Muskogee County, Oklahoma

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Muskogee County, Oklahoma
Muskogee County Courthouse.JPG
Muskogee County Courthouse in September 2015
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Muskogee 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 Muskogee
Largest city Muskogee
Area
 • Total 840 sq mi (2,176 km2)
 • Land 810 sq mi (2,098 km2)
 • Water 29 sq mi (75 km2), 3.5%
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 70,303
 • Density 88/sq mi (34/km²)
Congressional district 2nd

Muskogee County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 70,990.[1] The county seat is Muskogee.[2] The county and city were named for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.[3] The official spelling of the name was changed to Muskogee by the post office in 1900.

Muskogee County is part of the Muskogee, OK Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Tulsa-Muskogee-Bartlesville Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

According to archaeological studies, prehistoric people lived in this area as long ago as the Paleo-Indian period (before 6,000 B. C.). However, archaeologists have made more extensive studies of those people known as the Mound Builders who lived here during the Caddoan Stage (A.D. 300 – 1200).[3]

One of the first Europeans to come to this area was Jean Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe. He was a French explorer and trader who discovered a Wichita village in 1719. By the end of the 18th century the Wichita had been driven away by the more warlike Osage, who used this as their hunting ground. Auguste Pierre Chouteau and other fur traders had established a settlement at the Three Forks. Early in the 19th Century, Cherokee and Choctaw hunting parties made incursions that caused frequent conflict with the Osage. In 1824, the U.S. Army established Fort Gibson on the Grand River to dampen the conflict. The town of Fort Gibson that grew up just outside the fort claims to be the oldest town in Oklahoma.[3]

At the start of the U. S. Civil War, Confederate troops of the Cherokee and Creek Home Guards built Fort Davis, across the Arkansas River from Fort Gibson. Federal troops attacked and destroyed Fort Davis in 1862, driving the Confederates from this area, although a few skirmishes occurred later in the war at Bayou Menard Skirmish (1862), several at Webbers Falls (1862), and the Creek Agency Skirmish (1863).[3]

The county was formed at statehood with land from the Muskogee District of the Creek Nation and the Canadian and Illinois Districts of the Cherokee Nation.[3] A post office named Muscogee had been established January 17, 1872. The official spelling of the name was changed to Muskogee on July 19, 1900.[4]

After the Civil War, the Five Civilized Tribes, which included the Creeks, agreed to new treaties with the federal government. Among other provisions, they ceded their western lands back to the government and allowed rights of way to railroads. The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway (also called MKT or Katy) built a line into Indian Territory, near the Three Forks. Although railroad officials intended to build a depot at the site of Fort Davis, the terrain proved unsuitable, so they relocated the depot, which they named Muscogee, farther south. They also began the town of Oktaha 11 miles (18 km) farther south, in the same year.[3]

Other railroads followed, such as the Kansas and Arkansas Valley Railway (1888, later the Missouri Pacific Railway), the Midland Valley Railroad (1904–05), the Ozark and Cherokee Central Railway (1901–03, sold to the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, Frisco), the Shawnee, Oklahoma and Missouri Coal and Railway (1902–03, sold to the Frisco), the Muskogee Union Railway (1903–04, sold to the Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway [MOG]), and the MOG (1903–05, which became the Texas and Pacific Railroad).[3]

In 1874, the federal government consolidated all of the Five Civilized Tribes agencies into one Union Agency, located just west of Muscogee. In 1889, a federal district court was created in Muscogee. In 1894, the Dawes Commission also established its headquarters there.[3]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 840 square miles (2,200 km2), of which 810 square miles (2,100 km2) is land and 29 square miles (75 km2) (3.5%) is water.[5]

The western part of the county is prairie grassland, while the eastern part rises into the Cookson Hills, on the western edge of the Ozark Mountains. The Arkansas, Verdigris and Grand rivers all converge in the county, causing that area to be called "Three Forks."[3] Webbers Falls Lake on the Arkansas River covers part of the county.[3]

The Arkansas River in Muskogee County. The Webbers Falls Lock and Dam on the river are part of the navigation system on the river, maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Government[edit]

The county seat of the County is Muskogee, Oklahoma. All elected officials and county services are headquartered there.

Office Current Officer Since Party
County Commissioner - District 1 Ken Doke 2014 Republican
County Commissioner - District 2 Stephen Wright 2009 Democratic
County Commissioner - District 3 Kenny Payne 2014 Democratic
County Sheriff Charles Pearson 2001 Democratic
County Clerk Dianna Cope 2012 Democratic
County Treasurer Kelly Garrett 2011 Democratic
County Assessor Dan Ashwood Democratic
District Attorney Orvil Loge 2014 Democratic
District Court Clerk Paula Sexton 2002 Democratic

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 52,743
1920 61,710 17.0%
1930 66,424 7.6%
1940 65,914 −0.8%
1950 65,573 −0.5%
1960 61,866 −5.7%
1970 59,542 −3.8%
1980 66,939 12.4%
1990 68,078 1.7%
2000 69,451 2.0%
2010 70,990 2.2%
Est. 2016 69,477 [6] −2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 70,990 people residing in the county. 59.8% were White, 17.5% Native American, 11.3% Black or African American, 0.6% Asian, 2.6% of some other race and 8.2% of two or more races. 5.2% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 16.7% were of American, 8.2% German and 7.3% Irish ancestry.[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 69,451 people, 26,458 households, and 18,467 families residing in the county. The population density was 33/km² (85/mi²). There were 29,575 housing units at an average density of 14/km² (36/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 63.73% White, 13.16% Black or African American, 14.88% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.19% other races, and 6.43% from two or more races. 2.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 26,458 households, of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.80% were married couples living together, 13.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.20% were non-families. 26.70% of all households were made up of individuals; 12.30% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51, and the average family size was 3.03.

The age distribution of the population was 25.90% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.30% 65 or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.90 males.

The median income of households in the county was $28,438, and the median income per family was $34,793. Males had a median income of $28,670 versus $20,457 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,828. About 14.10% of families and 17.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.00% of those under age 18 and 14.70% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of January 15, 2017[13]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Democratic 21,739 55.90%
Republican 11,734 30.17%
Unaffiliated 5,417 13.93%
Total 38,890 100%