Perry, Oklahoma

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Perry, Oklahoma
City
Sunrise in Perry
Sunrise in Perry
Location of Perry, Oklahoma
Location of Perry, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36°17′29″N 97°17′28″W / 36.29139°N 97.29111°W / 36.29139; -97.29111Coordinates: 36°17′29″N 97°17′28″W / 36.29139°N 97.29111°W / 36.29139; -97.29111[1]
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Noble
Area
 • Total 6.8 sq mi (17.7 km2)
 • Land 6.1 sq mi (15.7 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (2.0 km2)
Elevation[1] 1,010 ft (308 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 5,126
 • Density 750/sq mi (290/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 73077
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-58250 [1]
GNIS feature ID 1096555 [1]
Website www.PerryOK.org

Perry is a city in and county seat of Noble County, Oklahoma, United States.[1] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,126.[2]

History[edit]

19th century[edit]

The Treaty of New Echota, May 23, 1836, assigned the Cherokee Outlet to the Cherokees as a perpetual outlet to use for passage to travel and hunt in the West from their reservation in the eastern part of what became Oklahoma. This was in addition to the land given to the Cherokees for settlement after their arrival from their home in Georgia.

Perry's original name was Wharton, the name of a train station built in 1886 by the Southern Kansas Railway (part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway system) about 1 mile south of the present city and it was located within the Outlet. Before the 1893 Cherokee Outlet Opening, the U,S. government selected a site a mile north of Wharton for a land office. A town around the office was named after J.A. Perry, a man sent by the government to lay out land office towns.[3] Perry later became one of the township location commissioners. Noble County, then known as "County P", was named after the John Willock Noble of St. Louis, the Interior Secretary for President William Henry Harrison.[4]

The Dalton Gang, which at that time included Bob Dalton, Emmett Dalton, Charlie Bryant and George Newcomb entered Wharton to rob a train in May 1891 earning $1745. Shortly after the robbery, Bryant fell ill and was taken to Hennessey to see a doctor. After being spotted and arrested by Deputy Marshal Ed Short. During an escape attempt Bryant and Short would kill each other.[5] Among those within the boundary of the Strip prior to the opening, were the notorious Bill Doolin gang. A Santa Fe train was robbed at Wharton before the opening, and the gang escaped into Osage County. U.S. Marshall E.D. Nix and 100 deputies were commissioned to police the area and keep order.[4]

At noon on September 16, 1893, "a run" for land within "the Strip" was opened. An estimated 100,000 men, women, and children took part and by nightfall 40,000 had erected tents in Perry. Jack Tearney started at the county line and reached Perry within 31 minutes. By 4:00 p.m. he had erected and opened the "Blue Bell" saloon selling beer the first day for $1.00 a bottle, due to the scarcity of water. He would sell 38,000 glasses.[4]

Named "Hell's Half Acre", the original town's perimeter included A & F streets and 1st and 9th streets. About 110 saloons and gambling houses were in operation with many of them set up 1/2 block east of the east side of the now existing square.[4]

20th century[edit]

In the late-1940s, the Charles Machine Works company was started, then grew in a medium-sized company building Ditch Witch equipment.

Timothy McVeigh was stopped on April 19, 1995, along Interstate 35 outside of Perry by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper. The trooper had passed McVeigh's yellow 1977 Mercury Marquis and noticed it had no license plate. He arrested McVeigh for carrying a loaded firearm. Three days later, while still in jail, McVeigh was identified as the subject of the nationwide manhunt.[6][7]

21st century[edit]

Perry moved from a strong mayor form of government to a Home Rule Charter. The town is in the process of transitioning to a City Manager.[citation needed]

It is the smallest town in Oklahoma with a daily newspaper.[4]

Geography[edit]

Perry is located at 36°17′29″N 97°17′28″W / 36.29139°N 97.29111°W / 36.29139; -97.29111 (36.291424, -97.291144)[8]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.8 square miles (18 km2), of which, 6.1 square miles (16 km2) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) of it (10.98%) is water.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1990 4,978
2000 5,230 5.1%
2010 5,126 −2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 5,230 people, 2,203 households, and 1,445 families residing in the city. The population density was 860.1 people per square mile (332.1/km²). There were 2,493 housing units at an average density of 410.0 per square mile (158.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.7% White, 3.1% African American, 3.3% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.[10]

There were 2,203 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,653, and the median income for a family was $37,731. Males had a median income of $30,485 versus $22,039 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,924. About 10.4% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.2% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

The city is home to The Charles Machine Works, which is the headquarters and manufacturing facility of Ditch Witch machinery and employs over 1,300 people.

Education[edit]

  • Perry High School, grades 9-12.
  • Perry Junior-High School, grades 7-8.
  • Perry Upper Elementary School, grades 4-6.
  • Perry Lower Elementary School, grades 1-3.
  • Perry Early Childhood School, grades Pre-K -K

Perry High School is noted for its wrestling program, historically one of the most successful programs in the United States; it has won 55 state championships, including 38 team and 13 dual championships since 1952, and 159 individual state championships.[11]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]