Poteau, Oklahoma

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Poteau, Oklahoma
The LeFlore County Courthouse is one of five sites in Poteau listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The LeFlore County Courthouse is one of five sites in Poteau listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Location of Poteau, Oklahoma
Location of Poteau, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°3′31″N 94°37′48″W / 35.05861°N 94.63000°W / 35.05861; -94.63000Coordinates: 35°3′31″N 94°37′48″W / 35.05861°N 94.63000°W / 35.05861; -94.63000
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Le Flore
 • Mayor Jeff Shockley
 • Total 31.7 sq mi (82.0 km2)
 • Land 28.6 sq mi (74.2 km2)
 • Water 3.0 sq mi (7.8 km2)
Elevation 489 ft (149 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 8,520
 • Estimate (2013)[2] 8,590
 • Density 270/sq mi (100/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 74953
Area code(s) 539/918
FIPS code 40-60350[3]
GNIS feature ID 1096874[4]
Website City of Poteau

Poteau (/ˈpt/ POH-toh) is a city and county seat of Le Flore County, Oklahoma, United States.[5] The population was 8,520 at the 2010 census.[1] Carl Albert State College is located in Poteau.


Poteau was founded in 1885. It was named from the Poteau River.[6]


View of Poteau Valley from Cavanal Hill.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.7 square miles (82 km2), of which 28.6 square miles (74 km2) is land and 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), or 9.54%, is water.

The city is located in the valley below Cavanal Hill, the "World's Highest Hill".

The Poteau River, the only river in Oklahoma that flows north, is located near the city. It flows into Arkansas where it meets with the Arkansas River at Belle Point in Fort Smith.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,830
1920 2,679 46.4%
1930 3,169 18.3%
1940 4,020 26.9%
1950 4,776 18.8%
1960 4,428 −7.3%
1970 5,500 24.2%
1980 7,089 28.9%
1990 7,210 1.7%
2000 7,939 10.1%
2010 8,520 7.3%
Est. 2013 8,590 0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2013 Estimate[2]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 7,939 people, 3,013 households, and 2,042 families residing in the city. The population density was 277.2 people per square mile (107.0/km²). There were 3,351 housing units at an average density of 117.0 per square mile (45.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.14% White, 2.24% African American, 10.00% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.39% from other races, and 3.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.82% of the population.

There were 3,013 households out of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 12.8% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,178, and the median income for a family was $31,226. Males had a median income of $24,595 versus $20,625 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,175. About 19.3% of families and 22.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.


Carl Albert State College is located in Poteau.

In 1912, Pansy Ingle came to Poteau, a graduate of Indiana University with a Masters' Degree in English and Library Science. [8] She taught third grade until 1915 when she married Frank Kidd; she then had to quit teaching due to a school board regulation preventing married female teachers.

Pansy resumed teaching 1921 when the regulation was changed. In all, she taught over 40 years and was called by many, "Dean of Poteau's Teachers." Mrs. Kidd organized the beginning of the Junior High School, which later became a Middle School and was renamed in her honor. In 1955, Dr. John Montgomery petitioned the Poteau public school board, resulting in the integration of the system and marking Poteau as the first city in Oklahoma to allow African Americans to attend school with white students.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-29. 
  2. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-29. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ "History". City of Poteau, Oklahoma. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  7. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved August 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ "History of Our School". Pansy Kidd Middle School. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 

External links[edit]