Coal County, Oklahoma

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Coal County, Oklahoma
Coalgate, Oklahoma park P 248.jpg
Park in Coalgate
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Coal County
Location in the U.S. state of Oklahoma
Map of the United States highlighting Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location in the U.S.
Founded 1907
Seat Coalgate
Largest city Coalgate
Area
 • Total 521 sq mi (1,349 km2)
 • Land 517 sq mi (1,339 km2)
 • Water 4.7 sq mi (12 km2), 0.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 5,651
 • Density 11/sq mi (4/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Coal County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,925.[1] Its county seat is Coalgate.[2]

History[edit]

Coal County was formed at statehood from the former Shappaway County (later renamed Atoka County) of the Pushmataha District of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory. A 3.5 miles (5.6 km) strip of Coal County was taken from the Pontotoc District of the Chickasaw Nation. Initially, the Oklahoma legislature named Lehigh as the county seat, but a special election held in 1908 resulted in the citizens choosing Coalgate as the county seat. Lehigh tried to sue, because more people voted than were registered, but no court would hear the case.[3]

Mining became a mainstay of the county's economy during the 1870s. The first coal mine opened on Chief Allen Wright's land. The industry activity peaked between 1910 and 1916, but declined sharply after World War I. Many of the mines closed by 1921, due to the refusal of mining companies of the area to unionize. Some mines reopened during World War II, but these closed by 1958, because of the rising cost of refining sulfur out of the coal mined.[3]

Agriculture replaced mining as the main economic activity of the county. Even this business encountered severe difficulty in 1921-3, when a boll weevil infestation wiped out the cotton crop. All five banks in the county failed as a result.[4]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 521 square miles (1,350 km2), of which 517 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 4.7 square miles (12 km2) (0.9%) is water.[5] It is the fifth-smallest county in Oklahoma by area. The eastern part of the county lies in the Ouachita Mountains, while the western part has open prairie and lies in the Sandstone Hills physiographic region. The county is drained by the Clear Boggy and Muddy Boggy creeks.[3]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 15,817
1920 18,406 16.4%
1930 11,521 −37.4%
1940 12,811 11.2%
1950 8,056 −37.1%
1960 5,546 −31.2%
1970 5,525 −0.4%
1980 6,041 9.3%
1990 5,780 −4.3%
2000 6,031 4.3%
2010 5,925 −1.8%
Est. 2016 5,651 [6] −4.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]
Age pyramid for Coal County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data.
Map of Coal County, 1909

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,295 people, 2,350 households, and 1,604 families residing in the county.[11] There were 2,810 housing units.[11] The racial makeup of the county was 74.3% White, 0.5% Black or African American, 16.7% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 7.8% from two or more races.[11] 2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[11]

There were 2,350 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families.[11] 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.[11] The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.06.[11]

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 21.7% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older.[12] The median age was 41.0 years.[12] For every 100 females there were 97.7 males.[12] For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.[12]

According to the 2013 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the county was $34,867, and the median income for a family was $44,888.[13] Male full-time, year round workers had a median income of $36,442 compared to $26,450 for female full-time, year round workers.[13] The per capita income for the county was $19,752.[13] About 15.8% of families and 21.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.9% of those under age 18 and 15.7% of those age 65 or over.[13]

According to the 2000 census, 94.6% spoke English, 3.0% Spanish, 1.1% German and 1.1% Choctaw as their first language.

Politics[edit]

Coal County is in many respects typical of Oklahoma politics: once mainly Democratic, it has become extremely strongly Republican in presidential elections, although even today most voters identify as Democrats. Coal County was not won at the presidential level by a Republican until Richard Nixon did so in 1972.[14] Apart from the 2000 election Republicans have never won Coal County without cleansweeping all seventy-seven counties in the state (as they did against George McGovern and in every election since 2004). In two national Republican landslides Coal County has seen extremely narrow Democratic victories: James M. Cox won the county by twenty-four votes in 1920 and Walter Mondale by twenty-five votes in 1984.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of January 15, 2017[15]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Democratic 2,844 73.28%
Republican 703 18.11%
Unaffiliated 334 8.60%
Total 3,881 100%
Presidential Elections Results[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 79.1% 1,898 17.1% 411 3.8% 90
2012 72.5% 1,710 27.5% 649
2008 73.6% 1,672 26.4% 600
2004 53.7% 1,396 46.3% 1,203
2000 50.6% 1,196 48.6% 1,148 0.8% 18
1996 32.3% 734 52.9% 1,205 14.8% 337
1992 25.5% 714 51.7% 1,448 22.8% 638
1988 39.3% 891 60.1% 1,365 0.6% 14
1984 49.1% 1,259 50.1% 1,284 0.8% 21
1980 38.1% 926 59.3% 1,442 2.6% 63
1976 30.0% 769 69.1% 1,774 0.9% 23
1972 67.1% 1,461 31.2% 680 1.7% 38
1968 29.6% 669 42.7% 963 27.7% 625
1964 30.9% 721 69.1% 1,613
1960 44.5% 1,019 55.5% 1,269
1956 36.6% 920 63.4% 1,596
1952 38.7% 1,106 61.3% 1,755
1948 17.9% 464 82.1% 2,124
1944 27.9% 760 71.9% 1,959 0.2% 5
1940 32.5% 1,148 67.2% 2,377 0.3% 10
1936 19.1% 603 80.7% 2,550 0.2% 7
1932 9.7% 300 90.3% 2,788
1928 42.8% 1,283 56.1% 1,681 1.1% 32
1924 25.2% 800 55.7% 1,772 19.1% 607
1920 43.6% 1,744 44.2% 1,768 12.1% 485
1916 29.1% 824 50.1% 1,418 20.8% 588
1912 25.3% 571 49.2% 1,109 25.5% 574

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

NRHP sites[edit]

The following sites in Coal County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b c Milligan, James C. "Coal County," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, 2009. Accessed March 28, 2015.
  4. ^ "Focus on Coal County." Archived 2010-10-12 at the Wayback Machine. Oklahoma Ad Valorem Forum. Oklahoma Tax Commission. March 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g United States Census Bureau. "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 - 2010 Demographic Profile Data - Coal County, Oklahoma," American Fact Finder, Accessed July 5, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d United States Census Bureau. "QT-P1 Age Groups and Sex: 2010 2010 Census Summary File 1 - Coal County, Oklahoma," American Fact Finder, Accessed July 5, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d United States Census Bureau. "DP03 Selected Economic Characteristics: 2009-2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates - Coal County, Oklahoma," American Fact Finder, Accessed July 5, 2015.
  14. ^ Mendedez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004; pp. 281-283 ISBN 0786422173
  15. ^ https://www.ok.gov/elections/documents/20170115%20-%20Registration%20By%20County%20%28vr2420%29.pdf
  16. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°36′N 96°18′W / 34.60°N 96.30°W / 34.60; -96.30