Sapulpa, Oklahoma

Last updated
Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Creek County Courthouse, 2014
"Oklahoma's Most Connected City"
Creek County Oklahoma incorporated and unincorporated areas Sapulpa highlighted.svg
Location within Creek County and Oklahoma
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 36°0′13″N96°6′17″W / 36.00361°N 96.10472°W / 36.00361; -96.10472 Coordinates: 36°0′13″N96°6′17″W / 36.00361°N 96.10472°W / 36.00361; -96.10472
Country United States
State Oklahoma
Counties Creek, Tulsa [1]
  Total24.33 sq mi (63.02 km2)
  Land23.55 sq mi (61.00 km2)
  Water0.78 sq mi (2.02 km2)
715 ft (218 m)
(2019) [3]
  Density903.49/sq mi (348.84/km2)
Demonym(s) Sapulpan
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 539/918
FIPS code 40-65400 [4]
GNIS feature ID1097835 [5]

Sapulpa is a city in Creek and Tulsa counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 20,544 at the 2010 United States census, compared to 19,166 at the 2000 census. [6] As of 2019 the estimated population was 21,278. [7] It is the county seat of Creek County. [8]



Early history

The town was named after the area's first permanent settler, a full-blood Lower Creek Indian named Sapulpa, of the Kasihta tribe, from Osocheetown in Alabama. [9] About 1850, he established a trading post near the meeting of Polecat and Rock creeks (about one mile (1.6 km) southeast of downtown Sapulpa). When the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (which became the Frisco) built a spur to this area in 1886, it was known as Sapulpa Station. The Sapulpa post office was chartered July 1, 1889 and the town was incorporated March 31, 1898. [10] [11]

Controversy over Creek County seat location

After Oklahoma became a state, each county held an election to determine the location of the county seat. Sapulpa competed with Bristow to be the county seat of Creek County. After five years of contested elections and court suits, the issue was settled by the Oklahoma Supreme Court on August 1, 1913. Sapulpa was ruled the winner. The county courthouse was completed in 1914, replacing an earlier structure built in 1902. [9]

Economic development

When Sapulpa was founded, the surrounding area mainly grew walnuts. In 1898, the Sapulpa Pressed Brick was established, followed in a few years by the Sapulpa Brick Company. This began the clay products industry. Sapulpa is still the home of Frankoma Pottery. [12]

The founding of Premium Glass Company in 1912 marked Sapulpa's entry to glass manufacturing. Premium Glass was acquired by Liberty Glass Company in 1918. The plant, after many changes to the facilities and in ownership, as of 2019 makes beer bottles under the Ardagh Group. [13] [14] [15] Other glass factories in the city included the Bartlett-Collins Glass Company, originally opened in 1914, which was closed by subsequent owner Anchor Hocking in 2008. [16] The Schram Glass Company, which opened a jar and jar cap plant in 1914, was closed by the Ball Brothers in 1931. [17] The Sunflower Glass Plant, which produced window glass, began operations in 1913 and, after being leased to Victory Window Glass Co. in 1924, ceased operations in 1932. [18] According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History, Sapulpa was known as "The Crystal City of the Southwest". [19]

Rail transportation

In 1889 the Frisco route between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, passing through Sapulpa, was opened. [20] The Frisco built a railyard in Sapulpa and by 1900 designated Sapulpa as an overhaul base for its rolling stock. [9] Also in 1900, construction of the line from Sapulpa to Denison, Texas was started and rushed to completion by March 1901. [20] With changes in ownership over the years, the portion of the old Frisco line between Sapulpa and Del City, Oklahoma, near Oklahoma City ended up being owned by the State of Oklahoma. [21] In 1998, the line was leased to Stillwater Central Railroad, and in 2014 was sold to them. [21] The sale contract required initiating a six-month trial of daily passenger service before August 2019—known as the Eastern Flyer—with a financial penalty of $2.8 million for failure to meet the deadline. [22] On August 5, 2019, with no passenger service in place, the Stillwater Central defaulted on the contract and paid the penalty. [23]

Sapulpa in its early days was on the route of the Sapulpa & Interurban Railway (“S&I”) streetcar/interurban line connecting to Tulsa in one direction, and Kiefer, Glenpool, and Mounds in the other. S&I subsequently underwent a series of mergers and name changes, with only the Tulsa-to-Sapulpa portion continuing as the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway. [24] [25]

Route 66

Sapulpa is on old U.S. Route 66, now SH-66 and Historic Route 66 (a.k.a. the West Ozark Trail) through town. [26] Route 66 sites include the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum which opened in August 2016, in an armory built in 1948. It features the world's tallest replica antique visible gas pump, at 66 feet. [27] Still standing is the Rock Creek Bridge, a/k/a the historic Bridge #18 at Rock Creek, [28] a 1921 metal bridge that became a link in the original Route 66 in 1926. [29]


Sapulpa is located in the northeast corner of Creek County at 36°0′13″N96°6′17″W / 36.00361°N 96.10472°W / 36.00361; -96.10472 (36.003536, -96.104822). [30] A small portion of the city extends north into Tulsa County and was annexed into the city in 2004. Downtown Tulsa is 14 miles (23 km) to the northeast via Interstate 44. The Creek Turnpike (State Highway 364) branches east from I-44 in northeastern Sapulpa and provides a southern and eastern bypass of Tulsa.

In January 2018, the Sapulpa City Council voted to approve the annexation of approximately 300 acres of land in West Tulsa. The land is bordered to the north by 51st Street, to the south by Southwest Blvd, and to the west by 65th West Avenue. Originally, this annexation included the future site of the interchange of the Gilcrease Expressway and I-44. However, the city has now planned to de-annex this area back to the city of Tulsa.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Sapulpa has a total area of 25.1 square miles (65.1 km2), of which 24.3 square miles (63.0 km2) is land and 0.81 square miles (2.1 km2), or 3.21%, is water. [31]


Historical population
1900 891
1910 8,283829.6%
1920 11,63440.5%
1930 10,533−9.5%
1940 12,24916.3%
1950 13,0316.4%
1960 14,2829.6%
1970 15,1596.1%
1980 15,8534.6%
1990 18,07414.0%
2000 19,1666.0%
2010 20,5447.2%
2019 (est.)21,278 [3] 3.6%
Sources: [4] [32] [33]

As of the 2010 census, there were 20,544 people, 8,015 households, and 5,497 families residing in the city. The population density was 844.3 people per square mile. There were 8,903 housing units at an average density of 435.4 per square mile (168.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.5% White, 3.0% African American, 10.9% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.5% from other races, and 6.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population. [34]

There were 7,430 households, out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.1% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,372 and the median income for a family was $52,639. Males had a median income of $30,524 versus $21,609 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,275. About 11.5% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 17.4% of those age 65 or over. [35]

Culture and education

Sapulpa has an organization known as Sapulpa Main Street, one of the various national Main Street programs, the purpose of which is to preserve and enhance the cultural heritage of the town, and to improve its quality of life, by revitalizing the Central Business District as the center of the Community. [36]

In 2013, the Sapulpa Creek Community Center graduated a class of 14 from its Muscogee Creek language class. [37]

Historical sites

The following are NRHP-listed sites in Okmulgee:

Parks and recreation

The Sapulpa Parks and Recreation System includes twenty-one parks and recreation facilities, including 501 land acres. Sixteen sites are considered developed and open to the public, while five are not yet developed. Kelly Lane Park Trail, Liberty Park Trail, Davis Park Trail, Hollier Park Trail, and Pretty Water Lake Trail offer one-quarter-mile to one-mile walking experiences. [38] Among other facilities is Pretty Water Lake, spring-fed and 25-acres large, open for fishing and stocked with trout and channel catfish/panfish. [39] Sahoma Lake covers 277 acres, [40] and fishing opportunities there include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, perch, blue gill, and redear perch. [41]

Newspaper controversy

The Sapulpa Daily Herald gained national media attention in early November 2008 for not reporting the election of Barack Obama as president, reporting only that John McCain had won among the voters of Creek County. Critics charged that the omission related to racism, as Obama's victory as the first African American elected president was an historic event. The newspaper maintains that it only covers local news events. The newspaper had covered every single presidential victory prior to the Obama victory. [42]

Downtown Sapulpa in 2011 Sapulpa Main Street.JPG
Downtown Sapulpa in 2011

Notable people

Related Research Articles

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Heyburn Lake

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