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The town was named after the Okotoks Indians who lived in the area. The name is a Cree word meaning "people of the swift water". In 1882, John Jaffray (1833–1901), an immigrant from Scotland, moved to what is now Okotoks and established a homestead on 160 acres (0.65 km2) of land just north of where Main Street North and South converge today. He built his home there with lumber he milled himself from local trees on his property using an axe he made himself by hand out of iron taken off a steam locomotive that had been abandoned near Fort Calgary during its construction in 1883-4; it was later used as part of Calgary's first schoolhouse at Fourth Avenue & First Street SW when it opened for classes in 1886. In 1890, Jaffray sold 80 acres (320,000 m2) to Reverend George McDougall for $1 per acre ($3/km²).