Harrah, Oklahoma

Last updated
Harrah, Oklahoma
Motto(s): 
"Heart of the Heartland"
Oklahoma County Oklahoma Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Harrah highlighted.svg
Location in Oklahoma County and the state of Oklahoma.
Coordinates: 35°28′34″N97°11′2″W / 35.47611°N 97.18389°W / 35.47611; -97.18389 Coordinates: 35°28′34″N97°11′2″W / 35.47611°N 97.18389°W / 35.47611; -97.18389
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Oklahoma
Area
  Total11.9 sq mi (30.7 km2)
  Land11.9 sq mi (30.7 km2)
  Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation
1,106 ft (337 m)
Population
  Total5,095
  Density428/sq mi (266/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
73045
Area code(s) 405
FIPS code 40-32750
GNIS feature ID1093561 [1]

Harrah is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Located 25 miles (40 km) east of downtown Oklahoma City, Harrah had a population of 5,095 people as of 2012. [2]

Oklahoma County, Oklahoma County in the United States

Oklahoma County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 718,633, making it the most populous county in Oklahoma. The county seat is Oklahoma City, the state capital and largest city.

Oklahoma City metropolitan area Metropolitan area in Oklahoma, United States

The Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area is an urban region in Central Oklahoma. It is the largest metropolitan area in the state of Oklahoma and contains the state capital and principal city, Oklahoma City. It is often known as the Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma City Metroplex, or Greater Oklahoma City in addition to the nicknames Oklahoma City is known for.

Contents

The first settler of the area, who was Potawatomi, arrived in the 1870s, but the town was not incorporated until 1908. The town was settled by Americans, Polish immigrants and other groups and had a cotton ginning center. The city is overseen by a city council and mayor and includes a police department and fire station.

Potawatomi Native American peoples

The Pottawatomi, also spelled Pottawatomie and Potawatomi, are a Native American people of the Great Plains, upper Mississippi River, and western Great Lakes region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. The Potawatomi called themselves Neshnabé, a cognate of the word Anishinaabe. The Potawatomi were part of a long-term alliance, called the Council of Three Fires, with the Ojibwe and Odawa (Ottawa). In the Council of Three Fires, the Potawatomi were considered the "youngest brother" and were referred to in this context as Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and refers to the council fire of three peoples.

Geography

Harrah is a small city in Oklahoma with a total land area of 11.9 square miles (31 km2) and no water. The city's elevation is 925 feet (282 m) above sea level. [2] It lies partly in the Great Plains near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states in the United States. It lies between the larger cities of Oklahoma City to the west and Shawnee, Oklahoma, to the east, in Oklahoma County.

Great Plains broad expanse of flat land west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada

The Great Plains is the broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe, and grassland, that lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairie in the United States and east of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. and Canada. It embraces:

Contiguous United States 48 states of the United States apart from Alaska and Hawaii

The contiguous United States or officially the conterminous United States consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states on the continent of North America. The terms exclude the non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii, and all other off-shore insular areas. These differ from the related term continental United States which includes Alaska but excludes Hawaii and insular territories.

Shawnee, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Shawnee is a city in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 31,543 in 2014, a 4.9 percent increase from 28,692 at the 2000 census. The city is part of the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area; it is also the county seat of Pottawatomie County and the principal city of the Shawnee Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Harrah is located in the Crosstimbers ecoregion and the Frontier Country tourism region. [3] [4]

Cross Timbers

The term Cross Timbers, also known as Ecoregion 29, Central Oklahoma/Texas Plains, is used to describe a strip of land in the United States that runs from southeastern Kansas across Central Oklahoma to Central Texas. Made up of a mix of prairie, savanna, and woodland, it forms part of the boundary between the more heavily forested eastern country and the almost treeless Great Plains, and also marks the western habitat limit of many mammals and insects.

Ecoregion Ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion

An ecoregion is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than an ecozone. All three of these are either less or greater than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation.

Central Oklahoma official tourism region of Oklahoma

Central Oklahoma is the geographical name for the central region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It is also known by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism designation, Frontier Country, defined as the twelve-county region including Canadian, Grady, Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Payne, Lincoln, Pottawatomie, Seminole, Okfuskee, and Hughes counties.

Climate

Oklahoma is located in a temperate region and experiences occasional extremes of temperature and precipitation typical of a continental climate. [5] Harrah lies in an area known as Tornado Alley characterized by frequent interaction between cold and warm air masses producing severe weather. An average of 54 tornadoes strike the state per year. [6]

Temperate climate hovers around the same temperature

In geography, the temperate or tepid climates of Earth occur in the middle latitudes, which span between the tropics and the polar regions of Earth. These zones generally have wider temperature ranges throughout the year and more distinct seasonal changes compared to tropical climates, where such variations are often small. They typically feature four distinct seasons, Summer the warmest, Autumn the transitioning season to Winter, the colder season, and Spring the transitioning season from winter back into summer. On the northern hemisphere the year starts with winter, transitions in the first halfyear through spring into summer which is in mid-year, then at the second halfyear through autumn into winter at year-end. On the southern hemisphere seasons are swapped with summer in between years and winter in mid-year.

Continental climate

Continental climates often have a significant annual variation in temperature. They tend to occur in the middle latitudes, where prevailing winds blow overland, and temperatures are not moderated by bodies of water such as oceans or seas. Continental climates occur mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, which has the kind of large landmasses on temperate latitudes required for this type of climate to develop. Most of northern and northeastern China, eastern and southeastern Europe, central and southeastern Canada, and the central and upper eastern United States have this type of climate.

Tornado Alley Area in the U.S. with frequent tornado outbreaks

Tornado Alley is a colloquial term for the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent.

The city frequently experiences temperatures above 100 °F (38 °C) or below 0 °F (−18 °C). [5]

History

The land that would become the town of Harrah had its first settler, Louis Navarre, in the 1870s. [7] Navarre, was a member of the Potawatomi people who had signed an 1867 treaty to sell their Kansas lands in order to purchase lands in Indian Territory with the proceeds. They also became citizens of the United States and thus became known as the Citizen Potawatomi. [8]

A cotton gin in the 1940s Cotton Gin - Flickr - USDAgov.jpg
A cotton gin in the 1940s

In 1890, Navarre and the Citizen Potawatomi participated, unwillingly, in the allotment process implemented through the Dawes Act of 1887. With this Act, the Citizen Potawatomi people were forced to accept individual allotments. [8] In the Land Run of 1891, the remainder of the Potawatomi reservation in Oklahoma was opened up to non-Indian settlement, with about 450 square miles (1,200 km2) of the reservation given away by the government to settlers.

Frank Harrah, for whom the town is named, purchased 40 acres (160,000 m2) from Louis Navarre's allotement in April 1898 and early settlers included a large number of Polish immigrants. [7] More than two million Poles entered American ports between 1897 and 1913, and the immigrants formed small communities around Choctaw Nation coal mines. [9]

Originally named Sweeney, after E.W. Sweeney, who operated a ferry beginning in 1891, the town was renamed Harrah on December 22, 1898, and was incorporated in 1908. [7] The town was almost renamed Clubb. [7]

In the 1940s Harrah was a center of cotton ginning. Its population was 741 in 1950. [10] By 1990 4,206 people lived in Harrah. [11]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1910 356
1920 3652.5%
1930 69389.9%
1940 620−10.5%
1950 74119.5%
1960 93426.0%
1970 1,931106.7%
1980 2,89750.0%
1990 4,20645.2%
2000 4,71912.2%
2010 5,0958.0%
Est. 20166,044 [12] 18.6%
U.S. Decennial Census [13]

As of the 2010 census, there were 5,095 people, 1,960 households, 1,444 families, and 155 vacant housing units in the city. [14] The population density was 428 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 84% white, 1% African American, 7.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 6.3% from two or more races. [14] Hispanic or Latino of any race made up 4% of the population. [14]

Of the 1,960 households, 33% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% consisted of married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. [14] 22.7% of the households are occupied by a single individual and 26.1 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. [14] The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.02. [14]

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 30.3% from 18 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. [14] The median age was 38.5 years. [14] The population is 52.1% female and 47.9% male. [14]

The median income for a household in the city was $56,302, and the median income for a family was $76,725. [15] The per capita income for the city was $25,545. [15] About 6.1% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.1% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over. [15]

City government

The City of Harrah has a city council made up of elected officials and led by a mayor. A council-appointed city manager runs the day-to-day administration of the city and oversees city staff. [16] The city also holds a municipal court twice a month. [16]

Earl Burson has served as city manager since October 2005 [17] and formerly served as the city manager for Stroud, Oklahoma. As of April 2013, the city council consists of Mayor Larry Fryar and council members Kimberly Bishop, Tom Barron, Duane Patterson, and Cass Smith. [18]

The City of Harrah includes several departments, including a small fire department consisting of several paid firefighters and many volunteer firefighters. The police department includes full-time detectives, patrol officers, part-time officers, and voluntary reserve officers. The city also offers a comprehensive set of public utilities managed by the utility department and a public works department. [16]

Education

The city lies in the Harrah school district, with some western parts of the city in the Choctaw-Nicoma Park school district. Both districts offer primary and secondary school education. Harrah schools spend approximately $3,204 per student and have 16 students per teacher. [19]

Although there are no higher education institutions in Harrah, two prominent universities in Shawnee, Oklahoma are less than 30 miles away. St. Gregory's University offers undergraduate programs in multiple areas of study and a graduate program in business. [20] Oklahoma Baptist University is owned by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and is ranked as Oklahoma's top regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 18 consecutive years. [21] According to The Princeton Review, the university is one of "America's Best Value Colleges." [22]

Notable people

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References

  1. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  2. 1 2 "Harrah, Oklahoma" at Sperling's Best Places Website (accessed April 14, 2013)
  3. "Cities & Regions". TravelOK.
  4. "Ecoregions of Oklahoma" (PDF). EPA.
  5. 1 2 Oklahoma's Climate: an Overview, University of Oklahoma. (accessed July 26, 2013)
  6. Tornado Climatology, NOAA National Climatic Data Center. (accessed July 26, 2013)
  7. 1 2 3 4 Honea, Ted. Harrah, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Archived 2015-02-01 at the Wayback Machine . (accessed January 13, 2010)
  8. 1 2 Kraft, Lisa A. "Citizen Potawtomi," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. (accessed July 26, 2013)
  9. O'dell, Larry. Poles, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. (accessed July 26, 2013)
  10. Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer, p. 760
  11. Census.gov map of Oklahoma County from 1990
  12. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016" . Retrieved July 2, 2017.[ dead link ]
  13. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 United States Census Bureau 2010 Demographic Profile for Harrah, Oklahoma at American FactFinder (accessed July 26, 2013)
  15. 1 2 3 American FactFinder - Harrah, Oklahoma, United States Census Bureau 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (accessed July 26, 2013)
  16. 1 2 3 Departments, City of Harrah. (accessed January 20, 2010)
  17. City Manager, City of Harrah. (accessed January 20, 2010)
  18. City Council, City of Harrah. (accessed April 13, 2013)
  19. Best Places - Harrah (accessed July 26, 2013)
  20. A Short History of St. Gregory's Abbey
  21. "usnews.rankingsandreviews.com". Colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. January 31, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  22. "princetonreview.com". princetonreview.com. Retrieved October 14, 2011.