Location of Wilburton, Oklahoma
|• Mayor||Stephen Brinlee|
|• Total||3.0 sq mi (7.7 km2)|
|• Land||3.0 sq mi (7.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||659 ft (201 m)|
|• Density||950/sq mi (370/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1099754|
Wilburton is a city in Latimer County, Oklahoma, United States. It is the county seat of Latimer County. The city had a population of 2,843 at the 2010 census, a decline of 4.3 percent from 2,972 in 2000. Robbers Cave State Park is 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Wilburton.
The community now known as Wilburton was originally established in 1890 as a stop for the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach. According to the Oklahoma Encyclopedia of History and Culture, it was likely named for Will Burton, a contractor and surveyor who was involved in platting the townsite and building the Choctaw Coal and Railway Company line from Wister to McAlester. According to Oklahoma Place Names, it was named after Elisha Wilbur, who was the president of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The post office was established in 1891.
A tornado struck Wilburton on May 5, 1960, and injured more than a hundred people and killed thirteen.
Initially, the local economy was based on cattle production and shipping. Then, during the 1890s and early 20th century, coal mining became the largest industry. In 1909, the state established the Oklahoma School of Mines and Metallurgy in Wilburton. The school name was later changed to Eastern Oklahoma A&M College, and is now known as Eastern Oklahoma State College.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,972 people, 1,004 households, and 674 families residing in the city. The population density was 997.1 people per square mile (385.1/km²). There were 1,200 housing units at an average density of 402.6 per square mile (155.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 74.93% White, 1.35% African American, 16.92% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 5.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.36% of the population.
There were 1,004 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 20.5% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 85.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $20,878, and the median income for a family was $25,543. Males had a median income of $22,917 versus $18,684 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,503. About 20.5% of families and 24.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 18.0% of those age 65 or over.
Primary and secondary education
The Wilburton Public School District oversees the Nancy W. Taylor High School in Wilburton.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- CensusViewer: Wilburton, Oklahoma Population.Wilburton, Oklahoma Population, CensusViewer
- Johnston, Betty Wooldridge. Oklahoma Encyclopedia of History and Culture. "Wilburton." Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- Shirk, George H. Oklahoma Place Names, Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965, p.222.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.