Although the first white man in Washita county established a small colony along Cobb Creek, major immigration occurred during the Land Run of 1892. The county, once a part of the Cheyenne-Arapaho lands, was formally created in 1900 and is located in western Oklahoma with Cordell serving as the county seat. It is named for the Washita River which was called by the French "Faux Ouachita" literally meaning "false Washita." The Washita tribe was one of the minor tribes of the Caddoan stock.
Water sports and recreation can be found near Crowder Lake and Crowder Lake State Park which are just off SR 54 in the northeast portion of the county.
County attractions include a strip of about 15 miles of old Route 66 in the northwest corner. In addition, the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum is located just across the Custer County line to the north in Clinton while the National Route 66 Museum is just east in Beckham County.
The county population on July 1, 1999, was 11,692, an increase of 251 over the 1990 census.