Burkburnett, Texas

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Burkburnett, Texas
Nickname(s): Boomtown, U.S.A.
Motto: "You're home now!"
Location of Burkburnett, Texas
Location of Burkburnett, Texas
Wichita County Burkburnett.svg
Coordinates: 34°4′58″N 98°34′6″W / 34.08278°N 98.56833°W / 34.08278; -98.56833Coordinates: 34°4′58″N 98°34′6″W / 34.08278°N 98.56833°W / 34.08278; -98.56833
Country United States
State Texas
County Wichita
Incorporated City of Burkburnett 1923
 • Type Commissioner form of government, with a City Manager
 • Total 9.5 sq mi (24.6 km2)
 • Land 9.5 sq mi (24.6 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,060 ft (323 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,811
 • Density 1,138/sq mi (439.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 76354
Area code(s) 940
FIPS code 48-11368[1]
GNIS feature ID 1353321[2]
Black-and-white photograph of oil derricks in Burkburnett, Texas
Oil derricks at Burkburnett

Burkburnett is a city in Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Wichita Falls, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,811 at the 2010 census. The community newspaper, the Burkburnett Informer/Star, is published each Thursday.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Burkburnett has a total area of 9.5 square miles (24.6 km²), all of it land.

Historical development[edit]

Originally settled by ranchers as early as 1856, this community was known by some locals as Nesterville. By 1880, the town had a small store with a population of 132. From 1882 until 1903, a post office operated there under the designation Gilbert, named after the north Texas pioneer Mabel Gilbert. In 1906, a nearby wealthy rancher named Samuel Burk Burnett sold more than 16,000 acres (65 km²) of his land in northern Wichita County to a group of investors who were seeking to extend into the wheat-growing area of Western Oklahoma the Wichita Falls and Northwestern Railway, one of the Frank Kell/Joseph A. Kemp properties based in Wichita Falls.[3]

Within Burnett’s former land near the railroad, lots were auctioned off the following year and a post office was established. The town was named Burkburnett by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who visited the area for a wolf hunt that was hosted by the wealthy rancher Burnett.[4] In 1912, oil was discovered west of the town attracting thousands to the area and by 1918, about 20,000 people had settled around the oilfield. This part of the town's history was chronicled in the film, Boom Town with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. The Great Depression had a negative impact on the town’s population, which was boosted again in 1941 as Sheppard Air Force Base would be established nearby.

Fashion designer Nolan Miller was born in Burkburnett in 1933.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 5,300
1930 3,281 −38.1%
1940 2,814 −14.2%
1950 4,555 61.9%
1960 7,621 67.3%
1970 9,230 21.1%
1980 10,668 15.6%
1990 10,145 −4.9%
2000 10,927 7.7%
2010 10,811 −1.1%
Est. 2014 11,142 [5] 3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 10,445 people, 4,139 households, and 3,108 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,149.5 people per square mile (443.6/km²). There were 4,449 housing units at an average density of 468.0 per square mile (180.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.67% White, 2.88% African American, 1.06% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.66% from other races, and 2.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.20% of the population.

There were 4,139 households out of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.5% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 22.3% 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 2.62 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,408, and the median income for a family was $42,917. Males had a median income of $31,720 versus $21,977 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,507. About 7.9% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.0% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Burkburnett is served by the Burkburnett Independent School District.

City Government[edit]

The city of Burkburnett is a home-rule municipality. The governing body is composed of seven city commissioners who are elected by the voters at-large, rather than by district. The commissioners serve staggered two-year terms, with four elected during even-numbered years and three elected during odd-numbered years. The commissioners are charged with electing the mayor from among the city commissioners, and appointing or reappointing the city manager. The mayor is the traditional public figurehead of the city, while the city manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations within the city government.

City Departments[edit]

  • City Hall
  • Police Department
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Volunteer Fire Department
  • Public Works (Water, Waste Water, Street, Meter)
  • Municipal Court
  • Code Enforcement
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Library


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Burkburnett has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[7]


External links[edit]