Afton, Oklahoma
View of Route 66 in downtown Afton, Oklahoma
Location within Ottawa County and the state of Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36°41′31″N 94°57′50″W / 36.69194°N 94.96389°W / 36.69194; -94.96389Coordinates: 36°41′31″N 94°57′50″W / 36.69194°N 94.96389°W / 36.69194; -94.96389
CountryUnited States
 • Total2.02 sq mi (5.23 km2)
 • Land2.02 sq mi (5.23 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
787 ft (240 m)
 • Total1,049
 • Estimate 
 • Density505.20/sq mi (195.04/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)539/918
FIPS code40-00600[4]
GNIS feature ID1089546[5]
Afton Station, now a Packard museum and visitors center.
Afton Station, now a Packard museum and visitors center.

Afton is a town in southwest Ottawa County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,049 as of the 2010 census,[2] with population growth stemming from the near abandonment of nearby towns of Cardin and Picher because of ground contamination sites by local mining quarries. The town may have been named for the Scottish River Afton.[6]


Afton developed in this part of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory after the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, or Frisco) built tracks through the area to Vinita in 1871. According to Oklahoma historian George Shirk, a Scottish railroad surveyor, Anton Aires, named the town Afton after his daughter. Others have claimed the name comes from Robert Burns's poem, "Flow Gently Sweet Afton." Both Afton Aires' name and the Burns'poem honor the River Afton in Scotland.[6]

A post office was established in Afton during 1886. The 1900 census showed a population of 606.[7] In 1901, the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railroad, which soon became part of the Frisco system, constructed another line through the town, creating a shorter route to Kansas City, and causing another spurt of population growth. The town became a Frisco division point and shipping center for the surrounding agricultural area.((efn/Agriculture mainly featured wheat, corn, hay and livestock.[6])) In 1910, Afton's population was 1,276; the town had two schools, a waterworks, two hotels, two banks, a brick and tile plant, a creamery, a newspaper, mills and grain elevators. The population peaked at 1,518 in 1920, but a depression after World War I caused a drop to 1,219 in 1930.[7][6]


Afton is located at 36°41′31″N 94°57′50″W / 36.69194°N 94.96389°W / 36.69194; -94.96389 (36.691845, -94.964024).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), all land.

Originally a farming and railroad community, Afton is located on the historic Route 66. Route 66 was bypassed by I-44 in 1957. Businesses which formerly served US 66 travellers in the town's heyday included the Palmer Hotel, Rogers’ Motel, Rest Haven Motel, Green Acres Motel and Avon Motor Court, Baker's Cafe, Clint's Cafe, Smith Store and Barrett's Food Store, Mack's Place and Fred's 66 Bar.[9]

The Afton Station Packard Museum is housed in a former D-X filling station, built in 1937 and restored in 1999 to house Packard and U.S. Route 66 memorabilia.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)1,020[3]−2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

Afton is part of the Joplin-Miami, MO-OK metropolitan area.

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,049 people living in the town.[2] The population density was 620 people per square mile (240/km2). There were 488 housing units at an average density of 307.7 per square mile (119.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 77.46% White, 0.09% African American, 14.58% Native American, 0.09% Asian, and 7.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.70% of the population.

There were 441 households, out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.6% 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 3.11.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 29.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $21,964, and the median income for a family was $28,036. Males had a median income of $22,361 versus $16,964 for females. The per capita income for the town was $11,032. About 15.9% of families and 21.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.6% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.


Afton is served by the Afton Independent School District.

Northeast Tech operates one of its four campuses[11] at 19901 S. Hwy 69; the Afton Campus serves approximately 500 students.[12]

In 2017, the Afton High School Football team won the Class A State Trophy for the first time in school history.[13]




Afton sits at the junction of one Interstate Highway and three US Highways. A fourth US Highway previously ran through the area.


Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BNSF) runs through Afton on the town's north side as it roughly parallels 1st Street. Afton has two major subdivisions that operate through the town. The BNSF Cherokee Subdivision begins in Springfield, Missouri and ends at the BNSF Cherokee Yard in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The BNSF Afton Subdivision begins at the wye to the northeast of town and runs north to just south of Fort Scott, Kansas, where it merges with, and becomes, the BNSF Fort Scott Subdivision into Kansas City, Missouri.

National Register of Historic Places


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 18, 2013.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ a b c d e Larry O'Dell, "Afton,".Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Accessed February 16, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Hinckley, Jim (2011). Ghost Towns of Route 66. Minneapolis: Voyageur Press. p. 160. ISBN 9780760338438.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. ^ "Afton recalls its Route 66 heyday" (PDF). Northeast Connection. Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative. December 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "About Us". Northeast Tech. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  12. ^ "Afton Campus". Northeast Tech. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  13. ^ "Afton wins first state football title".