Location of Okarche, Oklahoma
|• Total||0.7 sq mi (1.9 km2)|
|• Land||0.7 sq mi (1.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||1,243 ft (379 m)|
|• Density||1,490.3/sq mi (575.4/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1096193|
Okarche is a town in Canadian and Kingfisher counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and a part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. The population was 1,215 at the 2010 census, a 9.5 percent increase from 1,110 at the 2000 census.
The Area: Okarche is located on land that, before 1830, was within the historic area of the Wichita Indians. The location was in territory assigned to the Creek and Seminole people when removal of tribes from the southeastern United States began in 1830. After the Civil War, parts of Indian Territory were designated for resettlement of Plains Indians. The site of the future town of Okarche was just inside the eastern border of the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation.
From 1867 to 1884, cattle were driven through the area on the Chisholm Trail from Texas to railheads in Kansas. Later the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, and what would become US highway 81 would follow roughly the same route through Oklahoma Territory.
The Town: On March 2, 1887, the U.S. Congress approved construction of a railroad through Indian Territory. The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway was given a 100 foot right of way through the territory and authorized to take additional right of way for stations every 10 miles of track. Railway assets would be turned over to the CRI&P in June 1890. Construction proceeded southward from Caldwell, Kansas and was completed to Pond Creek by April 1889 and to El Reno in January 1890. The railway depot where Okarche was platted would be completed at that time.
The Okarche post office was established June 28, 1890. Cheyenne and Arapaho lands were opened to settlement by land run on April 19, 1892. The town was incorporated in 1905 – two years before statehood. The name of the town is derived from parts of three words, Oklahoma (OK), Arapaho (AR), and Cheyenne (CHE). The Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne Native American tribes had been relocated to Oklahoma from the northern Great Plains in the late 19th century. The town's population hovered in the 400s for more than three decades after statehood and peaked in 1990 at 1,160.
By the late 1890s, German immigrants were a greater part of the population and German a widely used language of the community. Many had come to America in the wave of 1.5 million German immigrants to the United States in the 1880s and lived in states to the north such as Iowa, Nebraska, or Missouri before coming to Oklahoma Territory. Catholic and Lutheran churches with schools were established as immigrants sought to keep faith and customs from the old country alive in their new home. St. John’s Lutheran Church was founded in 1892 and Holy Trinity Catholic Church in 1893. Worship and education was conducted principally in German until American entry into World War I in 1917. Bilingual worship would continue for about two decades.
When federal highway numbering was implemented in 1927, the state road through Okarche was designated US-81 and fully paved in the Okarche area by 1931. The Northwest Highway (OK-3) was opened as a gravel-surfaced road in 1939 and fully paved by 1947. Okarche now has 4-lane divided highway access to neighboring communities, including the Oklahoma City Metro area. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad entered its final bankruptcy in 1975. The Union Pacific Railway now operates on the former Rock Island route.
The town is best known for Eischen's Bar, which claims "the oldest bar" in the state of Oklahoma and famous for its secret recipe fried chicken. In 2009, Food Network's program, Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives visited Eischen's and the bar was featured the television show.
Major employers include Temtrol Inc., a manufacturer of air handling units, coils and fans; and OEM Systems, a firm specializing in custom fitting commercial vehicles and fuel conversion of vehicles to compressed natural gas.
Okarche is located at (35.726429, -97.976031).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²).None of the area is covered with water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,110 people, 454 households, and 316 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,490.3 people per square mile (579.2/km²). There were 477 housing units at an average density of 640.4 per square mile (248.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.96% White, 0.54% African American, 1.80% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 1.62% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.07% of the population.
There are 2.000.000 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $38,750, and the median income for a family was $46,875. Males had a median income of $32,120 versus $21,810 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,460. About 3.0% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.
Notable natives and residents
- Stanley Rother, martyred Roman Catholic priest and candidate for sainthood
- Chris Schroder, right-handed pitcher for the Oakland Athletics
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- CensusViewer:Okarche, Oklahoma Population
- Bai rd, W. David and Goble, Danney (2008). Oklahoma: A History. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
- "An act to grant the right of way through the Indian Territory to the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway, and for other purposes". INDIAN AFFAIRS: LAWS AND TREATIES Vol. I, Laws (Compiled to December 1, 1902). Oklahoma State University Digital Library. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
- Savage, Cynthia. "Okarche." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture. Accessed 17 Sept 2009.
- Willibrand, William Anthony (Autumn 1950). "German in Okarche 1892-1902". Chronicles of Oklahoma 028: 284+.
- Rohrs, Richard C. (1980). The Germans in Oklahoma. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
- "Oklahoma Department of Transportation". State Map Archive. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.