Coal County
Park in Coalgate
Park in Coalgate
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Coal 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°36′N 96°18′W / 34.6°N 96.3°W / 34.6; -96.3
Country United States
State Oklahoma
Founded1907
SeatCoalgate
Largest cityCoalgate
Area
 • Total521 sq mi (1,350 km2)
 • Land517 sq mi (1,340 km2)
 • Water4.7 sq mi (12 km2)  0.9%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total5,925
 • Estimate 
(2019)
5,495
 • Density11/sq mi (4/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district2nd

Coal County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,925.[1] Its county seat is Coalgate.[2]

History

Coal County was formed at statehood from the former Shappaway County (later renamed Atoka County) of the Pushmataha District of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory. A 3.5 miles (5.6 km) strip of Coal County was taken from the Pontotoc District of the Chickasaw Nation. Initially, the Oklahoma legislature named Lehigh as the county seat, but a special election held in 1908 resulted in the citizens choosing Coalgate as the county seat. Lehigh tried to sue because more people voted than were registered, but no court would hear the case.[3]

Mining became a mainstay of the county's economy during the 1870s. The first coal mine opened on Chief Allen Wright's land. The industry activity peaked between 1910 and 1916 but declined sharply after World War I. Many of the mines closed by 1921, due to the refusal of mining companies of the area to unionize. Some mines reopened during World War II, but these closed by 1958, because of the rising cost of refining sulfur out of the coal mined.[3]

Agriculture replaced mining as the main economic activity of the county. Even this business encountered severe difficulty in 1921–3 when a boll weevil infestation wiped out the cotton crop. All five banks in the county failed as a result.[4]

Geography

Coal 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.[5] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 521 square miles (1,350 km2), of which 517 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 4.7 square miles (12 km2) (0.9%) is water.[6] It is the fifth-smallest county in Oklahoma by area. The eastern part of the county lies in the Ouachita Mountains, while the western part has open prairie and lies in the Sandstone Hills physiographic region. The county is drained by the Clear Boggy and Muddy Boggy creeks.[3]

Map of Coal County, 1909
Map of Coal County, 1909

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
191015,817
192018,40616.4%
193011,521−37.4%
194012,81111.2%
19508,056−37.1%
19605,546−31.2%
19705,525−0.4%
19806,0419.3%
19905,780−4.3%
20006,0314.3%
20105,925−1.8%
2019 (est.)5,495[7]−7.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2019[1]
Age pyramid for Coal County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data.
Age pyramid for Coal County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data.

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,295 people, 2,350 households, and 1,604 families residing in the county.[12] There were 2,810 housing units.[12] The racial makeup of the county was 74.3% White, 0.5% Black or African American, 16.7% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 7.8% from two or more races.[12] 2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[12]

There were 2,350 households, out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families.[12] 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.[12] The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.06.[12]

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.5% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 21.7% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older.[13] The median age was 41.0 years.[13] For every 100 females there were 97.7 males.[13] For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.[13]

According to the 2013 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the county was $34,867, and the median income for a family was $44,888.[14] Male full-time, year round workers had a median income of $36,442 compared to $26,450 for female full-time, year round workers.[14] The per capita income for the county was $19,752.[14] About 15.8% of families and 21.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.9% of those under age 18 and 15.7% of those age 65 or over.[14]

According to the 2000 census, 94.6% spoke English, 3.0% Spanish, 1.1% German and 1.1% Choctaw as their first language.

Politics

Coal County is in many respects typical of Oklahoma politics. Once a predominantly Democratic county, its elections have become dominated by the Republican Party in recent years, although even today, most voters identify as Democrats. In 1972, Richard Nixon became the first Republican to ever carry the county in a presidential election,[15] and was the only one to do so until the 2000 election. Coal County extremely narrowly supported two Democrats amidst national Republican landslides: James M. Cox by 24 votes in 1920 and Walter Mondale by 25 votes in 1984. The county swung 41 points Republican in the 2008 presidential election, the largest swing of any county in the country.[16]

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of January 15, 2019[17]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Democratic 2,756 70.94%
Republican 757 19.49%
Others 372 9.58%
Total 3,885 100%
United States presidential election results for Coal County, Oklahoma[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,091 82.84% 374 14.82% 59 2.34%
2016 1,898 79.12% 411 17.13% 90 3.75%
2012 1,710 72.49% 649 27.51% 0 0.00%
2008 1,672 73.59% 600 26.41% 0 0.00%
2004 1,396 53.71% 1,203 46.29% 0 0.00%
2000 1,196 50.64% 1,148 48.60% 18 0.76%
1996 734 32.25% 1,205 52.94% 337 14.81%
1992 714 25.50% 1,448 51.71% 638 22.79%
1988 891 39.25% 1,365 60.13% 14 0.62%
1984 1,259 49.10% 1,284 50.08% 21 0.82%
1980 926 38.09% 1,442 59.32% 63 2.59%
1976 769 29.97% 1,774 69.13% 23 0.90%
1972 1,461 67.05% 680 31.21% 38 1.74%
1968 669 29.64% 963 42.67% 625 27.69%
1964 721 30.89% 1,613 69.11% 0 0.00%
1960 1,019 44.54% 1,269 55.46% 0 0.00%
1956 920 36.57% 1,596 63.43% 0 0.00%
1952 1,106 38.66% 1,755 61.34% 0 0.00%
1948 464 17.93% 2,124 82.07% 0 0.00%
1944 760 27.90% 1,959 71.92% 5 0.18%
1940 1,148 32.48% 2,377 67.24% 10 0.28%
1936 603 19.08% 2,550 80.70% 7 0.22%
1932 300 9.72% 2,788 90.28% 0 0.00%
1928 1,283 42.82% 1,681 56.11% 32 1.07%
1924 800 25.17% 1,772 55.74% 607 19.09%
1920 1,744 43.63% 1,768 44.23% 485 12.13%
1916 824 29.12% 1,418 50.11% 588 20.78%
1912 571 25.33% 1,109 49.20% 574 25.47%
1908 722 33.55% 906 42.10% 524 24.35%


Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

NRHP sites

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

The following sites in Coal 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 July 8, 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 Milligan, James C. "Coal County," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, 2009. Accessed March 28, 2015.
  4. ^ "Focus on Coal County." Archived October 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Oklahoma Ad Valorem Forum. Oklahoma Tax Commission. March 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  5. ^ "Counties & Regions". Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (Travel Promotion Division). Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "County Population Totals: 2010-2019". Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g United States Census Bureau. "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 - 2010 Demographic Profile Data - Coal County, Oklahoma," Archived February 13, 2020, at archive.today American Fact Finder, Accessed July 5, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d United States Census Bureau. "QT-P1 Age Groups and Sex: 2010 2010 Census Summary File 1 - Coal County, Oklahoma," Archived February 13, 2020, at archive.today American Fact Finder, Accessed July 5, 2015.
  14. ^ a b c d United States Census Bureau. "DP03 Selected Economic Characteristics: 2009-2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates - Coal County, Oklahoma," Archived February 13, 2020, at archive.today American Fact Finder, Accessed July 5, 2015.
  15. ^ Mendedez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004; pp. 281-283 ISBN 0786422173
  16. ^ Maxwell, Brandt. "Bonus List". www.geographylists.com. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  17. ^ "Oklahoma Registration Statistics by County" (PDF). OK.gov. January 15, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 28, 2018.

Coordinates: 34°36′N 96°18′W / 34.60°N 96.30°W / 34.60; -96.30