Beggs, Oklahoma

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Beggs, Oklahoma
Location of Beggs, Oklahoma
Location of Beggs, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°45′20″N 96°2′17″W / 35.75556°N 96.03806°W / 35.75556; -96.03806Coordinates: 35°45′20″N 96°2′17″W / 35.75556°N 96.03806°W / 35.75556; -96.03806
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Okmulgee
 • Total 4.3 sq mi (11.0 km2)
 • Land 4.3 sq mi (11.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 738 ft (225 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,321
 • Density 320.3/sq mi (123.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 74421
Area code(s) 539/918
FIPS code 40-05000[1]
GNIS feature ID 1089974[2]

Beggs is a city in Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,321 at the 2010 census.[3] Beggs was named for C.H. Beggs, vice president of the St. Louis-San Francisco (Frisco) Railway.[4]


Starting as a Frisco railroad stop in 1899, Beggs officially became a town on September 15, 1900 when its post office opened.[5] It originally was a center for hog, cattle, and horse ranches in the area.[5] In 1918 oil was discovered just to the west, and Beggs became an oil boomtown until about 1926.[5] After that, corn, cotton, pecans, and stock raising became important local industries, but Beggs began a slow decline, going from an official population of 2,327 in 1920 to 1,531 in 1930 and 1,107 in 1970.[5] The population has since shown some upward fluctuation, settling at 1,321 as of the 2010 census.[6]


Beggs is located at 35°45′20″N 96°2′17″W / 35.75556°N 96.03806°W / 35.75556; -96.03806 (35.755595, -96.038052).[7] That puts Beggs approximately 30 miles south of the downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma[8] and 4 miles west of U.S. Route 75, a major national north/south artery. U.S. Route 75 Alternate, the only such bannered route stemming from U.S. 75, is a former alignment of the mainline highway prior to 1959, and travels from Highway 75 west to Beggs before turning north at that town and continuing to Sapulpa, Oklahoma. The major east/west route through Beggs is Oklahoma State Highway 16.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.3 square miles (11 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 855
1920 2,327 172.2%
1930 1,531 −34.2%
1940 1,283 −16.2%
1950 1,214 −5.4%
1960 1,114 −8.2%
1970 1,107 −0.6%
1980 1,428 29.0%
1990 1,150 −19.5%
2000 1,364 18.6%
2010 1,321 −3.2%
Est. 2015 1,247 [9] −5.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,364 people, 538 households, and 363 families residing in the city. The population density was 320.3 people per square mile (123.6/km²). There were 608 housing units at an average density of 142.8 per square mile (55.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.53% White, 21.70% African American, 9.75% Native American, 0.15% from other races, and 8.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.25% of the population.

There were 538 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 17.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the city, the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,063, and the median income for a family was $31,250. Males had a median income of $26,150 versus $22,143 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,191. About 16.9% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.1% of those under age 18 and 29.3% of those age 65 or over.


Recreational opportunities include Old Beggs Lake southeast of town center,[11] and the larger New Beggs Lake almost directly east of town center.[12]

Notable people[edit]

  • Lloyd Edgar Acree, posthumous recipient of the Navy Cross, was born here in 1920.
  • Suzan Shown Harjo, advocate for Native Americans
  • Don Owen, Louisiana broadcast journalist and politician was born in Beggs in 1930.[13]
  • Rodney Tate, NFL Running Back.
  • Dan Rowan, featured in the Rowan & Martin Laugh-In television show, where he played straight man to Dick Martin
  • Herman Roberts, one of the nation's foremost African American hotel and motel owners. He is known best for the sixth Roberts Motel, a Chicago institution
  • Joseph "Joe" Tyler Bajada, a local entrepreneur and business man in the area.

In popular culture[edit]

Beggs features prominently in American Front, the second volume of the Southern Victory alternate history novels by author Harry Turtledove. In it, Confederate forces, having won the War of Secession in 1862, are pitted against Union forces in 1914-era trench combat on the North American continent, including in the Confederate state of Sequoyah (Oklahoma) around the town of Beggs. This may constitute a plot hole, as the Frisco Railway which gave Beggs its name might not have been allowed to cross the border into a hostile nation, although the line could have been built during a temporary thaw in relations.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ CensusViewer. "Population of the City of Beggs, Oklahoma."
  4. ^ "ePodunk Beggs Community Profile". Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  5. ^ a b c d Davidson, Ruth. "Beggs," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture, Oklahoma Historical Society. Accessed February 17, 2016.
  6. ^ CensusViewer. "Population of the City of Beggs, Oklahoma." (accessed May 25, 2013)
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Mapquest website". Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Traveling Luck World Index". Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  12. ^ "Traveling Luck World Index". Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  13. ^ "John Andrew Prime, "Don Owen, news veteran, former PSC member, dies", June 17, 2012". Shreveport Times. Retrieved July 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]