Watonga, Oklahoma

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Watonga, Oklahoma
OKMap-doton-Watonga.PNG
Location of Watonga, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°50′57″N98°24′42″W / 35.84917°N 98.41167°W / 35.84917; -98.41167 Coordinates: 35°50′57″N98°24′42″W / 35.84917°N 98.41167°W / 35.84917; -98.41167
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Blaine
Area
  Total4.08 sq mi (10.58 km2)
  Land4.07 sq mi (10.55 km2)
  Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation
1,516 ft (462 m)
Population
 (2010) [1]
  Total5,111
  Density1,255/sq mi (484.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
73772
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-78950 [2]
GNIS feature ID1099426 [3]
Website www.cityofwatonga.org

Watonga is a city in Blaine County, Oklahoma, United States. It is seventy miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The population was 5,111 at the 2010 census. [4] It is the county seat of Blaine County. [5]

Blaine County, Oklahoma U.S. county in Oklahoma

Blaine County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,785. Its county seat is Watonga. Blaine County is the birthplace of voice actor Clarence Nash, the voice of Disney's Donald Duck.

Oklahoma U.S. state in the United States

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south and west, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the 50 United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City State capital city in Oklahoma, United States

Oklahoma City, often shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city ranks 27th among United States cities in population. The population grew following the 2010 Census, with the population estimated to have increased to 649,021 as of July 2018. The Oklahoma City metropolitan area had a population of 1,396,445, and the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,469,124 residents, making it Oklahoma's largest municipality and metropolitan area by population.

Contents

History

Watonga is located on former Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Reservation lands that were allotted to individual tribal members and the excess opened to white settlers in the Land Run of 1892. Watonga is named after Arapaho Chief Watonga whose name means "Black Coyote". [6]

Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Reservation

Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Reservation were the lands granted the Southern Cheyenne and the Southern Arapaho by the United States under the Medicine Lodge Treaty signed in 1867. The tribes never lived on the land described in the treaty and did not want to. Recognizing this fact, on August 10, 1869 President Grant issued an executive order to set aside lands on the North Fork of the Canadian River for the tribes. The lands were located in western Indian Territory south of the Cherokee Outlet and north of the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Indian Reservation. However, a portion of it was split off later to form the Caddo-Wichita-Delaware Indian Reservation. The area occupied by the tribes is now referred to as the Cheyenne-Arapaho Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area.

The Land Run of 1892 was the opening of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation to settlement in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. One of seven in Oklahoma, it occurred on April 19, 1892, and opened up land that would become Blaine, Custer, Dewey, Washita, and Roger Mills counties. The land run also opened up what would become part of Ellis County, but was designated County "E" and then Day County prior to statehood.

The town began as a tent city on April 19, 1892. A post office opened in Watonga during the same year. However, the first railroad line through Watonga was not built until 1901-02, when the Enid and Anadarko Railway (later the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) constructed a line from Guthrie. [6]

Guthrie, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Guthrie is a city and county seat in Logan County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City Metroplex. The population was 10,191 at the 2010 census, a 2.7 percent increase from the 9,925 at the 2000 census.

Geography

Watonga is located in central Blaine County at 35°50′57″N98°24′42″W / 35.84917°N 98.41167°W / 35.84917; -98.41167 (35.849249, -98.411591). [7] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.6 km2), of which 0.012 square miles (0.03 km2), or 0.28%, is water. [4]

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.

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1910 842
1920 581−31.0%
1930 1,03878.7%
1940 2,828172.4%
1950 3,24914.9%
1960 3,2520.1%
1970 3,69613.7%
1980 4,13912.0%
1990 3,408−17.7%
2000 4,65836.7%
2010 5,1119.7%
Est. 20182,859 [8] −44.1%
U.S. Decennial Census [9]

As of the 2000 census , [2] there were 4,658 people, 1,273 households, and 858 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,703.1 people per square mile (656.4/km²). There were 1,507 housing units at an average density of 551.0 per square mile (212.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.19% White, 15.33% African American, 8.24% Native American, 1.55% Asian, 2.02% Pacific Islander, 4.89% from other races, and 6.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.91% of the population.

Census Acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population

A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. This term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common censuses include traditional culture, business, supplies, and traffic censuses. The United Nations defines the essential features of population and housing censuses as "individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory, simultaneity and defined periodicity", and recommends that population censuses be taken at least every 10 years. United Nations recommendations also cover census topics to be collected, official definitions, classifications and other useful information to co-ordinate international practices.

Population density A measurement of population numbers per unit area or volume

Population density is a measurement of population per unit area, or exceptionally unit volume; it is a quantity of type number density. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and most of the time to humans. It is a key geographical term. In simple terms population density refers to the number of people living in an area per kilometer square.

There were 1,273 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.3% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.16.

Marriage Social union or legal contract between people called spouses that creates kinship

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally recognised union between people, called spouses, that establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but typically it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that "Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses."

In the city, the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 12.5% from 18 to 24, 36.7% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 169.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 191.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,208, and the median income for a family was $31,391. Males had a median income of $23,056 versus $16,146 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,567. About 12.4% of families and 17.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.1% of those under age 18 and 16.8% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

The dairy industry grew in western Oklahoma and led to the opening of the Watonga Cheese Factory in 1941. It was one of the state's five active dairy product plants in 2004. [10] The plant subsequently closed in 2007. [11] The city has hosted the Diamondback Correctional Facility, owned by the Corrections Corporation of America since 1998, but it rioted in May 2004 and closed in May 2010. [12]

Arts and culture

The city hosts an annual cheese & wine festival in October. The festival was formed in 1976 by the Watonga Chamber of Commerce because the town had the only cheese factory in Oklahoma at the time. [11] The festival has continued even after the closing of the factory in 2007. [11] In 2013, a wine competition was added to the festival. [13]

Notable people

One of Watonga's most notable citizens was Clarence Nash (19041985) whom Walt Disney hired to be the voice of Donald Duck in the 1930s. Nash provided Donald's voice exclusively for over 50 years.

Robert J. Helberg, who was born in Watonga, was awarded the Public Service Medal by NASA for his contributions to the Lunar Orbiter program.

Harold Blackledge, an agricultural pilot from Watonga, was interviewed and featured in the National Public Radio (NPR) story, "Drought Keeps Oklahoma Pilot Grounded." Blackledge was also severely affected by Tropical Storm Erin that destroyed much of Watonga's Municipal Airport in 2007. [14]

Thompson B. Ferguson moved to Watonga in 1892 and began publishing a newspaper, the Watonga Republican. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him as the eighth governor of Oklahoma Territory in 1901. [6]

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References

  1. "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau . Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  2. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. 1 2 "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Watonga city, Oklahoma". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  5. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. 1 2 3 Crawford, Terri. "Watonga," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Oklahoma Historical Society, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  7. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  9. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. Spicer, Leon J. "Dairy Industry," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Oklahoma Historical Society, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  11. 1 2 3 Bates, Richenda Davis. "Watonga Cheese Festival," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Oklahoma Historical Society, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  12. After losing possible federal contract, Watonga hopes to find a use for Diamondback Correctional Facility, Enid News and Eagle, Cass Rains, June 14, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  13. "History of Cheese & Watonga," Watonga Cheese & Wine Festival, Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  14. Arndt, Deke. "Erin Strengthens Over Land to Tropical Storm Strength". American Association of State Climatologists. Retrieved December 16, 2012.