Coal County, Oklahoma
|Coal County, Oklahoma|
Location in the state of Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location in the U.S.
|• Total||521 sq mi (1,349 km2)|
|• Land||517 sq mi (1,339 km2)|
|• Water||4.7 sq mi (12 km2), 0.9%|
|• Density||11/sq mi (4/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
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.
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, due to the refusal of mining companies of the area to Unionize. Some mines reopened during World War II, but these closed by 1958, because of the rising cost of refining sulfur out of the coal mined. 
Agriculture replaced mining as the main economic activity of the county. Even this business encountered severe difficulty in 1921-3, when a boll weevil infestation wiped out the cotton crop. All five banks in the county failed as a result.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 521 square miles (1,350 km2), of which 517 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 4.7 square miles (12 km2) (0.9%) is water. It is the fifth-smallest county in Oklahoma by area. 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.
- Hughes County (north)
- Pittsburg County (northeast)
- Atoka County (southeast)
- Johnston County (southwest)
- Pontotoc County (west)
As of the census 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|
|Party||Number of Voters||Percentage|
|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|
The following sites in Coal County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
- Benjamin Franklin Smallwood House, Lehigh
- Coalgate School Gymnasium-Auditorium, Coalgate
- Keel Creek Bridge, Coalgate
- Merchants National Bank Building, Lehigh
- United States Post Office Coalgate, Coalgate
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Milligan, James C. "Coal County," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, 2009. Accessed March 28, 2015.
- "Focus on Coal County." Oklahoma Ad Valorem Forum. Oklahoma Tax Commission. March 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "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 - Coal County
- Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory
||Pontotoc County||Hughes County||Pittsburg County|
|Johnston County||Atoka County|