Location of Alva within Oklahoma
|• Mayor||Mayor Kelly Parker|
|• City manager||Angelica Brady|
|• Total||6.40 sq mi (16.57 km2)|
|• Land||6.40 sq mi (16.57 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||1,348 ft (411 m)|
|• Density||774.15/sq mi (298.89/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1089605|
Alva is a city in and the county seat of Woods County, Oklahoma, United States,along the Salt Fork Arkansas River. The population was 4,945 at the 2010 census. Northwestern Oklahoma State University is located in Alva.
Alva was established in 1893 as a General Land Office for the Cherokee Outlet land run, the largest of the land rushes that settled western and central Oklahoma. The site was chosen for its location on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and likely named for a railroad attorney, Alva Adams, who had become governor of Colorado.
When the Southern Kansas Railway, began extending its line from Kiowa, Kansas across the Cherokee Outlet in 1886, Alva became the first railroad station southwest of Kiowa. The line was operational in 1887, in time for the opening of the Unassigned Lands.
The United States Secretary of the Interior chose Alva as the seat of County M when Oklahoma Territory was organized in 1890. A U.S. government land office opened there before a presidential proclamation on August 19, 1893, opened the Cherokee Outlet for general settlement. The actual land run occurred September 16, 1893. By then, Alva's 320 acres (1.3 km2) site had been formally surveyed and platted.
In 1896, three years after the land run, George Cromwell and "Coal Oil Johnny" Broughan created and managed the Alva Giants, the city's first traveling baseball team including pitcher Bill McGill, who went on to join the St. Louis Browns in 1907.
Northwestern Territorial Normal School, now Northwestern Oklahoma State University, was established in 1897 in Alva by the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature.
During World War II, Alva was the site of a prisoner of war camp for German POWs. On July 19, 1943, the United States Department of War ordered that Camp Alva would be the place for the internment of the most troublesome German prisoners of war – "Nazi leaders, Gestapo agents, and extremists".
Alva is also the location of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections minimum-security Charles E. Johnson Correctional Center housing 630 male felon drug offenders.
Alva is located in the northeastern quadrant of Woods County, 65 miles (105 km) northeast of Woodward, 72 miles (116 km) northwest of Enid and 119 miles (192 km) southwest of Wichita, Kansas. Its geographic coordinates are (36.801931, −98.665959). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land.
|Climate data for Alva, Oklahoma|
|Record high °F (°C)||85|
|Average high °F (°C)||48|
|Average low °F (°C)||23|
|Record low °F (°C)||−15|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.9|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||3.5|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,945 people, 2,107 households, 1,134 families residing in the city.The population density was 2,100 people per square mile (800/km2). There were 2,568 housing units at an average density of 1,110 per square mile (425/km2). Self-identified white residents made up 90% of the population, with the remainder composed of 2% African American, 2.1% Native American, 1.1% Asian, less than 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.
Of the 2,107 households, a quarter (24.9%) included individuals under the age of 18, 40.8% were married couples, 13.1% had a householder with no spouse present, and 46.2% were non-families. More than a third of households (36%) consisted of a single individual. Less than a quarter (13.2%) consisted of an individual age 65 or older living alone. The average household size was 2.17. The average family size was 2.86.
As of the censusof 2000, there were 5,288 people, 2,205 households, and 1,261 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,228.6 people per square mile (861.5/km2). There were 2,644 housing units at an average density of 1,114.3 per square mile (430.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.99% White, 1.30% African American, 1.34% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.82% of the population.
There were 2,205 households, out of which 23.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.8% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the city the population was spread out, with 18.9% under the age of 18, 21.7% from 18 to 24, 20.5% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,432, and the median income for a family was $38,041. Males had a median income of $27,531 versus $17,981 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,966. About 9.1% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.
Alva is home to Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU), founded in 1897 as a 'Northwestern Normal School'.President James E. Ament and two teachers made up the first faculty, with classes meeting in the Congregational Church. The college's main building was built in 1899 and known as the "Castle on the Hill," a huge, fanciful brick building, modeled after a Norman castle, that towered over much of the town. The Castle burned down in 1935 and was replaced by Jesse Dunn Hall, which was dedicated in 1937 by Eleanor Roosevelt. By 1939, all of the normal schools, including Northwestern State College, offered bachelor's degrees and were reclassified as state colleges. In the 1950s, Northwestern added a fifth-year program culminating in a master's degree. In 1974, the name changed to its present 'Northwestern Oklahoma State University'. In 1996, branch campuses in Woodward and Enid expanded the university's useful service area. The university also boasts a proud tradition in athletics, competing as the Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers in the Great American Conference. Formerly residing in the Sooner Athletic Conference in the NAIA, the Rangers made the move to NCAA Division II membership in 2012 under the direction of current university president Dr. Janet Cunningham, and former Director of Athletics Andrew Carter.
Northwest Technology Center is based in Alva.
The Alva Independent School District oversees the five public school facilities and a district office in the Alva area.
Agriculture has been the basis of the city's economy since it was founded. Initially, the local farms produced a variety of crops and livestock. The original 160-acre farms have mostly been consolidated into much larger units, concentrating on production of beef and wheat.
Aeronautics firm Vantage Plane Plastics, located at the airport, claims the title of "the world's largest supplier of FAA Approved interior components for most all general aviation aircraft", employing 24 people with 2016 gross sales of $3.8 Million.
In 1998 a group of local wheat farmers founded the frozen dough manufacturing facility, Value Added Products, a cooperative that in 2017 employed 83 people with an annual payroll of $2.2 Million.
NWOSU is the largest employer in Alva.
Currently Alva has a city sales tax of 4.35%, the Woods County tax rate of 0.5% and a State tax rate of 4.5% for a combined tax rate of 9.25%
Alva has an aldermanic form of government.
U.S. Route 64 runs east–west through the center of the city, intersecting U.S. Route 281, which runs north–south. Route 281 joins Route 64 for one mile between College Boulevard (west) and Lane Boulevard (east) on Oklahoma Boulevard.
Alva Regional Airport, a 650-acre general aviation facility owned and operated by the city, is immediately south of the city on the west side of U.S. Route 281.
Alva is located on the Panhandle Subdivision of the Southern Transcon route of the BNSF Railway. This is the main transcontinental route between Los Angeles and Chicago, and carries an average of 90 freight trains per day. In January 2015 BNSF Railway announced an expansion project to add a second track between Wellington, Kansas and Avard, Oklahoma passing through Alva as part of a $175 million expansion in the South Region. Work on the project will start by 2016 and is expected to be completed by 2017.
Woods County is a county located in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,878. Its county seat is Alva. The county is named after Samuel Newitt Wood, a renowned Kansas populist.
Harper County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,685, making it the fourth-least populous county in Oklahoma. The county seat is Buffalo. It was created in 1907 from the northwestern part of Woodward County, and named for Oscar Green Harper, who was clerk of the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention.
Cleveland County is a county in the central part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 255,755 at the 2010 census, making it the third-most populous county in Oklahoma. Its county seat is Norman. The county was named after U.S. President Grover Cleveland.
Cimarron County is the westernmost county in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Its county seat is Boise City. As of the 2010 census, its population was 2,475, making it the least-populous county in Oklahoma; and indeed, throughout most of its history, it has had both the smallest population and the lowest population density of any county in Oklahoma. Located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, Cimarron County contains the only community in the state (Kenton) that observes the Mountain Time Zone. Black Mesa, the highest point in the state, is in the northwest corner of the county. The Cimarron County community of Regnier has the distinction of being the driest spot in Oklahoma ranked by lowest annual average precipitation, at just 15.62 inches; but at the same time, Boise City is the snowiest location in Oklahoma ranked by highest annual average snowfall, at 31.6 inches.
Clark County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 2,215. Its county seat and most populous city is Ashland.
Cherokee County is a U.S. county located in Southeast Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 21,603. Its county seat is Columbus, and its most populous city is Baxter Springs. The latter became the first "cow town" in Kansas during the 1870s and the period of cattle drives.
Belton is a city in northwestern Cass County, Missouri, United States. The population was 23,116 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Republic is a city in Christian and Greene counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 14,751. As of 2019, its population was 16,938, making it the second largest city in Greene County in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is part of the Springfield, Missouri, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Ardmore is the county seat of Carter County, Oklahoma, United States. According to the 2010 census, the city had a population of 24,283, with an estimated population of 24,698 in 2019. The Ardmore micropolitan statistical area had an estimated population of 48,491 in 2013. Ardmore is 90 miles (140 km) from both Oklahoma City and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, at the junction of Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 70, and is generally considered the hub of the 13-county region of South Central Oklahoma, also known by state tourism pamphlets as "Chickasaw Country" and previously "Lake and Trail Country". It is also a part of the Texoma region. Ardmore is situated about 9 miles (14 km) south of the Arbuckle Mountains and is located at the eastern margin of the Healdton Basin, one of the most oil-rich regions of the United States.
Boise City is a city in and the county seat of Cimarron County, in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,266 at the 2010 census, a decline of 14.6 percent from 1,483 in 2000.
Kiefer is a town in Creek County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,685 at the 2010 census, an increase of 64.2 percent over the figure of 1,026 recorded in 2000.
Arnett is a town in and the county seat of Ellis County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 524 at the 2010 census, an 0.77 percent increase from 520 at the 2000 census.
Buffalo is a town and county seat of Harper County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,299 at the 2010 census. It was named after Buffalo Creek Valley, for which it is located.
Altus is a city and the county seat in Jackson County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 19,813 at the 2010 census, a loss of 7.7 percent compared to 21,454 in 2000.
Afton is a town in southwest Ottawa County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,049 as of the 2010 census, with population growth stemming from the near abandonment of nearby towns of Cardin and Picher because of ground contamination sites by local mining quarries. The town may have been named for the Scottish River Afton.
Wyandotte is a town in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 333 at the 2010 census, a decline of 8.26 percent from the figure of 363 recorded in 2000. The town is the tribal headquarters of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma, for which the town was named. Wyandotte is part of the Joplin, Missouri metropolitan area.
Avard was a town in Woods County, Oklahoma, United States. The town is southwest of Alva, and northeast of Waynoka. The population was 26 at the 2000 census and is sometimes considered a ghost town. After initial growth Avard began declining in the 1930s. Avard had a post office from June 1, 1895, until November 22, 1963. As of the 2010 census, Avard was listed as disincorporated.
Freedom is a town in Woods County, Oklahoma, United States. It lies twenty-five miles west of Alva, on State Highway 64, on the banks of the Cimarron River. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 289.
Edgemont is a city in Fall River County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 774 at the 2010 census. The city lies on the far southern edge of the Black Hills in southwestern South Dakota.
Geary is a city in Blaine and Canadian counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 1,280 at the 2010 census. The town was named for Edmund Guerrier, a scout and an interpreter for the U.S. Army.
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