Elk City, Oklahoma

Elk City, Oklahoma

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Elk City, Oklahoma
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Elk City, Oklahoma

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Oklahoma
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Beckham

government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =

area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 38.6
area_land_km2 = 37.9
area_water_km2 = 0.7
area_total_sq_mi = 14.9
area_land_sq_mi = 14.6
area_water_sq_mi = 0.3

population_as_of = 2007
population_footnotes =
population_total = 11099
population_density_km2 = 277.5
population_density_sq_mi = 718.8

timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 585
elevation_ft = 1919
latd = 35 |latm = 24 |lats = 10 |latNS = N
longd = 99 |longm = 25 |longs = 26 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 73644, 73648
area_code = 580
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 40-23500GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1092527GR|3
website =
footnotes =

Elk City is a city in Beckham County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 10,510 at the 2000 census.


Elk City is located at coor dms|35|24|10|N|99|25|26|W|city (35.402694, -99.423812)GR|1, elevation 1,928 feet (588 meters).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.9 square miles (38.6 km²), of which, 14.6 square miles (37.9 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (1.88%) is water.


Elk City's history dates back to the days immediately following the opening of all surplus land of the Cherokee Outlet in 1893, when the first men made their appearance. Prior to this time, many early settlers had driven cattle over the Great Western Cattle Trail from Texas to Kansas, the present townsite of Elk City being in the direct path of that famous trail.

Probably the most important day in Elk City's history is March 20, 1901, the date the first lots were sold by the "Choctaw Townsite and Improvement Company", which company had, a few days earlier, purchased the site for the business district from J.M. "Joe" Allee, a settler who homesteaded the land.

By the date of the sale of the lots, March 20, hundreds of prospective purchasers had built a tent city. On that day, the townsite company sold $32,000 worth of property, and continued doing a good business for some time thereafter. A legal document in the Beckham County clerk's office certifies that the city was surveyed and platted into lots, blocks, streets, and alleys, on March 18, 1901, just two days prior to the sale of the lots. Originally called Crowe, the townspeople, eager for industry, renamed the town Busch, after Adolphus Busch (co-founder of Anheuser-Busch), in hope that the beer manufacturer would be flattered to the extent of awarding the city with a $500 contribution, and might possibly establish a brewery there. However, when the brewery did not materialize, the name Elk City was officially changed in 1901. Elk City was named after Elk Creek (a river that runs through the town), which in turn had been named after an Indian chief, Elk River, who lived in the vicinity years before. The townsite company's officials knew that the Choctaw and Gulf Railroad was continuing west through Oklahoma Territory, and determined that Elk City's present location would be an ideal spot for a town.

August 13, 1901, was another great day for Elk City. On that date, the Choctaw Railroad laid its last rail on the Choctaw route, connecting Elk City with the outside world. The first regular train service commenced seven days later, and city folk rejoiced, predicting that the dugouts, claim shacks, and prairie stables would soon disappear and be replaced by handsome residences, commodious barns, and graineries. By January, 1902, Elk City boasted more than 60 businesses and a population exceeding 1,000. Paving the streets with bricks also began in 1902, due to an effort from the many people the city employed [http://www.elkcitychamber.com/history-of-elk-city] . Though not yet a year old, the town had become one of the largest in western Oklahoma. It boasted two hotels, many boarding houses and restaurants, a church, two milling and elevator companies, and two cotton gins.


1910 = 3165
1920 = 2814
1930 = 5666
1940 = 5029
1950 = 7963
1960 = 8196
1970 = 7323
1980 = 9569
1990 = 10428
2000 = 10510
estyear = 2007
estimate = 11099
As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 10,510 people, 4,159 households, and 2,819 families residing in the city. The population density was 718.8 people per square mile (277.6/km²). There were 4,973 housing units at an average density of 340.1/sq mi (131.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.95% White, 3.06% African American, 3.02% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.25% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.96% of the population.

There were 4,159 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,268, and the median income for a family was $35,383. Males had a median income of $28,380 versus $18,977 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,654. About 15.4% of families and 19.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.2% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.

Notable citizens

*Jimmy Webb
*Kelli O'Hara
*Richard Hart Jazz Guitarist
*Susan Powell
*Justin McBride World Champion Bull Rider

National Register of Historic Places

*Casa Grande Hotel
*Hedlund Motor Company Building
*Storm House
*Whited Grist Mill

Recognized Places Along Route 66

*National Route 66 Museum
*Country Dove Gifts and Tea Room


Further reading

*"Elk City - Rising from the Prairie", Western Oklahoma Historical Society (2007)
*"Prairie Fire", Western Oklahoma Historical Society (1978)

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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