Watts, Oklahoma

Last updated
Watts, Oklahoma
Town
Adair County Oklahoma incorporated and unincorporated areas Watts highlighted.svg
Location within Adair County and the state of Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36°6′28″N94°34′17″W / 36.10778°N 94.57139°W / 36.10778; -94.57139 Coordinates: 36°6′28″N94°34′17″W / 36.10778°N 94.57139°W / 36.10778; -94.57139
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Adair
Area
  Total 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
  Land 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
  Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 981 ft (299 m)
Population (2010)
  Total 324
  Density 810/sq mi (324/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
  Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 74964
Area code(s) 539/918
FIPS code 40-79100 [1]
GNIS feature ID 1099434 [2]

Watts is a town in northern Adair County, Oklahoma, United States. It was named for John Watts, also known as Young Tassel, a Chickamauga Cherokee chief, who died in 1802. [3] The population was 324 at the 2010 census, an increase of 2.5 percent from 316 at the 2000 census. [4] [lower-alpha 1]

Adair County, Oklahoma County in the United States

Adair County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,286. Its county seat is Stilwell. Adair County was named after the Adair family of the Cherokee tribe. One source says that the county was specifically named for Watt Adair, one of the first Cherokees to settle in the area.

Oklahoma State of the United States of America

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, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty 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.

John Watts, also known as Young Tassel, was one of the leaders of the Chickamauga Cherokee during the Cherokee-American wars. Watts became particularly active in the fighting after the murder of his uncle, Old Tassel, by militant frontiersmen who attacked a band of delegates traveling to a peace conference in 1788.

Contents

History

Watts is near the site of Fort Wayne, which was founded in 1838. The Kansas City Southern Railway built a line through the area in 1895-96, and in 1912, relocated its division point from Stilwell, Oklahoma to Watts Switch, one mile north of a community called Ballard. [lower-alpha 2] Most of Ballard's merchants moved to the new community of Watts, along with gamblers, land speculators, construction workers and KCS employees. [3] [lower-alpha 3]

Kansas City Southern Railway American transport company

The Kansas City Southern Railway Company, owned by Kansas City Southern (KCS) and founded in 1887, operates in 10 midwestern and southeastern U.S. states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. KCSR hauls freights for seven major government and business sectors: agriculture and minerals; military; automotive; chemical and petroleum; energy; industrial and consumer products; and intermodal.

Stilwell, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Stilwell is a city and county seat of Adair County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 3,949 at the 2010, an increase of 20.5 percent from 3,276 at the 2000 census. In 1949, the Oklahoma governor and legislature proclaimed Stilwell as the "Strawberry Capital of the World." Stilwell also serves as a gateway to Lake Tenkiller and the former Adair State Park. Residents of Stilwell have a life expectancy of just 56.3 years, the lowest in the United States.

Frank C. Adair and Frank Howard organized the Guarantee Bank. After statehood, Adair also became the first sheriff of Adair County, Oklahoma. [3] Several other businesses sprang up in Watts. Hotels and rooming houses catered to the construction workers and railroad travelers. A lumberyard moved from Ballard, a hardware store and two livery stables were not far behind. At some point in these early days, three doctors opened practices in town. No doubt their patients supported the two drug stores in town. Prosperity had apparently come to Watts, because A. W. Willey opened a bakery and a man called "Cigar" Smith moved from Stilwell to manufacture cigars. The local newspaper, the Watts Watchman, began publication sometime in the 1910s. A post office was established inside a store March 30, 1912. [3]

The town began to decline even before the Great Depression took hold. KCS, like many American railroads, fell on hard times between WWI and WWII. During this period KCS began dismantling its operations in Watts. It removed the roundhouse, coal chute, water pump station, icehouse, and water tower, as they were no longer needed. The depot, razed in the 1980s, was the last thing to go. Idled workers had to find work elsewhere. [3]

No census data were reported at either the time of statehood or the 1910 U.S. Census. An unofficial estimate of 300 residents was made in 1913. The first official count was 396 at the 1920 census. This declined to 353 in 1930, then reached its bottom of 267 in 1950, before rising to 326 in 1970, and going back to 303 in 1990. [3]

By 2000, Watts had only two feed mill businesses. Most of the employed residents commuted to work in other towns, especially Siloam Springs, Arkansas, which was only 6 miles (9.7 km) north. [3]

Siloam Springs, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Siloam Springs is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The city shares a border on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state line with the city of West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, which is within the Cherokee Nation territory. The town was founded in 1882 and was characterized by the purported healing powers of the spring water feeding Sager Creek and trading with nearby Native American tribes. John Brown University (JBU) was founded in 1919 as a private, interdenominational, Christian liberal arts college in the city. Today, Siloam Springs is known for its efforts to preserve and revitalize the city's historic downtown and as a promoter of the arts via Sager Creek Arts Center and the JBU art gallery. The community is located on the western edge of the growing Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area and has had a population increase of 47% to 15,039 between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.

Geography

Watts is located at 36°6′28″N94°34′17″W / 36.10778°N 94.57139°W / 36.10778; -94.57139 (36.107896, -94.571389). [5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), all of it land.

Watts is located on U.S. Highway 59 9 miles (14 km) north of Westville. [6]

Nearby Ballard Creek is a tributary of the Illinois River.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 396
1930 353−10.9%
1940 307−13.0%
1950 267−13.0%
1960 2680.4%
1970 32621.6%
1980 316−3.1%
1990 303−4.1%
2000 3164.3%
2010 3242.5%
Est. 2015311 [7] −4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [8]

As of the census [1] of 2000, there are 316 people, 103 households, and 73 families residing in the town. The population density was 861.0 people per square mile (329.8/km²). There were 120 housing units at an average density of 326.9 per square mile (125.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 66.14% White, 0.32% African American, 24.68% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 1.58% from other races, and 6.65% from two or more races. 3.16% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 103 households out of which 36.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.3% are married couples living together, 9.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% are non-families. 27.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.76 and the average family size is 3.35.

In the town, the population was 27.2% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females, there are 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $26,417, and the median income for a family was $27,250. Males had a median income of $25,543 versus $18,393 for females. The per capita income for the town was $9,356. 19.7% of the population and 9.6% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.6% of those under the age of 18 and none of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

See also

John Watts

Notes

  1. The Hagan article reported a population of 500 in 2000, but this number belongs to Watts Community, Oklahoma, an unincorporated area in the same county.
  2. John Watts died well before the forced emigration of the Cherokees and never lived in the Indian Territory, his family settled in this area after the Trail of Tears. [3]
  3. The Township of Ballard is a township located in Adair County, Oklahoma, approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of the city limits of Watts, Oklahoma, and administered by the Watts city government. The community is locally referred to as Ballard Hill. Ballard is located at 36°05′40″N94°35′22″W / 36.09444°N 94.58944°W (36.0945269, -94.5893877) [2]

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References

  1. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. 1 2 "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Hagan, Phyllis. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Watts." Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  4. CensusViewer:Watts, Oklahoma Population
  5. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. Official State Map (Map) (2008 ed.). Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
  7. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" . Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  8. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.