Alfalfa County, Oklahoma

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Alfalfa County, Oklahoma
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Alfalfa County
Location in the state of Oklahoma
Map of the United States highlighting Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location in the U.S.
Founded 1907
Named for William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray, ninth Governor of Oklahoma.
Seat Cherokee
Area
 • Total 881 sq mi (2,283 km2)
 • Land 867 sq mi (2,245 km2)
 • Water 15 sq mi (38 km2)
Population (Est.)
 • (2012) 5,666
 • Density 6.4/sq mi (2/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Alfalfa County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,666.[1] Its county seat is Cherokee.[2] Alfalfa County was formed in 1907 from Woods County. The county is named after William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray, the president of the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention and ninth governor of Oklahoma.[3]

History[edit]

Indigenous peoples inhabited and hunted in this area for thousands of years. By 1750, the Osage had become a dominant tribe in the area. About one third belonged to the band led by Chief Black Dog (Manka - Chonka). Before 1800 they made the Black Dog Trail starting east of Baxter Springs, Kansas and going northwest to their summer hunting grounds at the Great Salt Plains in present-day Alfalfa County.[4][5] The Osage stopped at the springs for its healing properties on their way to hunting at the plains, which attracted migratory birds and varieties of wildlife. The Osage name for this fork of the Arkansas River was Nescatunga (big salt water), what European-Americans later called the Salt Fork. The Osage cleared the trail of brush and large rocks, and made ramps at the fords. Wide enough for eight men riding horses abreast, the trail was the first improved road in Kansas and Oklahoma.[6]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 881 square miles (2,280 km2), of which 867 square miles (2,250 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (1.68%) is water.[7] It is part of the Red Bed plains. Great Salt Plains Lake and Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge lie within the county. The major streams in the county are the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River and the Cimarron River.[8]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 18,138
1920 16,253 −10.4%
1930 15,228 −6.3%
1940 14,129 −7.2%
1950 10,699 −24.3%
1960 8,445 −21.1%
1970 7,224 −14.5%
1980 7,077 −2.0%
1990 6,416 −9.3%
2000 6,105 −4.8%
2010 5,642 −7.6%
Est. 2012 5,666 0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2012 Estimate[1]
Age pyramid for Alfalfa County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data.

As of the census[10] of 2010, Alfalfa County had a population of 5,642 people, down from 6,105 people in 2000. Most of the population (89.1%) self-identified as white. Black or African American individuals made up 4.7% of the population and Native Americans made up 2.9% of the population. Less than 1% of the population was Asian.

The median age of the population was 46 years and 18% of the county's population was under the age of 18. Individuals 65 years of age or older accounted for 20.2% of the population.

There were a total of 2,022 households and 1,333 families in the county in 2010. There were 2,763 housing units. Of the 2,022 households, 23.4 percent included children under the age of 18 and slightly more than half (56.3%) included married couples living together. Non-family households accounted for 34.1% of households. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.81.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,730, and the median income for a family was $56,444. The per capita income for the county was $24,080. About 7 percent of families and 11 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.4 percent of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of 15 January 2013[11]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
  Democratic 905 29.66%
  Republican 1,881 61.65%
  Unaffiliated 265 8.69%
Total 3,051 100%

Politics[edit]

Presidential election results[12]
Year Republican Democrat
2012 84.7% 1,539 15.3% 278
2008 83.1% 2,023 16.9% 411
2004 82.4% 2,201 17.6% 470
2000 75.2% 1,886 23.3% 583

Communities[edit]

NRHP sites[edit]

The following sites in Alfalfa County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/C/CO047.html
  4. ^ Burl E. Self, "Black Dog", Oklahoma Encyclopedia of History and Culture, accessed 5 November 2009
  5. ^ "Full text of "Wah Kon Tah The Osage And White Man S Road"". Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Louis F. Burns, "Osage", Oklahoma Encyclopedia of History and Culture, accessed 5 November 2009
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ Everett, Dianna. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Alfalfa County." .
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  11. ^ http://www.ok.gov/elections/documents/reg_0113.pdf
  12. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°44′N 98°19′W / 36.73°N 98.32°W / 36.73; -98.32