Sapulpa, Oklahoma

Coordinates: 36°0′13″N 96°6′17″W / 36.00361°N 96.10472°W / 36.00361; -96.10472
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Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Creek County Courthouse, 2014
Creek County Courthouse, 2014
"Oklahoma's Most Connected City"
Location within Creek County and Oklahoma
Location within Creek County and Oklahoma
Sapulpa, Oklahoma is located in the United States
Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 36°0′13″N 96°6′17″W / 36.00361°N 96.10472°W / 36.00361; -96.10472
CountryUnited States
CountiesCreek, Tulsa[1]
 • Total24.27 sq mi (62.87 km2)
 • Land23.50 sq mi (60.86 km2)
 • Water0.78 sq mi (2.01 km2)
Elevation719 ft (219 m)
 • Total21,929
 • Density933.19/sq mi (360.31/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)539/918
FIPS code40-65400[4]
GNIS feature ID1097835[3]

Sapulpa is a city in Creek and Tulsa counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 20,544 at the 2010 United States census, compared to 19,166 at the 2000 census. The population as of 2022 is 22,205.[5] As of 2019, the estimated population was 21,278.[6] It is the county seat of Creek County.[7]


Downtown Sapulpa in 2011

Early history[edit]

The town was named after the area's first permanent settler, a full-blood Lower Creek Indian named Sapulpa, from the Kasihta or Cusseta band, from Osocheetown in Alabama.[8] About 1850, he established a trading post near the meeting of Polecat and Rock creeks (about one mile (1.6 km) southeast of downtown Sapulpa).

When the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (which became the Frisco) built a spur to this area in 1886, it was known as Sapulpa Station. The Sapulpa post office was chartered July 1, 1889 and the town was incorporated March 31, 1898.[9][10]

Controversy over Creek County seat location[edit]

After Oklahoma became a state, each county held an election to determine the location of the county seat. Sapulpa competed with Bristow to be the county seat of Creek County. After five years of contested elections and court suits, the issue was settled by the Oklahoma Supreme Court on August 1, 1913. Sapulpa was ruled the winner. The county courthouse was completed in 1914, replacing an earlier structure built in 1902.[8]

Economic development[edit]

When Sapulpa was founded, the main crop of the area was walnuts. In 1898, the Sapulpa Pressed Brick was established, followed in a few years by the Sapulpa Brick Company. This began the clay products industry. Sapulpa is still the home of Frankoma Pottery.[11]

The founding of Premium Glass Company in 1912 marked Sapulpa's entry to glass manufacturing. Premium Glass was acquired by Liberty Glass Company in 1918. The plant, after many changes to the facilities and in ownership, as of 2019 makes beer bottles under the Ardagh Group.[12][13][14]

Other glass factories in the city included the Bartlett-Collins Glass Company, originally opened in 1914, which was closed by subsequent owner Anchor Hocking in 2008.[15] The Schram Glass Company, which opened a jar and jar cap plant in 1914, was closed by the Ball Brothers in 1931.[16] The Sunflower Glass Plant, which produced window glass, began operations in 1913 and, after being leased to Victory Window Glass Co. in 1924, ceased operations in 1932.[17]

According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History, Sapulpa was known as "The Crystal City of the Southwest".[18]

Rail transportation[edit]

In 1889, the Frisco opened the route between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, passing through Sapulpa.[19] The Frisco built a railyard in Sapulpa and by 1900 designated Sapulpa as an overhaul base for its rolling stock.[8] Also in 1900, construction of the line from Sapulpa to Denison, Texas was started and rushed to completion by March 1901.[19] With changes in ownership over the years, the portion of the old Frisco line between Sapulpa and Del City, Oklahoma, near Oklahoma City ended up being owned by the State of Oklahoma.[20]

In 1998, the line was leased to Stillwater Central Railroad, and in 2014 was sold to them.[20] The sale contract required initiating a six-month trial of daily passenger service before August 2019—known as the Eastern Flyer—with a financial penalty of $2.8 million for failure to meet the deadline.[21]

On August 5, 2019, with no passenger service in place, the Stillwater Central defaulted on the contract and paid the penalty.[22]

Sapulpa in its early days was on the route of the Sapulpa & Interurban Railway (“S&I”) streetcar/interurban line connecting to Tulsa in one direction, and Kiefer, Glenpool, and Mounds in the other. S&I subsequently underwent a series of mergers and name changes, with only the Tulsa-to-Sapulpa portion continuing as the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway.[23][24]

Route 66[edit]

Sapulpa is on old U.S. Route 66, now SH-66 and Historic Route 66 (a/k/a the West Ozark Trail) through town.[25] Route 66 sites include the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum, which opened in August 2016 in an armory built in 1948. It features the world's tallest replica antique visible gas pump, at 66 feet,[26] or 74 feet including the circular sign on top.[27] Still standing is the Rock Creek Bridge, a/k/a the historic Bridge #18 at Rock Creek,[28] a 1921 metal bridge that became a link in the original Route 66 in 1926.[29]


Sapulpa is located in the northeast corner of Creek County at 36°0′13″N 96°6′17″W / 36.00361°N 96.10472°W / 36.00361; -96.10472 (36.003536, -96.104822).[30] A small portion of the city that extends north into Tulsa County was annexed into Sapulpa in 2004. Downtown Tulsa is 14 miles (23 km) to the northeast via Interstate 44. The Creek Turnpike (State Highway 364) branches east from I-44 in northeastern Sapulpa and provides a southern and eastern bypass of Tulsa.

In January 2018, the Sapulpa City Council voted to approve the annexation of approximately 300 acres of land in West Tulsa. The land is bordered to the north by 51st Street, to the south by Southwest Blvd, and to the west by 65th West Avenue. Originally, this annexation included the future site of the interchange of the Gilcrease Expressway and I-44. However, the city has now planned to de-annex this area back to the city of Tulsa.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Sapulpa has a total area of 25.1 square miles (65.1 km2), of which 24.3 square miles (63.0 km2) is land and 0.81 square miles (2.1 km2), or 3.21%, is water.[31]


Historical population

As of the 2010 census, there were 20,544 people, 8,015 households, and 5,497 families residing in the city. The population density was 844.3 people per square mile. There were 8,903 housing units at an average density of 435.4 per square mile (168.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.5% White, 3.0% African American, 10.9% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.5% from other races, and 6.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.[34]

There were 7,430 households, out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.1% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,372 and the median income for a family was $52,639. Males had a median income of $30,524 versus $21,609 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,275. About 11.5% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 17.4% of those age 65 or over.[35]

Culture and education[edit]

Sapulpa has an organization known as Sapulpa Main Street, one of the various national Main Street programs, the purpose of which is to preserve and enhance the cultural heritage of the town, and to improve its quality of life, by revitalizing the Central Business District as the center of the Community.[36]

In 2013, the Sapulpa Creek Community Center graduated a class of 14 from its Muscogee Creek language class.[37]

Historical sites[edit]

The following are NRHP-listed sites in Okmulgee:

  • Berryhill Building (14-20 E. Dewey)
  • Bridge No. 18 at Rock Creek (the junction of old US Route 66 and Rock Creek)
  • Creek County Courthouse (222 E. Dewey Ave.)
  • John Frank House (1300 Luker Ln.)
  • McClung House (708 S. Main St.)
  • Sapulpa Downtown Historic District (roughly bounded by Hobson Ave, Elm St., Lee Ave, & Main St)
  • West Sapulpa Route 66 Roadbed (junction of Ozark Trail of State 66 .25 miles west of Sahoma Lake Rd)

Parks and recreation[edit]

The Sapulpa Parks and Recreation System includes twenty-one parks and recreation facilities, including 501 land acres. Sixteen sites are considered developed and open to the public, while five are not yet developed. Kelly Lane Park Trail, Liberty Park Trail, Davis Park Trail, Hollier Park Trail, and Pretty Water Lake Trail offer one-quarter-mile to one-mile walking experiences.[38]

Among other facilities is Pretty Water Lake, spring-fed and 25-acres large, open for fishing and stocked with trout and channel catfish/panfish.[39]

Sahoma Lake covers 277 acres,[40] and fishing opportunities there include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, perch, blue gill, and redear perch.[41]

In August 2021 a new $600,000 playground was opened at Liberty Park called the "Everyday Heroes" inclusive playground.[42] The playground has specific areas designed for 2 to 5 year olds, 5 to 12 year olds, and adults.[42]

Newspaper controversy[edit]

The Sapulpa Daily Herald gained national media attention in early November 2008 for not reporting the election of Barack Obama as president, reporting only that John McCain had won among the voters of Creek County.[citation needed]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Zoning Index" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 17, 2009.
  2. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sapulpa, Oklahoma
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "MuniNet Guide: Sapulpa, Oklahoma". Archived from the original on 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  8. ^ a b c "Sand Springs | The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture".
  9. ^ Sapulpa Historical Society. "Area History."
  10. ^ "City of Sapulpa, "Connect to Sapulpa's Heritage."". Archived from the original on September 6, 2011.
  11. ^ "Welcome to the Frankoma Pottery Company". Frankoma Pottery. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  12. ^ Phil Mulkins (January 7, 2014). "Sapulpa glass plant makes millions of beer bottles". Tulsa World. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  13. ^ "Ardagh Group signs definitive Share Purchase Agreement to acquire Verallia North America". Ardagh Group. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  14. ^ "Locations". Ardagh Group. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  15. ^ "Sapulpa glass plant to be shut down". David Schulte, Tulsa World, February 1, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  16. ^ "The Schram Companies" (PDF). Society for Historical Archaeology Inc. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  17. ^ "The History of Sapulpa OK" (PDF). Sapulpa Historical Society, Inc. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
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  19. ^ a b "A Condensed History of the Frisco Railroad". Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Sooner Sub railroad sale finalized". Curtis Killman, Tulsa World, August 5, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  21. ^ "Passenger rail between Tulsa and OKC? Company seeks another Eastern Flyer operator". Kyle Hinchey, Tulsa World, June 22, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  22. ^ "OKC-to-Tulsa passenger rail service falls through". Randy Ellis, Tulsa World, August 6, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  23. ^ "Tulsa streetcar and interurban lines in Google Maps". Michael Bates. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  24. ^ "Tulsa Sapulpa Union Railway". Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  25. ^ "Sapulpa, Oklahoma". Google Maps. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  26. ^ John Klein, “Site Worth Seeing,” Tulsa World, August 21, 2018.
  27. ^ "How Sapulpa got bypassed once before and doesn't plan to let it happen again". Michael Overall, Tulsa World, August 23, 2021. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
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  36. ^ "Home". Sapulpa Main Street. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  37. ^ Brock, John (2013-08-17). "Creek language class graduates 14". Sapulpa Herald Online. Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Archived from the original on 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  38. ^ "Sapulpa Parks". City of Sapulpa. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  39. ^ "Pretty Water Lake". City of Sapulpa. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  40. ^ The 1947 specifications for Sahoma put the area of the lake at 344 acres at the normal pool elevation of 716’, with a cumulative volume of 4,850 acre-feet of water. However, the 2011 hydrographic survey by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board put the lake’s area at 277 acres, with a cumulative volume of 2,543 acre-feet of water. The Board cautioned that at least some of the difference in the numbers might be due to differing measurement methods, rather than simple sedimentation."Hydrographic Survey of Sahoma Lake, Final Report, October 31, 2011, pages 10-11" (PDF). Oklahoma Water Resources Board. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  41. ^ "Sahoma Lake". City of Sapulpa. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  42. ^ a b "City of Sapulpa to open all-new inclusive playground". Ashley Ellis, KTUL-TV, August 25, 2021. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  43. ^ "Dan Douglas' Biography". Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  44. ^ "Encyclopedia Of Country, Western, & Gospel Music P0305".
  45. ^ Paul Lindemeyer, "Joe Haymes: Lost Motion." IAJRC Journal, summer, 1993.
  46. ^ "Progress Report: My Brightest Diamond". October 19, 2011.

External links[edit]