Alva, Oklahoma

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Alva, Oklahoma
City
The city council is actively soliciting murals -- like this one on the main square of Alva, to attract businesses and tourists.
The city council is actively soliciting murals -- like this one on the main square of Alva, to attract businesses and tourists.
Location of Alva, Oklahoma
Location of Alva, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36°48′21″N 98°40′04″W / 36.80583°N 98.66778°W / 36.80583; -98.66778Coordinates: 36°48′21″N 98°40′04″W / 36.80583°N 98.66778°W / 36.80583; -98.66778
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Woods
Area
 • Total 2.389121 sq mi (6.187795 km2)
 • Land 2.389121 sq mi (6.187795 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,348 ft (411 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 4,945
 • Density 2,100/sq mi (800/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 73717
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-01800[2]
GNIS feature ID 1089605[3]
Website alvaok.org

Alva is a city in and the county seat of Woods County, Oklahoma, United States,[4] along the Salt Fork Arkansas River. The population was 4,945 at the 2010 census.[1] Northwestern Oklahoma State University is located in Alva.[5]

History[edit]

Alva was established in 1893 as a land office for the Cherokee Outlet land run, the largest of the land rushes that settled western and central Oklahoma. The site was chosen for its location on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and likely named for a railroad attorney, Alva Adams, who had become governor of Colorado.

During World War II, Alva was the site of a prisoner of war camp for German POWs. On July 19, 1943, the United States Department of War ordered that Camp Alva would be the place for the internment of the most troublesome German prisoners of war — "Nazi leaders, Gestapo agents, and extremists".[6]

Today, the city council is actively soliciting murals and trying to attract businesses and tourists to keep people in town. Alva lost 200 people between 1990 and 2000 according to official census figures. The Alva Review-Courier is published Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Alva is also the location of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections minimum-security Charles E. Johnson Correctional Center for drug offenders.[7]

Geography[edit]

Alva is located in the northeastern quadrant of Woods County, Oklahoma, 65 miles northeast of Woodward, Oklahoma and 72 miles northwest of Enid, Oklahoma.[5] Its geographic coordinates are 36°48′7″N 98°39′57″W / 36.80194°N 98.66583°W / 36.80194; -98.66583 (36.801931, −98.665959)[8]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Alva, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 85
(29)
89
(32)
99
(37)
100
(38)
106
(41)
114
(46)
120
(49)
118
(48)
115
(46)
103
(39)
92
(33)
85
(29)
120
(49)
Average high °F (°C) 48
(9)
53
(12)
62
(17)
72
(22)
80
(27)
91
(33)
96
(36)
96
(36)
88
(31)
76
(24)
61
(16)
50
(10)
72.8
(22.8)
Average low °F (°C) 23
(−5)
26
(−3)
34
(1)
45
(7)
54
(12)
64
(18)
69
(21)
68
(20)
60
(16)
48
(9)
34
(1)
31
(−1)
46.3
(8)
Record low °F (°C) −15
(−26)
−16
(−27)
−5
(−21)
16
(−9)
25
(−4)
41
(5)
51
(11)
45
(7)
31
(−1)
10
(−12)
5
(−15)
−10
(−23)
−16
(−27)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.9
(23)
1.2
(30)
1.6
(41)
2.6
(66)
4.1
(104)
3.7
(94)
2.5
(64)
3.1
(79)
2.8
(71)
2.2
(56)
1.5
(38)
1.0
(25)
27.3
(693)
Snowfall inches (cm) 3.5
(8.9)
4.8
(12.2)
3.2
(8.1)
0.2
(0.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.1
(2.8)
3.3
(8.4)
16.1
(40.9)
Source: Weatherbase [9]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 5,121
1940 5,055 −1.3%
1950 6,505 28.7%
1960 6,258 −3.8%
1970 7,440 18.9%
1980 6,416 −13.8%
1990 5,495 −14.4%
2000 5,288 −3.8%
2010 4,945 −6.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census[edit]

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,945 people, 2,107 households, 1,134 families residing in the city.[1] The population density was 2,100 people per square mile (800/km²). There were 2,568 housing units at an average density of 1,110 per square mile (425/km²).[1] Self-identified white residents made up 90% of the population, with the remainder composed of 2% African American, 2.1% Native American, 1.1% Asian, less than 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.

Of the 2,107 households, a quarter (24.9%) included individuals under the age of 18, 40.8% were married couples, 13.1% had a householder with no spouse present, and 46.2% were non-families. More than a third of households (36%) consisted of a single individual. Less than a quarter (13.2%) consisted of an individual age 65 or older living alone. The average household size was 2.17. The average family size was 2.86.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 5,288 people, 2,205 households, and 1,261 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,228.6 people per square mile (861.5/km²). There were 2,644 housing units at an average density of 1,114.3 per square mile (430.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.99% White, 1.30% African American, 1.34% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.82% of the population.

There were 2,205 households out of which 23.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.8% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.9% under the age of 18, 21.7% from 18 to 24, 20.5% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,432, and the median income for a family was $38,041. Males had a median income of $27,531 versus $17,981 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,966. About 9.1% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Alva is home to Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU), founded in 1897 as a normal school.[5] The college's main building for a time was the "Castle on the Hill," a huge, fanciful brick building, modeled after a Norman castle, that towered over much of the town. The Castle burned down in 1935, to be replaced by Jesse Dunn Hall, which was dedicated in 1937 by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Northwest Technology Center is based in Alva. The Alva Independent School District oversees the public schools in the Alva area.

Notable people[edit]

Alva is the birthplace of actor Jack Ging and disability activist Lex Frieden. General Hugh S. Johnson graduated from Alva High School in 1897.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ a b c Reichenberger, Donovan, "Alva," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed June 21, 2010).
  6. ^ Hurt, R. Douglas (2008). The Great Plains During World War II. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 9780803224094. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.ok.gov/doc/Organization/Field_Operations/Division_II_-_Minimum_Security_Institutions/Bill_Johnson_Correctional_Center.html
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Alva, Oklahoma, United States". 
  10. ^ Reichenberger, Donovan. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Woods County." Retrieved January 1, 2013.[1]

External links[edit]