Cherokee County, Oklahoma
|Cherokee County, Oklahoma|
Location in the state of Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location in the U.S.
|• Total||776 sq mi (2,010 km2)|
|• Land||751 sq mi (1,945 km2)|
|• Water||25 sq mi (65 km2), 3.27%|
|• Density||62/sq mi (24/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Cherokee County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 46,987. Its county seat is Tahlequah, which is also the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Cherokee County is part of the Tahlequah, Oklahoma Micropolitan Statistical Area and the Tulsa-Muskogee-Bartlesville Combined Statistical Area.
According to a gazeteer, Cherokee County was established in 1907. However, the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, states that it was created from the Tahlequah District of the Cherokee Nation in 1906.
The Cherokees moved to this area as a result of the forced relocation brought about by the Indian Removal Act of 1830, also known as Trail Of Tears. The first significant settlements were at the site of Park Hill, where there was already a mission community, and Tahlequah, which became the seat of Cherokee government. However the Civil War divided the tribe and caused many of the early structures to be destroyed. Non-Indians began moving into the area illegally starting in the mid-1870s, and became the majority by the 1890s.
In 1851, the Cherokee Male Seminary opened in Tahlequah and the Cherokee Female Seminary opened in Park Hill. The latter burned down in 1887 and was rebuilt in Tahlequah. A 1910 fire destroyed the Male Seminary. The Female Seminary became Northeastern State Normal School after statehood in 1907 and is now part of Northeastern State University.
During 1901 – 1903, The Ozark and Cherokee Central Railway, which later became part of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway was the first to build a track in the county. It boosted the shipment of farm products through the 1920s, but declined during the Great Depression. All rail service ceased in 1942.
The county lies in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. It includes most of Tenkiller Lake and part of Fort Gibson Lake. The principal river running through it is the Illinois River. Grand River (Oklahoma) forms part of its western boundary.
- Delaware County (north)
- Adair County (east)
- Sequoyah County (south)
- Muskogee County (southwest)
- Wagoner County (west)
- Mayes County (northwest)
As of the census of 2000, there were 42,521 people, 16,175 households, and 11,079 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 19,499 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 56.41% White, 1.20% Black or African American, 32.42% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.10% from other races, and 7.56% from two or more races. 4.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 92.7% spoke English, 3.8% Spanish and 2.7% Cherokee as their first language.
There were 16,175 households out of which 32.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.50% were married couples living together, 11.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.50% were non-families. 25.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.30% under the age of 18, 14.60% from 18 to 24, 25.70% from 25 to 44, 21.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $26,536, and the median income for a family was $32,369. Males had a median income of $25,993 versus $21,048 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,436. About 17.00% of families and 22.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.40% of those under age 18 and 13.80% of those age 65 or over.
Since statehood, the economy of Cherokee County has been based on agriculture, especially production of corn, wheat and vegetables. However, the percentage of the population engaged in farming has declined from 62 percent in 1940 to 4.4 percent in 1990. This is largely due to increased urbanization around Talequah since World War II. Agriculture remains very important. In 2002, this county ranked first in Oklahoma for the value of nursery and greenhouse crops and seventh in the state for poultry and eggs.
- Bamboo Harvester, the horse who played television's Mr. Ed
- Sam Claphan, football player
- Robert Conley, author of numerous books about the Cherokee Indians
- Alice Brown Davis, Principal Chief of the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma
- Wilma Mankiller, first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation
- Jackson Narcomey, Muscogee Creek artist
- Ken Purdy, mayor of Tahlequah
- Wilson Rawls, author of Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys
- Hastings Shade, Cherokee traditionalist and author
- Sonny Sixkiller, Cherokee football player
- Wes Studi, Cherokee actor
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of January 15, 2012|
|Party||Number of Voters||Percentage|
|2012||57.05% 8,162||42.95% 6,144|
|2008||56.08% 9,186||43.92% 7,194|
|2004||52.60% 9,569||47.40% 8,623|
|2000||47.82% 6,918||50.15% 7,256|
Talequah and Hulbert are the only two incorporated entities in the county.
The following sites in Cherokee 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.
- Burnett, Amanda. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Cherokee County."
- Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer. p. 386
- "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". Retrieved 2011-06-11.
- Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Cherokee County
- Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory