Buildings in Sayre, 2016
"Main Street On Historic Route (66)"
|• Total||5.61 sq mi (14.54 km2)|
|• Land||5.59 sq mi (14.48 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)|
|Elevation||1,808 ft (551 m)|
|• Density||802.22/sq mi (309.73/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1097858|
Sayre is a small city in, and the county seat of, Beckham County, in western Oklahoma, United States.It is halfway between Oklahoma City, and Amarillo, Texas, on Interstate 40 and the former U.S. Route 66. The population was 4,375 at the 2010 census, the largest recorded by a census since Sayre's founding. The total was an increase of 6.3 percent from the 2000 census.
After the Civil War, Congress wanted to stimulate the economy and aid the growth of the nation. One way that they achieved this was to promote the building of the western railroads. Upon completion of the Union Pacific-Central Pacific joining together in 1869 with the Golden Spike, other railroads trying to capitalize on commerce and trade also began crossing the western country. This included the Great Northern and Burlington in the far north, and the Southern Pacific on the extreme southern border.
Eventually this would lead to rails crossing Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma, around the start of the 20th century. A new rail line was extended from Weatherford to Texola by McCabe & Steen Contractors in July 1901. Entrepreneurs would buy land near where the new tracks were being laid, and also near a source of water. The Choctaw Town Site and Improvement Company did this, and when the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad crossed the North Fork of the Red River in Western Indian Territory an instant town sprang up, which incorporated on 14 September 1901.
The Choctaw Townsite & Improvement Company began selling lots to new "Sooners" arriving to start a new life. The seeds of a new town were on, businessmen came to sell their wares to the new town folk, and within one year the town's population was up to around 1,000. Pennsylvanian Robert Heysham Sayre, a stockholder of the railroad, gave his name to the newly formed town in 1901.
The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company (called CRI&P), later just the "Rock Island", leased the new line. The Rock Island Line would complete its march to the Pacific by filling in the line to Tucumcari, New Mexico.
During the period of 1901–1907, Sayre was part of Roger Mills County in Oklahoma Territory. At the time Oklahoma became a state, Beckham County was created and Sayre, which was within the boundary of Beckham County, was named as the temporary county seat. An election in 1908 confirmed Sayre as the permanent seat, with voters preferring it to the town of Erick. The Beckham County Courthouse was completed in 1911, and is still in service over a century later. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The discovery of oil and gas nearby caused the population to boom between 1920 and 1930. In the 1930s U.S. Route 66, a dream forwarded by fellow Oklahoman Cyrus Avery, would come to Sayre, cementing the town's fate to fuel the cars and feed the people exploring the country.
In 1940 film director John Ford used Sayre's Beckham County Courthouse in the film The Grapes of Wrath , based on the famous book by John Steinbeck.
During the 1970s Sayre and the surrounding area benefited from the natural gas and oil development in the Panhandle-Hugoton field, the largest-volume gas field in the United States, and the world's largest known source of helium. Between 1973 and 1993 the field produced over 8 trillion cubic feet (230,000,000 m³) of gas.
Sayre is located at 1,800 feet (550 m) and 128 miles (206 km) west of Oklahoma City. The area is dominated by low rolling red clay hills.(35.298940, -99.636556). It is located on the North Fork of the Red River, at an elevation of
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.6 square miles (14.5 km2), of which 0.019 square miles (0.05 km2), or 0.36%, is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the censusof 2000, there were 4,114 people, 1,132 households, and 678 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,215.9 people per square mile (469.9/km2). There were 1,399 housing units at an average density of 413.5 per square mile (159.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.99% White, 18.25% African American, 2.53% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 1.92% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.35% of the population.
There were 1,132 households, out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.1% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 14.6% under the age of 18, 14.0% from 18 to 24, 40.9% from 25 to 44, 16.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 197.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 216.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $21,713, and the median income for a family was $30,000. Males had a median income of $22,167 versus $18,147 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,378. About 15.9% of families and 20.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.1% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.
Sayre's economy has been based on agriculture and the production of oil and gas. By the 1930s, the town had five oil companies and one gasoline plant in operation. United Carbon Company built a carbon black plant there. 28-acre (11 ha) plot of land along Interstate 40 in Sayre; As of 2001 [update] it paid $150,000 in annual sales taxes and had 117 employees. The city government had purchased the land and sold it to the developer at cost in order to attract the development.Circa 2000 the Flying J truck stop opened on a
The North Fork Correctional Facility, a privately owned, medium-security prison opened in 1998.This prison had 270 employees as of 2001, and that year Peter T. Kilborn of The New York Times wrote that the prison "is responsible for lifting Sayre's spirits and reigniting its economy." Circa 2003 the community experienced economic issues when prisoners from Wisconsin were recalled from the prison.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University at Sayre or SWOSU@Sayre, is an accredited junior college serving western Oklahoma.It was founded in 1938 as Sayre Junior College and merged with SWOSU by an act of the Oklahoma Legislature in 1987.
Western Technology Center, Sayre campus provides the opportunity for adults and high school students to get occupationally-specific training. Sayre Public Schools is a member of the WTC district.
Sayre Public Schools is a school district serving the cities of Sayre and Elk City in Oklahoma.It includes the following schools:
In 1994–5, the district was the defendant in a liability suit eventually decided by the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
Sayre has an aldermanic form of city government.
Marshall County is a county located on the south central border of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,840. Its county seat is Madill. The county was created at statehood in 1907 from the former Pickens County of the Chickasaw Nation. It was named to honor the maiden name of the mother of George Henshaw, a member of the 1906 Oklahoma Constitutional Convention. The county and its cities are part of the Texoma region.
Johnston County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,957. Its county seat is Tishomingo. It was established at statehood on November 16, 1907 and named for Douglas H. Johnston, a governor of the Chickasaw Nation.
Beckham County is a county located on the western border of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,119. Its county seat is Sayre. Founded upon statehood in 1907, Beckham County was named for J. C. W. Beckham, who was Governor of Kentucky and the first popularly elected member of the United States Senate from Kentucky. Beckham County comprises the Elk City, OK Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Carter is a town in Beckham County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 256 at the 2010 census.
Erick is a city in Beckham County, Oklahoma, United States. It is located 15 miles (24 km) west of Sayre, the county seat, and 6 miles (9.7 km) east of the Oklahoma-Texas border. The population was 1,052 at the 2010 census.
Texola is a town in Beckham County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 36 at the 2010 census.
Bokchito is a town in Bryan County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 632 at the 2010 census, an increase of 12.1 percent over the figure of 564 recorded in 2000. In the Choctaw language, "bok" means river or creek, and "chito" means big or large, literally translating into "big creek".
Calera is a town in Bryan County, Oklahoma, United States, located five miles south of Durant and 10 miles north of the Oklahoma-Texas state line. The population was 2,164 at the 2010 census, an increase of 24.4 percent over the figure of 1,739 recorded in 2000. It is part of the Durant Micropolitan Area, as well as being part of the Texoma region.
Fort Towson is a town in Choctaw County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 510 at the 2010 census, a 15.1 percent decline from the figure of 611 recorded in 2000. It was named for nearby Fort Towson, which had been established in May 1824 and named for General Nathan Towson, a hero of the War of 1812. The town of Fort Towson was established in 1902, after the Arkansas and Choctaw Railway reached eastern Choctaw County.
Hugo is a city in and the county seat of Choctaw County, Oklahoma, United States. It is located in southeastern Oklahoma, approximately 9 miles (14 km) north of the Texas state line. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,310.
Soper is a town in Choctaw County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 261 at the 2010 census. The town was named for Pliny L. Soper, who was an attorney for the Arkansas and Choctaw Railway.
Tuttle is a city in Grady County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 6,019 with the close of the 2010 census, seeing a 40.2% increase from 4,294 in 2000.
Keota is a town in northeastern Haskell County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 564 at the 2010 census, a 9.1 percent increase over the figure of 517 recorded in 2000.
Whitefield is a town in northwestern Haskell County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 391 at the 2010 census, compared with the figure of 231 recorded in 2000. It was named for Methodist bishop George Whitefield.
Stuart is a town in southeastern Hughes County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 180 at the 2010 census, down from 220 in 2000.
Choctaw is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States. It is the oldest chartered town in Oklahoma Territory. The city is located approximately 10 miles (16.1 km) east of Oklahoma City and is part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
Reydon is a town in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma, United States.
Sallisaw is a city and county seat in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population was 8,880, an 11.2 percent increase over the figure of 7,891 recorded in 2000. Sallisaw is part of the Fort Smith, Arkansas–Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Foss is a town in Washita County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 151, an 18.9 percent increase from 127 at the 2000 census.
Hydro is a town in Caddo and Blaine counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 969.