Like many other Oklahoma towns, Waurika, namesake of the lake, has changed names. As a post office established in 1890, it was Peery. The name was changed to Moneka in 1895, and the post office discontinued in 1898. The post office of Waurika was established June 28, 1902. The site is on the old Chisholm Trail, and, in the days of the trail drives, cattle were allowed to linger on the hill pastures east of town to graze on the buffalo grass and put on fat quickly. This varied range and farm country was once a part of the old Chickasaw Nation (1855-'66), then became a part of the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache reservation where stolen Comanche ponies roamed and cattlemen leased range at the rate of 25 cents per head. Opened in 1901, settlers came in, and the region became primarily a farming area.