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Tulsa County, Oklahoma
Tulsa County Courthouse.jpg
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Tulsa County
Location in the state of Oklahoma
Map of the U.S. highlighting Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location in the U.S.
Founded 1850
Seat Tulsa
Largest city Tulsa
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

587 sq mi (1,520 km²)
570 sq mi (1,477 km²)
17 sq mi (43 km²), 2.85%
 - (2010)
 - Density

988/sq mi (381/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Tulsa County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population is 603,403. Its county seat is Tulsa.[1]

History of Tulsa County[edit | edit source]

The history of Tulsa County greatly overlaps the history of the city of Tulsa. This section addresses events that largely occurred outside the present city limits of Tulsa.

Even the origin of Tulsa County as a political entity is unclear. The digital "Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture" says only that the county took its name from the previously established city and does not give a date.[2]

Old Fort Arbuckle[edit | edit source]

The U. S. Government's removal of Native American tribes from the southeastern United States to "Indian Territory" did not take into account how that would impact the lives and attitudes of the nomadic tribes that already used the same land as their hunting grounds. At first, Creek immigrants stayed close to Fort Gibson, near the confluence of the Arkansas and Verdigris rivers. However, the government encouraged newer immigrants to move farther up the Arkansas. The Osage tribe had agreed to leave the land near the Verdigris, but had not moved far and soon threated the new Creek settlements.[3]

In 1831, a party led by Rev. Isaac McCoy and Lt. James L. Dawson blazed a trail up the north side of the Arkansas from Fort Gibson to its junction with the Cimarron River. In 1832, Dawson was sent again to select sites for military posts. One of his recommended sites was about two and a half miles downstream from the Cimarron River junction. The following year, Brevet Major George Birch and two companies of the 7th Infantry Division followed the "Dawson Road" to the aforementioned site. Flattering his former commanding officer, General Matthew Arbuckle, Birch named the site "Fort Arbuckle."[3][4]

According to Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, the fort was about eight miles west of the present city of Sand Springs, Oklahoma.[2] Author James Gardner visited the site in the early 1930s. His article describing the visit includes an old map showing the fort located on the north bank of the Arkansas River near Sand Creek, just south of the line separating Tulsa County and Osage County. After ground was cleared and a blockhouse built, Fort Arbuckle was abandoned November 11, 1834. Remnants of the stockade and some chimneys could still be seen nearly a hundred years later.[4]

Battle of Chusto-Talasah[edit | edit source]

Main article Battle of Chusto-Talasah

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, many Creeks and Seminoles in Indian Territory, led by Opothleyahola,retained their allegiance to the U. S. Government. In November, 1861, Confederate Col. Douglas H. Cooper led a Confederate force against the Union supporters with the purpose of either compelling their submission or driving them out of the country. The first clash, known as the Battle of Round Mountain, occurred November 19, 1861. Although the Unionists successfully withstood the attack and mounted a counterattack, the Confederates claimed a strategic victory because the Unionists were forced to withdraw.[5]

The next battle occurred December 9, 1861. Col. Cooper's force attacked the Unionists at Chusto-Talasah (Caving Banks) on the Horseshoe Bend of Bird Creek in what is now Tulsa County. The Confederates drove the Unionists across Bird Creek, but could not pursue, because they were short of ammunition. Still, the Confederates could claim victory.[5]

Coming of the railroads[edit | edit source]

Alt text

Frisco Railroad bridge between Tulsa and Red Fork in 1897

The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company had extended its main line in Indian Territory from Vinita to Tulsa in 1883, where it stopped on the east side of the Arkansas River. The company, which later merged into the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway (familiarly known as the Frisco), then built a steel bridge across the river to extend the line to Red Fork. This bridge allowed cattlemen to load their animals onto the railroad west of the Arkansas instead of fording the river, as had been the practice previously. The picture at the left shows the bridge during the Arkansas River flood of 1897. It also provided a safer and more convenient way to bring workers from Tulsa to the oil field after the 1901 discovery of oil in Red Fork.

Oil Boom[edit | edit source]

A wildcat well named Sue Bland No. 1 hit paydirt at 540 feet on June 25, 1901 as a gusher. The well was on the property of Sue A. Bland (nee Davis), located near the community of Red Fork. Mrs. Bland was a Creek citizen and wife of Dr. John C. W. Bland, the first practicing physician in Tulsa. The property was Mrs. Bland's homestead allotment. Oil produced by the well was shipped in barrels to the nearest refinery in Kansas, where it was sold for $1.00 a barrel.[6]

Other producing wells followed soon after. The next big strike in Tulsa County was in the vicinity of Glenn Pool.

Ironically, while the city of Tulsa claimed to be "Oil Capital of the World" for much of the 20th Century, a city ordinance banned drilling for oil within the city limits.

Tulsa County Court House[edit | edit source]

In 1910, Tulsa County built a court house in Tulsa on the northeast corner of Sixth Street and South Boulder Avenue. The land had previously been the site of a mansion owned by George Perryman and his wife. This was the court house where a mob of white residents gathered on May 31, 1921, threatening to lynch a young black man held in the jail. It was the beginning of the Tulsa Race Riot.

The building continued to serve until the present court house building (shown above) opened at 515 South Denver. The old building was then demolished and the land was then sold to private investors. The land is now the site of the Bank of America building, completed in 1967.

Geography and climate[edit | edit source]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 587 square miles (1,520 km²), of which 570 square miles (1,477 km²) is land and 17 square miles (43 km²) (2.85%) is water.

The Arkansas River drains most of the county. Bird Creek and the Caney River, tributaries of the Verdigris River drain the northern part of the county.[7]

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 79 90 96 102 96 103 112 110 109 98 87 80
Norm High °F 46.5 52.9 62.4 72.1 79.6 88 93.8 93.2 84.1 74 60 49.6
Norm Low °F 26.3 31.1 40.3 49.5 59 67.9 73.1 71.2 62.9 51.1 39.3 29.8
Rec Low °F -8 -11 -3 22 35 49 51 52 35 18 10 -8
Precip (in) 1.6 1.95 3.57 3.95 6.11 4.72 2.96 2.85 4.76 4.05 3.47 2.43
Source: [5]

Transportation[edit | edit source]

Major highways[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 563,299 people, 226,892 households, and 147,252 families residing in the county. The population density was 988 people per square mile (381/km²). There were 243,953 housing units at an average density of 428 per square mile (165/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 75.02% White, 10.95% Black or African American, 5.20% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.77% from other races, and 4.40% from two or more races. 5.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 226,892 households out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.10% were married couples living together, 12.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.10% were non-families. 29.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.03.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1910 34,995
1920 109,023 211.5%
1930 187,574 72.0%
1940 193,363 3.1%
1950 251,686 30.2%
1960 346,038 37.5%
1970 401,663 16.1%
1980 470,593 17.2%
1990 503,341 7.0%
2000 563,299 11.9%
2010 603,403 7.1%

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.30% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 94.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,213, and the median income for a family was $47,489. Males had a median income of $35,495 versus $25,680 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,115. About 8.70% of families and 11.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.60% of those under age 18 and 8.30% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit | edit source]

Note 1 Liberty lies partly in Okmulgee County. Note 2 Sapulpa lies mostly in Creek County, so its area and population are not given for Tulsa County.[9]

Unincorporated communities[edit | edit source]

Former communities[edit | edit source]

NRHP sites[edit | edit source]

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

Adjacent counties[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b "Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture: Tulsa County." Accessed April 8, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Carter, Sandi and Marlene Clark. "Old Fort Arbuckle." Accessed April 10, 2011.[1]
  4. ^ a b Gardner, James E. Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 11, No. 2. June, 1933. "One Hundred Years Ago in the Region of Tulsa."
  5. ^ a b Civil War Website. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  6. ^ Clinton, Fred S. Chronicles of Oklahoma. "First Oil and Gas Well in Tulsa County." Retrieved April 12, 2011.[]
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Tulsa County." Accessed April 5, 2011.[2]
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "MuniNetGuide - Sapulpa, Oklahoma." Accessed April 8, 2010
  10. ^ a b Website: "Early History of Southwest Tulsa" by Southwest Tulsa Planning Team, Southwest Tulsa Historical Society and Tulsa Planning Department.
  11. ^ <Tulsa Preservation Commission Website. "Urban Development {1901 - 1945)Accessed May 5, 2011.[3]
  12. ^ Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, "Sand Springs" Accessed May 6, 2011.[4]

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 36°07′N 95°56′W / 36.12, -95.94

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