Downtown Stillwater (2009)
|Nickname(s): Cowboy Country, Stilly|
|Motto: "Where Oklahoma Began!", "Home of Red Dirt Music"|
Location within Payne County and Oklahoma
|Incorporated||December 12, 1884|
|• Mayor||Gina Noble|
|• City Manager||Dan Galloway|
|• Total||28.3 sq mi (73.3 km2)|
|• Land||27.9 sq mi (72.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.5 sq mi (1.2 km2)|
|Elevation||984 ft (300 m)|
|• Density||1,600/sq mi (620/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|FIPS code||40-70300 |
|GNIS feature ID||1098541 |
Stillwater (Pawnee: Kiicawiʾuusiʾit, Kstiíriwara) is a city in north central Oklahoma at the intersection of US-177 and State Highway 51. It is the county seat of Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. As of 2012, the city population was estimated to be 46,560, making it the tenth largest city in Oklahoma. Stillwater is the principal city of the Stillwater Micropolitan Statistical Area which had a population of 78,399 according to the 2012 census estimate. Stillwater was part of the first Oklahoma Land Run held April 22, 1889, when the Unassigned Lands were opened for settlement and became the core of the new Oklahoma Territory. The city charter was adopted on August 24 later that year. Stillwater is home to Oklahoma State University, a branch of Northern Oklahoma College, Meridian Technology Center, and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
Stillwater has a diverse economy with a foundation in aerospace, agribusiness, biotechnology, optoelectronics, printing and publishing, and software and standard manufacturing. The city operates under a council-mayor government system. The city's largest employer is Oklahoma State University. It was one of the 100 top places to live in 2010, according to CNN Money Magazine.
- 1 History
- 2 Government
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Education
- 7 Arts and culture
- 8 Media
- 9 Sports
- 10 Parks and outdoor attractions
- 11 Infrastructure
- 12 Notable people
- 13 Awards and recognition
- 14 Sister cities
- 15 References
- 16 External links
The north-central region of Oklahoma became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In 1832, author and traveler Washington Irving provided the first recorded description of the area around Stillwater in his book A Tour on the Prairies. He wrote of “a glorious prairie spreading out beneath the golden beams of an autumnal sun. The deep and frequent traces of buffalo, showed it to be a one of their favorite grazing grounds.”
According to one legend, local Native American tribes — Ponca, Kiowa, Osage, Pawnee — called the creek “Still Water” because the water was always still. A second legend states that cattlemen driving herds from Texas to railways back east always found water "still there". A third legend holds that David L. Payne walked up to Stillwater Creek and said, “This town should be named Still Water”. Members of the board thought he was crazy, but the name stuck.
Stillwater Creek received its official name in 1884 when William L. Couch established his “boomer colony” on its banks. While the creek itself was tranquil, the next few years saw turmoil as pioneers sought free, fertile land and soldiers held them off while complicated legal issues and land titles with Creek and Seminole tribes were hashed out. On April 22, 1889, the cannons fired signaling the first Land Run that opened up the Unassigned Lands of the Oklahoma Territory, which included Stillwater. By the end of the day, 240 acres (0.97 km2) had been claimed and designated as Stillwater township and a tent city with a population numbering 300 had sprung up on the prairie. The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture simply says that the name officiallybecame Stillwater only when the post office opened on May 28, 1889.
On Christmas Eve, 1890, the legislature of Oklahoma Territory passed a bill certifying Stillwater as the land grant college site. In 1894, Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College held a dedication of its first brick building, Assembly Building, later known as Old Central. Between 1889 and statehood, Stillwater grew. By statehood in 1907, downtown Stillwater was home to more than 50 buildings including several banks, churches, grocery stores, hotels, and department stores.
The first newspaper was the Stillwater Gazette; telephone and gas service arrived in 1899; and the Eastern Oklahoma Railroad arrived in 1900.
The population in 1917 was 3,000 and by World War II it had grown to more than 10,000. During the war, town leaders’ aim was to convert Oklahoma A&M into a war training center. They succeeded in creating 12 training units that involved bringing nearly 40,000 service men and women to Stillwater. The WAVES (Women's Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) was the largest with 10,000 participants. Quonset huts were dotted across town and barracks occupied the site where Stillwater Medical Center and the CareerTech headquarters are now. This vast operation tided the city through the war and served as a base for a healthy economy in the postwar period.
In 1952, the Industrial Foundation was established and its trustees worked to bring new industry to town: Moore Plant in 1966, Mercury Marine in 1973, National Standard plant in 1988, World Color Press in 1974 and Armstrong World Industries, Inc. in 1988. The census of 2000, the population was 39,065; however, the population was adjusted to 46,156 in 2009.
The City of Stillwater operates under a council-manager government system, in which an elected city council is responsible for making policy, passing ordinances and approving the city’s budget. The council appoints a city manager who implements the policies adopted by the council.
The city council meets the first and third Monday of the month in the Council Room at the Stillwater Municipal Building, 723 S. Lewis.
Stillwater does not have city council districts; instead, it has general elections every year. The mayor and councilors are elected to three-year terms with at least one of the five seats up for election in April every year. The mayor and council member cannot serve more than two successive terms. The vice mayor is elected by the council members and acts as mayor during mayor's absence.
The City of Stillwater employs approximately 500 people. The city encourages resident participation on the boards and committees, applications are accepted year around. Commissions and authorities oversee city policies and services.
Stillwater’s 2009 crime rate for serious crimes (UCR Part 1) was 3657 per 100,000 residents compared to the 2009 national crime rate of 3466 per crimes per 100,000 residents (FBI 2009 Crime in the United States). In 2009, Stillwater reported: 22 rapes, 15 robberies, 519 assaults, 308 burglaries, and 1,185 larcenies.
Stillwater is located in districts 33 and 34 of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives and is represented by Republican Lee Denney in the 33rd district and Democrat Cory Williams in the 34th district. In the Oklahoma State Senate, Stillwater is in the 21st district and is represented by Republican James Halligan.
In the United States House of Representatives, Stillwater is represented by Republican Frank Lucas, of the third district in Oklahoma. In the U.S. Senate, Stillwater is represented by Republicans James Lankford and James Inhofe.
Stillwater is located 60 miles (97 km) north-northeast of downtown Oklahoma City by road. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.3 square miles (73.3 km²), of which, 27.9 square miles (72.1 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (1.62%) is water.
Stillwater has a humid subtropical climate, and is located in the area popularly known as "Tornado Alley". Tornado watches and warnings are frequent, with sirens sounding to warn townsfolk to hurry to shelters when necessary. Summers are sunny, hot, and humid, with the temperature reaching or exceeding 100 (38 °C) ten times annually on average. Winters are generally sunny, mild, and dry, with an average January high temperature of 47 °F and an average annual snowfall of 7.5 inches (19.1 cm).
|Climate data for Stillwater, Oklahoma|
|Record high °F (°C)||81
|Average high °F (°C)||47.1
|Average low °F (°C)||21.9
|Record low °F (°C)||−12
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.30
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||3.1
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||4.5||4.6||6.9||7.3||9.1||8.1||5.6||6.3||7.1||6.1||5.5||4.6||75.7|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||1.3||1.0||0.3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.2||1.0||3.8|
|Source: NOAA The Weather Channel (extreme temperatures)|
As of the census of 2010, there were 45,688 people, 17,941 households, and 7,920 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,547 people per square mile (541.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.50% White, 4.71% African American, 3.93% Native American, 5.56% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.19% from other races, and 5.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.26% of the population.
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,604 households out of which 20.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.1% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 53.1% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the city the population was spread out with 15.2% under the age of 18, 38.2% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 13.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 102.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,432, and the median income for a family was $41,938. Males had a median income of $31,623 versus $22,312 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,789. About 12.6% of families and 27.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.2% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.
Stillwater is home to a diverse mix of business and industry, from manufacturing to advanced technology. Among its export industries are printing and publishing, floor covering, wire products, software, food and kindred products, and research. Stillwater has the following economic clusters: aerospace, agribusiness, biotechnology, optoelectronics, printing and publishing, software and standard manufacturing.
Oklahoma State University plays a significant part of Stillwater's overall economy with more than 20,000 students, 5,500 personnel and a focus on research and technology.
According to the Chamber of Commerce webpage, "The Economy," top employers in Stillwater are as follows:
|Oklahoma State University||6069|
|Stillwater Medical Center||1200|
|Stillwater Public Schools||822|
|City of Stillwater||520|
|Stillwater National Bank||300|
|Oklahoma Career Technology||280|
|Ocean Dental Headquarters||175|
Stillwater has a number of distinct shopping and entrainment areas. Downtown Stillwater is a business improvement district with Main Street as its primary thoroughfare. It is bounded by Duncan Street to the west, Lowry Street to the East, 4th Avenue to the north and it gradually narrows to 15th Avenue to the south.
The Strip on Washington Street features small shops, restaurants and live music. It is adjacent to Oklahoma State University where University Avenue and Washington Street intersect. A few blocks east is Campus Corner on Knoblock Street that features unique shops and restaurants, including the original home to Hideaway Pizza.
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater is listed by the Princeton Review as one of 120 “Best Western Colleges” for 2014, and as one of 75 "Best Value Colleges – Public" for 2013. The university has one of the highest rated veterinarian programs in the United States. It is ranked by U.S. News & World Report No. 73 among "Top Public Schools:National Universities" and No. 142 among all National Universities for 2014.
In 2003, Northern Oklahoma College added a campus in Stillwater. Applicants who do not meet Oklahoma State University admission requirements may attend the NOC-OSU Gateway Program held on the campus.
Stillwater is home to the Meridian Technology Center and also the state agency that oversees career technology schools in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
Stillwater Public Schools is the city's only public school district. There are more than 5,400 students enrolled in the district. The district includes Highland Park, Richmond, Sangre Ridge, Skyline, Westwood and Will Rogers elementary schools; Stillwater High School; Lincoln Academy (Alternative Education); Stillwater Middle School; and Stillwater Junior High
The city is also home to two private schools, both of which offer pre-school, primary and secondary education - Covenant Community School and Sunnybrook Christian School.
Stillwater has been served by the Stillwater Public Library since 1922. In 1990, Stillwater voters passed a $4.98 million bond issue for the construction of a new public library at 1107 S. Duck. The Stillwater Public Library provides a core collections of more than 100,000 volumes and includes books, audio books, music CDs, DVDs, videos magazines and newspapers as well as technological services. The library is active in the community, holding events and programs, including free computer classes, children's storytimes, and scholarly databases with information on a variety of topics.
The Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University houses approximately 3 million volumes, 190,000 government documents, 70,000 electronic and print serials. Stillwater campus branch libraries include the Architecture Library, Curriculum Materials Library, Veterinary Medicine Library, Electronic Publishing Center and the Library Annex. It is a federal depository library.
Arts and culture
Stillwater is known as the home of red dirt music, a mixture of folk, country, blues and rock, and its hometown heroes Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, the Red Dirt Rangers, The Great Divide, No Justice, Jenny Labow, the Jason Savory Band, and the grandfather of red dirt, Bob Childers.
Eskimo Joe's has celebrated its anniversary in July for more than 35 years. It was voted “Best College Post-Game Hangout” by Sporting News, ranked #3 in "The Perfect 10 College Sports Bars" by Sports Illustrated and named in Playboy.com's “Top 10 College Sports Bars.” Joe's shirts have been spotted all around the globe.
Located on The Strip on Washington Street, Willie's Saloon has been a Stillwater tradition since 1974. It is known for being the venue where country music's Garth Brooks began his career after being spotted there by Dallas entertainment attorney, Rod Phelps.
Stillwater hosts several performing arts series, including performances at the City of Stillwater Community Center, the Town and Gown Community Theater and OSU’s Allied Arts held in the Seretean Center on the OSU-Stillwater campus.
Stillwater is served by several voluntary organizations dedicated to providing entertainment and cultural experiences: the Stillwater Community Singers, the Stillwater Community Band and Stillwater Jazz.
Annual festivals and events
Stillwater is home to a number of annual festivals and community events held throughout the year. Residents also benefit from the many events and activities hosted by Oklahoma State University.
Spring kicks off with the Stillwater Public Education Foundation's A Taste of Stillwater, a fundraiser held each March. Other events include the Stillwater Elks BBQ Blaze-a-thon, Tumbleweed Calf Fry and Oklahoma Special Olympics’ Annual Summer Games. For years, Stillwater has played host to the Special Olympics Oklahoma in May when thousands of athletes and hundreds of volunteers gather for three days of competition and Olympic-style ceremonies. This is the largest amateur sporting event in Oklahoma, and the largest Special Olympics event in the U.S. Also held in the spring is the Stillwater Home Builders Association's Home and Garden Show, and the Remember the 10 Run. The Stillwater Arts Festival is now in its third decade. The festival is a two-day juried art show held in April features live, local entertainment, artist demonstrations and children’s activities.
In summer there is the Krazy Daze Shopping Extravaganza and the Payne County Fair. For Independence Day, Stillwater hosts the annual Boomer Blast fireworks show at Boomer Lake Park. The Stillwater Farmers' Market is held April through October on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The fall season begins Collegefest, OSU Student Government Association's Lights on Stillwater, a trade-show style event held on the OSU Library lawn where students learn about local restaurants, shops and services, and the Downtown Stillwater Car Show. The annual Downtown Stillwater Halloween Festival is held the Tuesday before Halloween and includes a costume contest.
Since 1920, Oklahoma State has welcomed alumni to “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration”. Each year more than 70,000 alumni and friends return to campus and participate in a parade. For more than twenty years, the Eskimo Joe's Juke Joint Jog 5K and Fun Run has been held in the fall to benefit the Stillwater Area United Way.
Winter is celebrated with the Festival of Lights, Downtown Christmas Parade and the Madrigal Dinner Concert on the OSU campus.
Points of interest
The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of Stillwater. The museum features exhibits about Stillwater and Payne County, including the first land run that opened Oklahoma Territory for settlement in 1889. The Museum is undergoing a renovation of its exhibit gallery in 2012 to move from the previous design of decades based Permanent exhibits to exhibits focused on significant themes in Stillwater's history. The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History also offers a variety of temporary exhibits and programs that change on an annual basis.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum is also located in Stillwater. It is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the sport, celebrating achievements, and encouraging young athletes in the sport.
The Washington Irving Trail and Museum, located in a rural setting, celebrates the heritage of Payne County. Famed American writer Washington Irving camped nearby in 1832. In 1861 the first battle of the American Civil War in Indian Territory took place northeast of the museum, near Yale, and in 1893 the Doolin-Dalton gang battles U.S. Marshals at nearby Ingalls. In 1925 the Billy McGinty/Otto Gray Cowboy Band, of Ripley, became the first cowboy band in the nation to play over the radio. The museum also features Boomer leader David L. Payne.
The OSU Gardiner Art Gallery is a part of the OSU College of Arts and Sciences Art Department. Exhibits, which are open to the public, vary from student and faculty exhibits to national show.
Oklahoma Botanical Garden and Arboretum covers more than 100 acres (0.40 km2) with thousands of species of flowers, shrubs, grasses and trees. It features specialized gardens like butterfly and organic gardens, turf and nursery research centers and a Centennial Grove. It also has a 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) studio garden where OETA's show "Oklahoma Gardening" is filmed. The facility, located west of Stillwater on State Highway 51, also has a Japanese Tea Ceremony Garden.
The Oklahoma WONDERtorium is a children's museum that provides outreach programs and takes hands-on, play-to-learn encounters and activities to elementary classrooms, preschools and child care centers.
David L. Payne Memorial Monument, located in Boomer Lake Park, honors Captain David L. Payne, known for efforts during the 1880s to open unassigned lands for settlement. In 1995, his body was exhumed and moved from Wellington, Kan., to this site. Payne County, Oklahoma, is named for him.
International Friendship Garden is located at the City of Stillwater Community Center and was built in 1997 by the Kameoka Landscape Gardeners Association to celebrate the program’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration. The gardeners purchased and shipped 22 tons of materials, tools and supplies to Stillwater, and over a two-week period they constructed a traditional Japanese garden. They also built a small tea garden at the Oklahoma Botanical Garden at Oklahoma State University. The International Friendship Garden was dedicated Sunday, July 26, 1998, with a delegation from Kameoka in attendance.
The Stillwater Public Library dedicated a bronze statue of Oklahoma historian/author Angie Debo on November 18, 2010. Created by local artist Phyllis Mantik, the statue depicts a young Debo sitting on a rock with several books by her side. Mantik chose to depict the historian as a young woman to illustrate that at an early age she chose the life of a scholar rather than what was expected of a woman of her time. To highlight Debo's importance to Oklahoma's Native American Tribes, the base of the statue is surrounded by the seals of Oklahoma's 38 federally recognized Native American Tribes.
- James E. Berry House (502 S. Duck St.)
- Campus Fire Station (600 W. University Ave.)
- Citizens Bank Building (107 E. 9th Ave.)
- Cottonwood Community Center (N.W. of Stillwater)
- William Frick House (1016 S. West St.)
- Hoke Building (121 W. 7th Ave.)
- Magruder Plots (Oklahoma State University-Stillwater)
- Murphy House (419 S. Monroe St.)
- Oklahoma A & M College Agronomy Barn and Seed House (2902 W. 6th St. Building #610)
- Old Central (Oklahoma State University-Stillwater)
- Payne County Courthouse (606 S. Husband St.)
- Pleasant Valley School (1901 S. Sangre Rd.)
- Selph Building (119 W. 7th Ave.)
- Santa Fe Depot (400 E. 10th Ave.)
- Walker Building (117 W. 7th Ave.)
Stillwater’s newspaper of record is the NewsPress, owned by the Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. The community is also served by the weekly Stillwater Journal, owned and published by David and Lisa Sasser. The Daily O'Collegian has been published since 1895 as a daily paper by Oklahoma State University and is an affiliate of the College Media Network.
Stillwater is also home to several radio stations, including Stillwater Radio that broadcasts on four stations: KSPI 780 AM, sports/talk; KVRO 101.1 FM, classic rock; KGFY 105.5 FM, country music; and KSPI 93.7 FM, adult contemporary, and the home of OSU and Stillwater High School sports. KOSU 91.7 FM is owned by Oklahoma State University and is a national public radio station (NPR).
White Peacock Publishing publishes Stillwater Living Magazine, a full-color monthly magazine. Stillwater Scene, published by Red Productions, is a monthly print and online magazine that focuses on local entertainment.
Stillwater TV23 is a government-access television station airing on Suddenlink Communications’s channel 23. It broadcasts programming provided by the City of Stillwater, including live and rebroadcasts of Stillwater City Council and Planning Commission meetings.
As a college town, Stillwater is home to the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls. Oklahoma State University teams have won 51 NCAA National Championships. Men's programs include baseball, basketball, football, cross country, golf, wrestling, tennis, and track and field. Women's programs include basketball, cross country, equestrian, soccer, softball, tennis, and track and field.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys wrestling team is a NCAA Division I wrestling program and is one of five Big 12 Conference schools which participate in wrestling. The team has won 34 team national championships (three which are unofficial) and 134 individual NCAA championships.
Stillwater High School is a 6A-2 school. The Pioneers compete in football, volleyball, softball, cross country, cheerleading, pom, wrestling, basketball, swimming, baseball, golf, tennis, and soccer.
Parks and outdoor attractions
The City of Stillwater Parks and Recreation Department manages more than 5,000 acres (20 km2) of parkland, including five ball complexes, ten tennis courts, two disc golf courses, four lakes, one swimming pool, 14 playgrounds, one skate and bmx bike ramp, special services centers, including the Multi Arts Center, Senior Activity Center, Community Center, Armory Gymnasium and Lakeside Golf Course.
Lake McMurtry, owned by the City of Stillwater, offers hiking and mountain-bike trails, back-to-nature camping and well-stocked reserves for fishing. Its convenience store and bait shop are open seasonal hours.
Stillwater is served by a number of paved and unpaved bicycle and walking trails for non-motorized forms of transit. The Kameoka Trail Corridor includes a three-mile (5 km) loop around Boomer Lake and additional disconnected segments throughout the city. The corridor begins north at Park View Estates and runs along West Boomer Creek toward Airport Road and Boomer Lake Park, circles the lake and cuts south to Stillwater High School, crosses McElroy and continues to Hall of Fame between Main and Perkins and crosses through Hoyt Grove Park.
Other multi-use trails include an asphalt trail through Couch Park, a dirt nature trail around Sanborn Lake, bike and pedestrian trails at Lake McMurtry, and a one-mile (1.6 km) gravel screenings loop at the Oklahoma Technology & Research Park.
Several golf courses are located in Stillwater.
- The 18-hole course at the Karsten Creek Golf Club features 7,095 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The course rating is 74.8 and it has a slope rating of 142 on Zoysia grass.
- The 18-hole Template:Lakeside Memorial Golf Course features 6,698 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 70. The course rating is 71.3 and it has a slope rating of 117.
- The 18-hole course at the Stillwater Country Club features 6,471 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 70. The course rating is 71.0 and it has a slope rating of 125.
- The 18-hole course at The Links At Stillwater features 6,258 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71.
Stillwater has two highways running through it: Oklahoma State Highway 51, or 6th Avenue, runs east and west; and US-177, or Perkins Road, runs north and south. The city is also served by a 7.2-mile (11.6 km) spur that connects US-177 to the Cimarron Turnpike.
The city has been served by the Stillwater Regional Airport since 1917. Private jets fly in and out of this airport, however, no commercial airlines fly into this facility as of 2012. The closest commercial airports are in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma, approximately 75–90 minutes from Stillwater.
Public transportation is provided by the OSU/Stillwater Community Transit System. Ten bus routes are operated within the Stillwater's city limits and on the OSU campus.
Stillwater has been a community-owned electric utility since 1907. The electric utility, now part of the Stillwater Utilities Authority, provides electric, water, wastewater and solid waste management services. A portion of the Utility Authority’s revenues help to support the City of Stillwater’s fire and police departments, the parks and recreation system, and other city services. Water in Stillwater is drawn from Kaw Lake and pumped approximately 40 miles (64 km) to the treatment facility.
Stillwater Medical Center is a 119 bed non-profit public trust facility. Services offered by the hospital include emergency, wound care, labor and delivery, surgery, radiology, rehabilitation, cancer care, and wellness. Like many medical facilities in Stillwater, a high portion of physicians at SMC are not M.D.'s. Rather, they are doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.'s).
The community is also served by the Stillwater Surgery Center, an outpatient surgery center, and the Stillwater Cancer Center, a physician-owned cancer treatment center. Residents who seek the full services of a teaching hospital must travel to the OU Medical Center, about 70–80 minutes to the south.
- Xavier Adibi, American professional football player.
- Burr DeBenning (1936 - 2003), actor (A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Matlock, Magnum, P.I., Rockford Files, Columbo).
- Angie Debo (1890-1988), American historian of Native American and Oklahoma history.
- Robert DoQui (1934 - 1998), actor (Coffy, RoboCop).
- Julian Ewell (1915 -2009), Lieutenant General, United States Army
- Chester Gould (1900 - 1985), Nationally-known American cartoonist.
- Jadin Gould, actress (Man of Steel).
- Matt Holliday, professional baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals).
- Howard Keys, professional football player and NFL coach (Philadelphia Eagles) and (Cleveland Browns).
- James Marsden, actor (X-Men, The Notebook, Hairspray).
- Sharron Miller, television and film director, producer, writer
- Ai Ogawa (1947 - 2010), birth name Florence Anthony, poet and educator.
- Alternative-rock band The All American Rejects originated from Stillwater.
Awards and recognition
- Stillwater ranked as one of the top 100 best places to live in the U.S. (small to mid-sized cities) on Livability's 2016 list.
- In 2015, TIME Inc./Money Magazine named Stillwater as one of the top 25 places to retire in the United States
- In 2014, USA Today recognized Stillwater's annual Halloween Festival as one of the 10 Best Halloween Costume Parties. 
- Movoto named Stillwater as one of the 10 happiest small places in America in 2014. 
- Movoto Real Estate recognized Stillwater as the most exciting place in Oklahoma in 2014.
- In 2014, the USA Today recognized Stillwater one of nine cities with the fastest growing income between 2010-2012. Stillwater's income grew more than 17 percent during that time.
- In 2013, Lumosity completed a study that found Stillwater was the No. 25 smartest city in the United States with a score of 102.59.
- In 2010, Stillwater was named the "6th Fastest Growing Small Town in America" by Forbes.com. Stillwater saw a growth of 8% from 2006 to 2009 as the population of Stillwater and surrounding community rose from 73,818 to 79,727. Stillwater proper remains a jurisdiction of less than 50,000.
- CNN/Money Magazine rated Stillwater, OK, #67 on its top 100 places to live list for 2010.
- Stillwater is a member of Tree City USA.
Stillwater has been sister city to Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, since 1985. The State of Oklahoma and Kyoto Prefecture signed a sister state agreement in 1985 through the auspices of the governor’s office. Kameoka requested a sister city in Oklahoma that was about one hour from the capital, agriculturally based, and home to a university. Stillwater was a perfect match. In 1985, the first delegation from Kameoka visited Stillwater, and in November of that same year a Stillwater delegation went to Kameoka. There, Mayors Calvin J. Anthony and Yoshihisa Taniguchi signed the Sister City Affiliation Agreement that officially established the sister cities relationship the two cities.
Since 1989, the Stillwater Middle School and Taisei Junior High School in Kameoka have participated in a sister school relationship, which features an active teacher-student exchange program.
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