Beckham County, Oklahoma
|Beckham County, Oklahoma|
Location in the state of Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location in the U.S.
|Founded||November 16, 1907|
|Named for||J. C. W. Beckham|
|Largest city||Elk City|
|• Total||904 sq mi (2,342 km2)|
|• Land||902 sq mi (2,336 km2)|
|• Water||2.1 sq mi (6 km2), 0.26%|
|• Density||26/sq mi (10/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Founded upon statehood in 1907, Beckham County was named for J. C. W. Beckham, who was Governor of Kentucky, and as the first popularly elected member of the United States Senate from Kentucky (there was also a short lived sister-county counterpart, Beckham County, Kentucky from February 9, 1904, to April 29, 1904, was dissolved by the Kentucky Court of Appeals because it was not created in conformance with state law).
In 1855, the U.S. government leased the western part of the Choctaw and Chickasaw lands, which became known as the Leased District. After the Civil War, the two nations were forced to cede the land to the government. In 1869, the former Leased District was designated by the President as the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation. During the 1880s, Texas cattlemen leased grazing land from the Cheyennes and Arapahos. In 1892, the land was opened to non-Indian settlement. The area then was designated as County F in the newly created Oklahoma Territory, until it was renamed Roger Mills County. At statehood, portions of land from both Roger Mills County and Greer County, Oklahoma were joined to form Beckham County. Sayre was named as the temporary county seat. A 1908 election made Sayre the permanent seat.
In 1910, a piece of southern Beckham County was returned to Greer County. The Gannett survey of 1927-1929 found that the true 100th Meridian, the actual boundary between Texas and western Oklahoma was actually 3,800 feet (1,200 m) farther east than originally supposed. The Supreme Court ruled that the strip of land must be returned to Texas, thereby reducing Beckham County's area slightly.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 904 square miles (2,341.3 km2), of which 902 square miles (2,336.2 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.26%) is water. The county is drained by the North Fork of the Red River and its tributaries: the Timber, Sweetwater, and Buffalo creeks. The northwestern part of the county is part of the High Plains. The rest of the county is part of the Gypsum Hills physiographic region.
- Interstate 40
- Interstate 40 Business Loop
- U.S. Highway 283
- State Highway 6
- State Highway 30
- State Highway 34
- State Highway 55
- State Highway 66
- State Highway 152
- Roger Mills County (north)
- Custer County (northeast)
- Washita County (east)
- Kiowa County (southeast)
- Greer County (south)
- Harmon County (southwest)
- Collingsworth County, Texas (west)
- Wheeler County, Texas (northwest)
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 22,119 people, 8,163 households, and 5,485 families residing in the county. The population density was 24.5 people per square mile (9.4/km²). There were 9,647 housing units at an average density of 10.7 per square mile (4.1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 85% white, 4% black or African American, 2.8% Native American, 0.8% Asian, less than 0.01% Pacific Islander, 4.6% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Twelve percent of the population was Hispanic or Latino.
There were 8,163 households out of which 34.6% included children under the age of 18, 50.9% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.8% were non-families. Individuals living alone accounted for 27.6% of households and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.4 years. For every 100 females there were 105 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $45,726, and the median income for a family was $57,316. Males had a median income of $42,470 versus $27,075 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,470. More than 12% of families and 15% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26% of those under age 18 and 14.4% of those age 65 or over.
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of January 15, 2013|
|Party||Number of Voters||Percentage|
|2012||79.54% 5,508||21.46% 1,417|
|2008||78.03% 5,772||21.97% 1,625|
|2004||73.85% 5,454||26.15% 1,931|
|2000||62.26% 4,067||36.86% 2,408|
The county economy has been based mainly on farming and raising livestock. The major crops have been cotton, wheat, alfalfa, kafir, milo maize, and broomcorn. Mineral industries have occasionally been significant. In the early 20th Century, there was some salt production. A limited amount of oil and gas production began in the 1920s.
The following sites in Beckham County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Linda D. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Beckham County".
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-11.
- Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Beckham County
- Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory
||Roger Mills County||Custer County|
|Wheeler County, Texas||Washita County|
|Collingsworth County, Texas||Greer County