Cameron and in
1890 Mrs. Reynolds secured title to a parcel
of land there. Construction of the castle
began a short time later.

Built of native stone mined from a quarry on
the nearby hillside, the castle was built with
two octagonal towers, thick stone walls and
coal-burning fireplaces.

Captain Reynolds dedicated one room to
preserving mementos of the Civil War,
including flag-draped portraits of Southern
generals. Late in life he wrote that he was
"still an unreconstructed Confederate,"
explaining to a niece that he "surrendered
(his) individuality" when Southern soldiers
stacked their arms and surrendered. In an
interesting footnote to his life, the captain
contacted another former Confederate officer,
Virginia's "Gray Ghost" John Mosby, at the
outbreak of World War I and offered to join
him in forming a unit of former Confederates
to fight in Europe.

Captain and Mrs. Reynolds lived in the castle
at Cameron until around 1911 when he
became involved in the development of the
modern community of Arkhoma. They built a
new home there at about that time. Both died
in 1920 and are buried in
Fort Smith's
historic Oak Cemetery, where their graves
are marked by the statues of two women
helping a wounded Confederate soldier. He
had been rescued from a battlefield at New
Hope, Georgia by the two daughters of his
commanding officer.

Although the Captain's Castle is a private
residence, it can be seen from Castle Street
in Cameron. One of the few castles ever built
in the South, it is listed on the National
Register of Historic Places.
The Captain's Headstone
This monument of two young
girls rescuing the captain
from a Civil War battlefield
stands over Captain and Mrs.
Reynolds' graves at Oak
Cemetery in Fort Smith,
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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