Bixby, Oklahoma

Last updated
Bixby, Oklahoma
Nickname(s): 
"The Garden Spot of Oklahoma"
Motto(s): 
"A Community Of Choice"
Tulsa County Oklahoma incorporated and unincorporated areas Bixby highlighted.svg
Location of within Tulsa County, and the state of Oklahoma
USA Oklahoma location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Bixby, Oklahoma
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 35°57′39″N95°52′42″W / 35.96083°N 95.87833°W / 35.96083; -95.87833 Coordinates: 35°57′39″N95°52′42″W / 35.96083°N 95.87833°W / 35.96083; -95.87833
CountryUnited States
State Oklahoma
Counties Tulsa, Wagoner
Area
  Total25.1 sq mi (65.0 km2)
  Land24.1 sq mi (62.3 km2)
  Water1.0 sq mi (2.7 km2)
Elevation
600 ft (183 m)
Population
(2011)
  Total21,137
  Density889.3/sq mi (344.0/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
74008
Area code(s) 539/918
FIPS code 40-06400 [1]
GNIS feature ID1090185 [2]
Website bixby.com

Bixby is a city in Tulsa and Wagoner counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and is a suburb of Tulsa. The population was 13,336 at the 2000 census and 20,884 in the 2010 census, an increase of 56.6 percent [3] In 2010, Bixby became the 19th largest city in Oklahoma. It is nicknamed "The Garden Spot of Oklahoma" for its rich agrarian heritage. Though one of the fastest growing communities in Oklahoma, it remains a sod-growing center and a popular location for purchasing fresh vegetables. The per capita income of $36,257 is the highest in the Tulsa Metropolitan area and is more than 50 percent higher than the state average. [4] In 2009, CNN Money.com placed Bixby No. 67 on its list of 100 Best Places to Live. [5]

Tulsa County, Oklahoma County in the United States

Tulsa County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 603,403, making it the second-most populous county in Oklahoma, behind only Oklahoma County. Its county seat and largest city is Tulsa, the second-largest city in the state. Founded at statehood, in 1907, it was named after the previously established city of Tulsa. Before statehood, the area was part of both the Creek Nation and the Cooweescoowee District of Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory.

Wagoner County, Oklahoma County in the United States

Wagoner County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 73,085. Its county seat is Wagoner.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Contents

History

Adjacent to the new bridge, the old bridge across the Arkansas River now serves as a track for joggers. Old bridge across Arkansas River.jpg
Adjacent to the new bridge, the old bridge across the Arkansas River now serves as a track for joggers.


Alexander Posey, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) nation, and his family settled in the area now known as Bixby in the late 1800s. He founded a community that was initially known as "Posey on Posey Creek," and included two saloons, a blacksmith shop and a general store. The town became a government town site with a post office in 1895. Located in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Indian Territory, Bixby was named in honor of Tams Bixby, a chairman of the Dawes Commission. [6] The original 80-acre (32 ha) town site plat was approved by the Dawes Commission in 1902. Many settlers were attracted to the area by the rich, though sometimes swampy river bottom land. In 1904 the Midland Valley Railroad laid tracks and built a depot about 1/2 mile north of the original town of Bixby. [7] This created factions that briefly split Bixby into two towns. The new part of town was deliberately surveyed so that the new streets did not align with the existing ones. However, businesses in the original town soon moved to the new location and built permanent brick buildings there. Bixby incorporated as an independent, self-governing town in 1906, with a population of 400 and an area of 160 acres (0.25 sq mi). [6] The first mayor, recorder and five aldermen were elected in February, 1907. In 1911, a two-story brick schoolhouse was built on Main Street. Bixby Central Elementary is now near the original site. A traffic bridge was built over the Arkansas River in 1911, and for a time was said to be the longest bridge west of the Mississippi River.

Alexander Posey Muscogee Creek poet, journalist, humorist, and politician from Indian Territory

Alexander Lawrence Posey was an American poet, humorist, journalist, and politician in the Creek Nation. He founded the Eufaula Indian Journal in 1901, the first Native American daily newspaper. For several years he published editorial letters known as the Fus Fixico Letters, written by a fictional figure who commented pointedly about Muscogee Nation, Indian Territory, and United States politics during the period of the dissolution of tribal governments and communal lands. He served as secretary to the Sequoyah Constitutional Convention and drafted much of the constitution for its proposed Native American state, but Congress rejected the proposal. Posey died young, drowned while trying to cross the flooding North Canadian River in Oklahoma.

Indian Territory U.S. 17th-, 18th- and early-20th-century territory set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas

As general terms, Indian Territory, the Indian Territories, or Indian country describe an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of Native Americans who held aboriginal title to their land. In general, the tribes ceded land they occupied in exchange for land grants in 1803. The concept of an Indian Territory was an outcome of the 18th- and 19th-century policy of Indian removal. After the Civil War (1861–1865), the policy of the government was one of assimilation.

Dawes Commission 1893 US federal commission and envoy to Native American tribal leadership

The American Dawes Commission, named for its first chairman Henry L. Dawes, was authorized under a rider to an Indian Office appropriation bill, March 3, 1893. Its purpose was to convince the Five Civilized Tribes to agree to cede tribal title of Indian lands, and adopt the policy of dividing tribal lands into individual allotments that was enacted for other tribes as the Dawes Act of 1887. In November 1893, President Grover Cleveland appointed Dawes as chairman, and Meridith H. Kidd and Archibald S. McKennon as members.

The Bixby Bulletin, the town's first newspaper, began publication in February, 1905. It continued publication until 2005. A second paper, the Bixby Journal existed only from 1907 until 1910. [6]

Bixby was impacted and enriched by the discovery of nearby natural gas deposits in 1905-1906 and oil fields in 1913, but farming remained the backbone of the community well into the 20th Century. [6] Early farmers focused on production of cotton, wheat and alfalfa in the rich river bottom. During the 1930s, truck farming of vegetables slowly replaced those crops. In 1941 Bixby became an important regional center for shipping produce by railroad. It was at that time that Bixby was christened with its nickname "The Garden Spot of Oklahoma," a designation still carried on the town seal and public vehicles. Cantaloupes, potatoes, radishes, squash, turnips, spinach and sweet corn were shipped from Bixby all over the U.S. In time, the majority of the truck farms were converted to the production of sod, typically Bermuda grass, or developed for residential and other purposes. Only a small percentage of Bixby residents now work in agriculture, but the town continues to celebrate its earthy roots with the yearly "Green Corn Festival" in June.

Cotton plant fiber from the genus Gossypium

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds.

Wheat Cereal grain

Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus Triticum; the most widely grown is common wheat.

Alfalfa species of plant, alfalfa

Alfalfa, also called lucerne and called Medicago sativa in binomial nomenclature, is a perennial flowering plant in the legume family Fabaceae. It is cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world. It is used for grazing, hay, and silage, as well as a green manure and cover crop. The name alfalfa is used in North America. The name lucerne is the more commonly used name in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The plant superficially resembles clover, especially while young, when trifoliate leaves comprising round leaflets predominate. Later in maturity, leaflets are elongated. It has clusters of small purple flowers followed by fruits spiralled in 2 to 3 turns containing 10–20 seeds. Alfalfa is native to warmer temperate climates. It has been cultivated as livestock fodder since at least the era of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Alfalfa sprouts are a common ingredient in dishes made in South Indian cuisine.

Another point of history commemorated by Bixby is the 1832 visit to the area by the famous American writer Washington Irving. Irving accompanied a U.S. Army exploration party on an excursion from Fort Gibson west onto the prairie and the lands occupied by the Osage and Pawnee tribes. He described his adventure in his book A Tour on the Prairies (1835). In it, he relates camping in a grove of large trees on the banks of the Arkansas River in what is present day Bixby. The town has honored his visit by the creation of Washington Irving Park and Arboretum near the location. The park contains an amphitheatre stage patterned after the front facade of Irving's home, Sunnyside, in Tarrytown, New York, as well as gates near the park entrance that are replicas of ones at Irving's estate. A bronze statue of Washington Irving sits near the stage. Bixby Middle School drama students present a popular retelling of Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in the park each October. The park is also the location of the heavily attended "Bixby BBQ & Music Festival" each May and the Bixby "Deutschesfest" in September.

Washington Irving American writer, historian and diplomat

Washington Irving was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories "Rip Van Winkle" (1819) and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820), both of which appear in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of Oliver Goldsmith, Islamic prophet Muhammad, and George Washington, as well as several histories of 15th century Spain that deal with subjects such as Alhambra, Christopher Columbus, and the Moors.

Fort Gibson

Fort Gibson is a historic military site located next to the present day city of Fort Gibson, in Muskogee County Oklahoma. It guarded the American frontier in Indian Territory from 1824 until 1888. When constructed, the fort lay farther west than any other military post in the United States; it formed part of the north–south chain of forts intended to maintain peace on the frontier of the American West and to protect the southwestern border of the Louisiana Purchase. The fort succeeded in its peacekeeping mission for more than 50 years, as no massacres or battles occurred there. The fort site is now managed by the Oklahoma Historical Society as the Fort Gibson Historical Site. It is a National Historic Landmark.

Osage Nation Native American Siouan-speaking tribe in the United States

The Osage Nation is a Midwestern Native American tribe of the Great Plains. The tribe developed in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys around 700 BC along with other groups of its language family. They migrated west of the Mississippi after the 17th century due to wars with Iroquois invading the Ohio Valley from New York and Pennsylvania in a search for new hunting grounds. The nations separated at that time, and the Osage settled near the confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers.

Geography

Bixby is located at 35°57′39″N95°52′42″W / 35.96083°N 95.87833°W / 35.96083; -95.87833 (35.960898, 95.878258). [8] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.1 square miles (65.0 km²), of which, 24.0 square miles (62.3 km²) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.7 km²) (4.15%) is water. The average elevation is 750 ft (230 m) above MSL. The town is bisected into north and south portions by the Arkansas River; the original town center is located south of the river.

United States Census Bureau Bureau of the United States responsible for the census and related statistics

The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States.

Arkansas River major tributary of the Mississippi River, United States

The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the snowpack in the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges. It then flows east into the Midwest via Kansas, and finally into the South through Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1900 283
1910 38435.7%
1920 1,249225.3%
1930 1,2510.2%
1940 1,2913.2%
1950 1,51717.5%
1960 1,71112.8%
1970 3,973132.2%
1980 6,96975.4%
1990 9,50236.3%
2000 13,33640.3%
2010 20,88456.6%
Est. 201726,724 [9] 28.0%
Sources: [10] [11] [12] [13] [1] [14]

As of the 2010 census, there were 20,884 people, 7,658 households, and 5,295 families residing in the city. The population density was 889.3 people per square mile (344/km²). There were 8,187 housing units at an average density of 319.8 per square mile (94.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.2% White, 1.6% African American, 5.9% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, and 4.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.9% of the population. [15]

There were 7,658 households out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.6% were non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city, the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $73,163 and the median income for a family was $85,000. The per capita income for the city was $37,368. About 5.5% of the total population were below the poverty line. [16] [17] [18] Of the city's population over the age of 25, 37.8% hold a bachelor's degree or higher. [18]

Government

Bixby has a mayor-council form of government. [6]

Points of interest

Education

Bixby Public Schools are in the Bixby School District. There are nine schools in the district, including Bixby High School, Bixby 9th Grade Center, Bixby Middle School for 7th through 8th, Bixby North Intermediate, Bixby Central Intermediate, Bixby Northeast Intermediate, Bixby North Elementary, Bixby Central Elementary, and Bixby Northeast Elementary.

For the 2011 school year, there were approximately 5,000 students. [19]

Media

Newspaper

Bixby has one newspaper, the Bixby Bulletin. The paper is published every Thursday. It is owned by Community Publishers, a newspaper and Internet publisher and commercial printer that serves Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Television

Cox Communications Cable channel 24.3 is the Bixby Government-access television (GATV) cable TV municipal information channel. It displays, among other things, information about the city government, city council meeting, upcoming events, and general information about the city. The channel also features local sports and weather reports.

Communications

Bixby Telephone Company, commonly known as BTC Broadband, is a well-known company in the Bixby community, and has been providing internet services since 1993 and telephone services since 1914. BTC Broadband is one of the first companies in Oklahoma to offer a gigabit connection over fiber optic cables to select neighborhoods. In addition to adding fiber optic support to existing neighborhoods, BTC Broadband is active in working with local developers to ensure select areas are pre-installed with fiber optic support.

Cultural references

Bixby has been used as the setting for at least two popular works of fiction. The best-selling novel Tex (1979) by S.E. Hinton tells the story of its title character, a troubled teen in rural Bixby. The 1982 film adaption, starring Matt Dillon, was filmed on location and features the Bixby High School as well as various other locations around the town. Also, the Midnighters trilogy (begun in 2004) by Scott Westerfeld tells the supernatural story of a group of five Bixby High School students.

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