Atoka County
The Atoka County Courthouse in Atoka.
The Atoka County Courthouse in Atoka.
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Atoka County
Location within the U.S. state of Oklahoma
Map of the United States highlighting Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 34°23′N 96°03′W / 34.38°N 96.05°W / 34.38; -96.05
Country United States
State Oklahoma
Founded1907
SeatAtoka
Largest cityAtoka
Area
 • Total990 sq mi (2,600 km2)
 • Land976 sq mi (2,530 km2)
 • Water14 sq mi (40 km2)  1.5%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total14,007
 • Estimate 
(2019)
13,758
 • Density15/sq mi (6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district2nd

Atoka County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,007.[1] Its county seat is Atoka.[2] The county was formed before statehood from Choctaw Lands, and its name honors a Choctaw Chief named Atoka.

History

Map of Atoka County, 1909
Map of Atoka County, 1909

The area forming Atoka County was part of the Choctaw Nation after the tribe was forced to relocate in the early 1830s to Indian Territory from its home in the Southeastern United States. Unlike the State of Oklahoma, whose county boundaries follow the precise north–south, east–west grid established with the state's township and range system, the Choctaw Nation established its internal divisions using easily recognizable landmarks, such as mountains and rivers, as borders. The territory of present-day Atoka County fell within the Pushmataha District, one of the three administrative super-regions comprising the Choctaw Nation. Within that district, it was in parts of Atoka, Blue, and Jack's Fork counties.

The Choctaw named their Atoka County in honor of Chief Atoka, a leader of a party that migrated from Georgia to Indian Territory; the name was retained when Oklahoma became a state.[3]

In 1858, the Butterfield Overland Mail established a stagecoach route through the area. It carried passengers, US Mail, and some freight. One station, Waddell's, was near Wesley; a second station, Geary's, was between Waddell's and the Muddy Boggy River, while a third was at Boggy Depot.[3]

During the Civil War, Confederate troops established a supply depot named Camp Boggy Depot here. After the war, the town of Atoka was established. In 1872, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway (nicknamed the Christopher Casey) built a track through the county. It bypassed Boggy Depot and passed through Atoka; this access increased the importance of Atoka, but lack of the railroad contributed to the decline of Boggy Depot.[3]

The economy of Atoka County has been largely built on coal mining, limestone quarrying, forestry, and agriculture. Cattle raising became the leading business in the mid-twentieth century. A major employer is the Oklahoma State Penitentiary Farm (renamed the Mack H. Alford Correctional Center), a medium-security prison that opened in 1933.[3]

Geography

Atoka County is in southeastern Oklahoma, in a 10-county area designated for tourism purposes by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation as Choctaw Country.[4] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 990 square miles (2,600 km2), of which 976 square miles (2,530 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (1.5%) is water.[5]

Atoka County is drained by North Boggy, Clear Boggy and Muddy Boggy Creeks, which are tributaries of the Red River. Atoka Reservoir is in the northern section of the county. The Ouachita Mountains are in the eastern part of the county, while the Sandstone Hills and Coastal Plains physiographic regions provide a more level terrain suitable for agriculture in the north and western part of the county.[3]

About 12 miles WSW of the town of Atoka is Boggy Depot State Park, the historic site of a once large community on the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach route.

The Katian Age of the Ordovician Period of geological time is named for Katy Lake, which is two miles north east of Atoka. The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Katian stage is the Black Knob Ridge Section in the county.[6][7]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
191013,808
192020,86251.1%
193014,533−30.3%
194018,70228.7%
195014,269−23.7%
196010,352−27.5%
197010,9726.0%
198012,74816.2%
199012,7780.2%
200013,8798.6%
201014,1822.2%
2019 (est.)13,758[8]−3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2019[1]
Age pyramid for Atoka County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data.
Age pyramid for Atoka County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data.

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 14,182 people, 4,964 households, and 3,504 families residing in the county. The population density was 14 people per square mile (5.5/km2). There were 5,673 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile (2/km2). 73.8% of the population were White, 13.8% Native American, 3.7% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 1.1% of some other race and 7.1% of two or more races. 2.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 24.5% were of American, 11.7% Irish and 8.5% German ancestry.[13] 97.4% spoke English and 1.4% Spanish as their first language.

There were 4,964 households, out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.90% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.40% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.60% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 14.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 117.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 119.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $24,752, and the median income for a family was $29,409. Males had a median income of $26,193 versus $18,861 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,919. About 15.70% of families and 19.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.40% of those under age 18 and 21.10% of those age 65 or over.

Politics

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of November 1, 2019[14]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Democratic 3,924 55.03%
Republican 2,450 34.36%
Others 734 10.29%
Total 7,131 100%
United States presidential election results for Atoka County, Oklahoma[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 4,557 84.56% 765 14.20% 67 1.24%
2016 4,084 81.39% 795 15.84% 139 2.77%
2012 3,538 74.00% 1,243 26.00% 0 0.00%
2008 3,511 71.93% 1,370 28.07% 0 0.00%
2004 3,142 61.75% 1,946 38.25% 0 0.00%
2000 2,375 54.93% 1,906 44.08% 43 0.99%
1996 1,542 35.26% 2,281 52.16% 550 12.58%
1992 1,561 30.21% 2,336 45.21% 1,270 24.58%
1988 1,971 43.13% 2,565 56.13% 34 0.74%
1984 2,361 53.13% 2,047 46.06% 36 0.81%
1980 1,613 38.26% 2,505 59.42% 98 2.32%
1976 1,098 24.94% 3,276 74.42% 28 0.64%
1972 2,905 72.86% 993 24.91% 89 2.23%
1968 1,131 27.29% 1,400 33.78% 1,613 38.92%
1964 1,424 36.67% 2,459 63.33% 0 0.00%
1960 1,892 51.82% 1,759 48.18% 0 0.00%
1956 1,731 41.66% 2,424 58.34% 0 0.00%
1952 2,004 43.02% 2,654 56.98% 0 0.00%
1948 1,033 24.97% 3,104 75.03% 0 0.00%
1944 1,515 41.02% 2,172 58.81% 6 0.16%
1940 2,218 38.03% 3,601 61.75% 13 0.22%
1936 1,141 26.39% 3,173 73.40% 9 0.21%
1932 562 13.25% 3,678 86.75% 0 0.00%
1928 1,572 42.94% 2,056 56.16% 33 0.90%
1924 1,130 27.84% 2,204 54.30% 725 17.86%
1920 2,081 43.19% 2,100 43.59% 637 13.22%
1916 925 31.46% 1,479 50.31% 536 18.23%
1912 669 28.50% 1,100 46.87% 578 24.63%


Government and infrastructure

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections operates the Mack Alford Correctional Center in an unincorporated area, near Stringtown.[16]

Communities

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated places

NRHP sites

Main article: National Register of Historic Places listings in Atoka County, Oklahoma

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

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e James C. Milligan, "Atoka County." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.
  4. ^ "Counties & Regions". Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (Travel Promotion Division). Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  6. ^ Goldman, Daniel; Stephen A. Leslie; Jaak Nõlvak; Seth Young; Stig M. Bergström; Warren D. Huff (2007). "The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Katian Stage of the Upper Ordovician Series at Black Knob Ridge, Southeastern Oklahoma, USA" (PDF). Episodes. 30 (4): 258–270. Retrieved September 20, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "GSSP for Katian Stage". Geologic Timescale Foundation. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  8. ^ "County Population Totals: 2010-2019". Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  11. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "American FactFinder"[dead link]
  14. ^ "Oklahoma Registration Statistics by County" (PDF). OK.gov. November 1, 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
  15. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  16. ^ "Mack Alford Correctional Center Archived April 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine." Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Retrieved on November 22, 2010.

Further reading

Coordinates: 34°23′N 96°03′W / 34.38°N 96.05°W / 34.38; -96.05