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(Agenda Remove Courthouse Photo add a photo that better visualizes Altus then add the new municipal complex to government)

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Altus, Oklahoma
Jackson County Courthouse in Altus, Oklahoma
Jackson County Courthouse in Altus, Oklahoma
Location of Altus, Oklahoma
Location of Altus, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 34°38′38″N 99°19′36″W / 34.64389°N 99.32667°W / 34.64389; -99.32667Coordinates: 34°38′38″N 99°19′36″W / 34.64389°N 99.32667°W / 34.64389; -99.32667
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Jackson
 • Total 17.0 sq mi (44.1 km2)
 • Land 16.8 sq mi (43.6 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 1,398 ft (426 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 19,813
 • Density 1,200/sq mi (450/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 73521-73523
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-01700[1]
GNIS feature ID 1089598[2]

Altus is a city in Jackson County, Oklahoma, United States. Located at the intersection of U.S._Route_62 and U.S._Route_283. The population was 19,813 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Jackson County[3].

Altus was founded in 1886 originally under the name Frazier 2 ½ miles west of it's current location. When the town of Frazer was flooded in 1891 the town relocated and renamed to Altus. Altus is home to Altus Air Force Base, the United States Air Force training base for pilots and aircrew in the C-17, and KC-135. The areas next largest employers are Bar-S Foods and Jackson County Memorial Hospital. Institutions of Higher_education Western Oklahoma State College and Southwest Technology Center.


In 1884, John McClearen bought land certificates for 1,100 acres in the vicinity of present day Altus.  Two years later, McClearen, his son‐in‐ laws, and families began farming the area and, soon after, they founded the town of Frazer, which consisted of a log cabin, a dugout, and two tents.  The original settlement was located approximately 2.5 miles to the west of the present site of the City.  A flood in 1891 destroyed Frazer and, shortly afterwards, the townspeople felt it was prudent to move the community to higher ground.  Soon after, they found the present site and chose a new name “Altus,” which means “altitude” or “high place,” in Latin. By 1900, Altus was a thriving town with five general merchandise stores, four grocery stores, one hardware store, drugstore, bank, hotel, and boarding house, a shoe shop, jewelry store, two millenary shops, two newspapers, a public and private school, and a church. In 1904, Altus temporarily changed its name to Leger in an attempt to curry the good favor of a railroad executive whose family name was the same.  In 1907, after the railroad committed to coming through town, the name was permanently changed back.    After the Oklahoma Territory became a state in 1907 and close to half million acres from “Old Greer County” was designated to form present day Jackson County, Altus was named the county seat, an important milestone in the history of the city.  In 1909, once Altus had reached the required population of 2,000 persons, it became an incorporated city. Altus grew slowly through World War I.  Subsequent to the war, the agricultural economy grew rapidly, and Altus benefitted.  While Altus suffered during the depression and the famed “Dust Bowl,” which devastated Oklahoma, the population did not decline, as did that of Jackson County.  Thus, the City was well positioned for a rebirth, which was helped along by the opening of the Altus Army Air Field (now Altus Air Force Base) in 1943.  In that year, the Field began training pilots to fly twin‐engine aircraft during the war and, subsequently, most of the 5,377 graduates served in Europe during WW II.  At the end of the war, the base was closed. In 1953, the Air Force reactivated the Altus facility, bringing many new jobs and persons to the community and leading to the greatest decade of growth in the city’s history. [4]


Altus is located at 34°38′38″N 99°19′36″W / 34.64389°N 99.32667°W / 34.64389; -99.32667 (34.643754, -99.326603)[5]. Altus is situated in what used to be Old Greer County, an area with disputed ownership until a Supreme Court decision awarded it to Oklahoma Territory instead of Texas.[6] The city lies between the main channel and north fork of the Red River.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.0 square miles (44.0 km2), of which 16.8 square miles (43.5 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2) (1.17%) is water.


Climate data for Altus, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 84
Average high °F (°C) 49
Average low °F (°C) 27
Record low °F (°C) −4
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.9
Snowfall inches (cm) 2.1


Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 23,302
1990 21,910
2000 21,447 −2.1%
2010 19,813 −7.6%

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 21,447 people, 7,896 households, and 5,629 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,274.1 people per square mile (492.0/km²). There were 9,264 housing units at an average density of 550.4 per square mile (212.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.62% White, 10.41% African American, 1.48% Native American, 1.38% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 10.32% from other races, and 3.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.25% of the population.

There were 7,896 households out of which 38.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,217, and the median income for a family was $38,400. Males had a median income of $28,041 versus $18,856 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,378. About 14.6% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.7% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.


Main article: Economy of _

Presumably 95% of the people in the city work for a living, what do they do? What industries/sectors can support so many people? Who are the biggest employers? How did the economy take form and change over time?

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Arts and culture[edit]

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It is arguably the most tempting section for OR and unsourced material. Do not do it! Local festivals, food, accents, etc ... are easy to find sources for. You might consider dividing this up into several subsections, like so:

Annual cultural events[edit]

Yearly events that occur in the city (state fair, art show, festivals, etc)

Museums and other points of interest[edit]

Talk about some of the major points of interest.


Are there any major league or other professional sports teams in the city? What about other sports that people might participate in (skiing, swimming, golf, tennis).

Parks and recreation[edit]

Are there any major parks in the city? What do people do for fun?

Since this article is somewhat related to sports, it would be advisable to place it immediately after the sports section. In smaller cities and towns with no major league professional sports, it might actually work better to combine this section with sports, using a suggested section title of 'Sports and recreation'.


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Secondly, a brief paragraph about finance: spending for a recent year, proposed spending, or both, with footnotes to the full reports. The method of taxation: sales tax/real estate/personal property. The total number of government employees could be listed.


The Public Schools of Altus are in Oklahoma School District number 18. In the Altus Public School District there are nine schools, including five elementary schools, an intermediate school, a junior high school, a high school, and a learning center. For the 2011-2012 school year there were approximately 3,851 students.[8] The school website is


What is the major daily newspaper in town? Are there any alternative weekly publications? Television and radio stations? You might also talk about the city's media market and audience demographics here. If any major motion pictures, television shows, or syndicated radio broadcasts were filmed/recorded or originated in the city, this would probably be a good place to put that information.

It is very easy to make this article a list of radio and TV stations, movies, TV shows, etc. This should be avoided, instead constructing the information as prose.




  1. Major highways, street layout (if notable)
  2. Mass transit (if applicable)
  3. Intercity transit including Amtrak, buses, major airports
  4. Other: are bicycling or walking significant transportation modes?

Make sure if a future transit system is planned to include all present infrastructure first, placing future proposals and construction afterward.


Include information on major electric and water utilities serving the city.

Health care[edit]

Include information on hospitals and clinics in the city. Some general information about the overall health of the population might be useful as well.

Notable people[edit]

  • Mark Cotney, National Football League (NFL) player (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
  • Jason Gildon, NFL player (Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • James Holt, NFL player (San Diego Chargers)
  • John Sterling, NFL player (Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos)

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See also[edit]

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References / Notes[edit]

List all sources used in building the article in this section. Instructions for doing this are at Wikipedia:Citing sources and Wikipedia:Verifiability. Either title is acceptable for this section, but not both together (see WP:CITE#How to present citations for details).

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Further reading[edit]

A brief listing of books and external sources that are not directly cited within the article (under references), but might be of interest to the reader.

External links[edit]

Category:Populated places in Jackson County, Oklahoma Category:Cities in Oklahoma Category:County seats in Oklahoma Category:Micropolitan areas of Oklahoma


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  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ a b Reconnaissance Level Survey of Certain Parts of the City of Altus, 1993, Oklahoma Historical Society (accessed May 10, 2010).
  7. ^ "Historical Weather for Altus, Oklahoma, United States".