Rush Springs, Oklahoma
"Watermelon Capital of the World"
Location of Rush Springs, Oklahoma
|• Total||1.14 sq mi (2.96 km2)|
|• Land||1.14 sq mi (2.96 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||1,355 ft (413 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,098.86/sq mi (424.16/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1097535|
Rush Springs is a town in Grady County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,231 at the 2010 census. The town promotes itself as the "Watermelon Capital of the World."
The community's largest event is the annual Rush Springs Watermelon Festival, that attracts about 30,000 people each year, who consume about 50,000 pounds of watermelon.
The Wichita people established a village 4 miles (6 km) southeast of the modern-day town of Rush Springs about 1850, taking advantage of some springs on Rush Creek. The springs provided a convenient place for watering herds of cattle being driven north from Texas to Kansas on the Chisholm Trail, which passed east of here. On October 1, 1858, an event called The Battle of the Wichita Village occurred there on October 1, 1858.
In 1858, Brigadier General David S. Briggs ordered Brevet Major Earl Van Dorn to take command of the Second Cavalry at Fort Belknap, Texas, proceed north of the Red River into Indian Territory and forcibly restrain belligerent Comanches who were raiding settlements. Van Dorn and his men stopped at Camp Radziminski in Indian Territory. Van Dorn and his men advanced on the Comanches who were camped on Rush Creek near a Wichita village,[a] < apparently unaware that the two tribes were conducting a peace conference.
Van Dorn and his men attacked the Comanche camp about dawn on October 1, 1858, catching their foe asleep and completely off guard. After the haze and smoke of battle cleared later in the morning, the troops found that the Comanches had lost seventy warriors, including some tribeswomen who had accompanied them. Any survivors had already fled. The army's losses were four men dead and one missing, who was presumed killed. Major Van Dorn was seriously wounded, but survived to fight again. The army apparently set fire to the Wichita fields nearby, destroying their food crop. Helpless, the Wichita fled to Fort Arbuckle for assistance from the U.S. Government.
In 1871, supplies bound for Fort Sill (which had been founded in 1869), were brought through Rush Springs. The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway (also known as the M-K-T or Katy) had been completed to the Choctaw Nation community of Caddo, where they were transferred to wagons that would carry them from Caddo to Rush Springs. Freight and stage travel from Caddo to Rush Springs was discontinued about 1885.
The first post office was designated as Parr, and opened at the Samuel M. Huntley ranch house in July 1883. The house was southeast of Rush Springs. When the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway (usually called simply the Rock Island) completed its line through Rush Springs in July, 1892, the post office relocated into the town and was renamed for it. 2 square miles (5.2 km2) of town was surveyed and platted. It was incorporated on November 21, 1898. The community had 518 residents by 1900 and 588 by 1907, when Oklahoma became a state.
At the time of its founding, the community was located in Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation.
A Civilian Conservation Corps project was located on the east side of Rush Springs. Young men were paid to construct terraces and ponds and to restore vegetation by replanting trees. The project camp was opened June 18, 1933, and closed July 20, 1942.
Rush Springs is located in southern Grady County at(34.781989, -97.955610). U.S. Route 81 passes through the town, leading north 19 miles (31 km) to Chickasha, the county seat, and south 20 miles (32 km) to Duncan.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Rush Springs has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.7 km2), all land.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,278 people, 525 households, and 349 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,201.7 people per square mile (465.5/km2). There were 627 housing units at an average density of 589.6 per square mile (228.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 88.18% White, 6.96% Native American, 1.17% from other races, and 3.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.35% of the population.
There were 525 households, out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.5% 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 3.01.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.6% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $21,078, and the median income for a family was $25,391. Males had a median income of $24,453 versus $20,769 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,803. About 24.7% of families and 32.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.3% of those under age 18 and 24.6% of those age 65 or over.