Webbers Falls, Oklahoma
|Webbers Falls, Oklahoma|
|• Total||3.9 sq mi (10.1 km2)|
|• Land||3.9 sq mi (10.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||479 ft (146 m)|
|• Density||186.6/sq mi (72.0/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1099460|
Webbers Falls is a town in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 616 at the 2010 census, a decline of 15 percent from 726 at the 2000 census. The name comes from a 7 foot falls in the Arkansas River, itself named in honor of Walter Webber, a Cherokee leader who lived there in the early 19th Century.
Walter Webber, a chief of the Western Cherokee, settled at the present site of the town in 1828. He opened a trading post and brought goods up the Arkansas River by keelboat. He also opened a salt works that he leased from the Cheokee government. Another Cherokee, "Rich Joe" Vann, who had been forced to emigrate from Georgia, settled nearby and established a plantation. Vann built a house that was a replica of the mansion in Georgia from which he had been evicted by the Federal government.
On November 15, 1842 more than 25 slaves, mostly from Joseph Vann's plantation revolted against their masters. They locked their masters and overseers in their homes and cabins, stole guns, horses and mules, ammunition, food and other supplies, then fled toward Mexico. The Cherokee Militia under Captain John Drew, was sent by the Cherokee National Council to apprehend the fugitives. The militia caught up with the fleeing slaves north of the Red River on November 28. The militia returned the fugitives to Talequah on December 8. Five were executed. Most of the rest were put to work on Vann's steamboats.
Confederate General Stand Watie established a headquarters at Webbers Falls during the Civil War. In 1863, Union troops tried to capture Watie, but failed. Before leaving, they burned the town, including Vann's plantation home.
Construction in 1970 of the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam, created the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir, part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, and boosted the local economy by attracting outdoor enthusiasts. The town population increased 57 percent between 1980 and 2000, from 461 to 726. However, the population declined significantly by 2010.
The I-40 Bridge Disaster happened on May 26, 2002; a barge collided with a bridge support near Webbers Falls, causing a 580 foot section of the I-40 bridge to plunge into the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir on the Arkansas river. Automobiles and semi-trucks fell into the water, killing 14 people (including a three-year-old girl) and two horses. The bridge was repaired within two months, and reopened to traffic on July 29, 2002.
Webbers Falls is located at .(35.510052, -95.146554)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10 km2), of which 3.9 square miles (10 km2) is land and 0.26% is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 726 people, 288 households, and 209 families residing in the town. The population density was 186.6 people per square mile (72.1/km²). There were 364 housing units at an average density of 93.6 per square mile (36.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 69.56% White, 0.28% African American, 24.79% Native American, 1.38% from other races, and 3.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.48% of the population.
There were 288 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.5% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the town the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 86.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $19,300, and the median income for a family was $22,955. Males had a median income of $22,813 versus $17,031 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,684. About 22.0% of families and 26.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.9% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.
- "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: Population of the city of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- Foreman, Carolyn. "Early History of Muskogee Falls", The Chronicles of Oklahoma.
- Miller, Linda Mayes. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Webbers Falls." Retrieved March 16, 2012.
- Burton, Art T. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Slave Revolt of 1842." Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "Traffic flows again on I-40 bridge". NewsOK.com. 30 July 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.