Coal County, Oklahoma

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Coal County, Oklahoma
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Coal County
Location in the state of Oklahoma
Map of the United States highlighting Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location in the U.S.
Founded 1907
Seat Coalgate
Largest city Coalgate
Area
 • Total 521 sq mi (1,350 km2)
 • Land 518 sq mi (1,342 km2)
 • Water 3 sq mi (8 km2), 0.59%
Population (Est.)
 • (2012) 5,963
 • Density 11.4/sq mi (4.4/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Coal County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,925.[1] Its county seat is Coalgate.[2]

History[edit]

Coal County was formed at statehood from the former Shappaway County (later renamed Atoka County) of the Pushmataha District of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory. A 3.5 miles (5.6 km) strip of Coal County was taken from the Pontotoc District of the Chickasaw Nation. Initially, the Oklahoma legislature named Lehigh as the county seat, but a special election held in 1908 resulted in the citizens choosing Colgate as the county seat. Lehigh tried to sue, because more people voted than were registered, but no court would hear the case.[3]

Mining became a mainstay of the county's economy during the 1870s. The first coal mine opened on Chief Allen Wright's land. The industry activity peaked between 1910 and 1916, but declined sharply after World War I. Many of the mines closed by 1921. Some mines reopened during World War II, but these closed by 1958.[3]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 521 square miles (1,349.4 km2), of which 518 square miles (1,341.6 km2) is land and 3 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.59%) is water.[4] The eastern part of the county lies in the Ouachita Mountains, while the western part has open prairie and lies in the Sandstone Hills physiographic region. The county is drained by the Clear Boggy and Muddy Boggy creeks.[3]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 15,817
1920 18,406 16.4%
1930 11,521 −37.4%
1940 12,811 11.2%
1950 8,056 −37.1%
1960 5,546 −31.2%
1970 5,525 −0.4%
1980 6,041 9.3%
1990 5,780 −4.3%
2000 6,031 4.3%
2010 5,925 −1.8%
Est. 2012 5,963 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[1]
Age pyramid for Coal County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data.
Map of Coal County, 1909

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 6,031 people, 2,373 households, and 1,653 families residing in the county. The population density was 12 people per square mile (4/km²). There were 2,744 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 75.18% White, 0.36% Black or African American, 17.31% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.75% from other races, and 6.09% from two or more races. 2.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 94.6% spoke English, 3.0% Spanish, 1.1% German and 1.1% Choctaw as their first language.

There were 2,373 households out of which 30.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.20% were married couples living together, 10.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.30% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.60% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 22.50% from 45 to 64, and 17.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $23,705, and the median income for a family was $28,333. Males had a median income of $22,721 versus $18,419 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,013. About 18.50% of families and 23.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.90% of those under age 18 and 20.90% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of January 15, 2012[7]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
  Democratic 3,145 81.62%
  Republican 499 12.95%
  Unaffiliated 209 5.43%
Total 3,853 100%

Politics[edit]

Presidential election results[8]
Year Republican Democrat
2008 73.59% 1,672 26.41% 600
2004 53.71% 1,396 46.29% 1,203
2000 50.64% 1,196 48.60% 1,148

Communities[edit]

NRHP sites[edit]

The following sites in Coal 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. ^ a b c Milligan, James C. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Coal County." Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ http://www.ok.gov/elections/documents/reg_0112.pdf
  8. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2011-06-11. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°36′N 96°18′W / 34.60°N 96.30°W / 34.60; -96.30