Newkirk, Oklahoma
Newkirk is a city in Kay County
Kay County, Oklahoma
Kay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of 2000, the population was 48,080. Its county seat is Newkirk. The largest city in Kay County is Ponca City.-19th century:...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The population was 2,243 at the 2000 census
United States Census, 2000
The Twenty-second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census...

. It is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Kay County
Kay County, Oklahoma
Kay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of 2000, the population was 48,080. Its county seat is Newkirk. The largest city in Kay County is Ponca City.-19th century:...



Newkirk is located at 36°52′59"N 97°3′21"W (36.883083, -97.055750). According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km²), all of it land.

Newkirk's elevation is 1,152 feet. The town is on mostly flat terrain with no large watercourses nearby. Newkirk is situated at the boundary between two eco-regions: the Central Great Plains and the Flint Hills. West of the town in the Great Plains the countryside is rich agricultural land, especially for wheat, soybeans, and cattle. East of town the terrain in the Flint Hills is more rugged and rocky and is primarily utilized for cattle ranching. Natural vegetation is mostly prairie, but stream valleys often have fine forests of cottonwood, oak, elm, ash, pecan,sycamore, and other species. Scrub oak and Red Cedar dot many hillsides. Wildlife is abundant, including whitetail deer, turkey, bobwhite quail, coyote, bobcat, and waterfowl. A mountain lion attack on a person seven miles east of Newkirk was reported in 2002
One mile east of Newkirk is a casino and other facilities owned by the Kaw Indian tribe. Six miles east of town is the Arkansas River
Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Arkansas generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's initial basin starts in the Western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas...

. The bridge across the river crosses the upper end of Kaw Lake
Kaw Lake
Kaw Lake is a reservoir completed in 1976 in the northern reaches of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, near Kaw City.Kaw Dam is long and above the stream bed. the dam lies above the mouth of the Arkansas River. The top of the flood control pool is , while the normal operating level is 1,010 feet.The...

. Near the river are the Deer Creek/Bryson Paddock Sites where archaeologists have excavated the ruins of two prominent 18th century Wichita Indian villages. Beyond the river, continuing east, is the picturesque, lightly populated, Tallgrass prairie
Tallgrass prairie
The tallgrass prairie is an ecosystem native to central North America, with fire as its primary periodic disturbance. In the past, tallgrass prairies covered a large portion of the American Midwest, just east of the Great Plains, and portions of the Canadian Prairies. They flourished in areas with...

 region with many large ranches. Locals call this region “The Osage” after Osage County, Oklahoma
Osage County, Oklahoma
Osage County is a county in the northern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Coterminous with the Osage Indian Reservation, it is the home of the federally recognized Osage Nation. As of the 2010 census, the population was 47,472 a 6.8 percent increase from 2000, when the population was 44,437...

 and the Osage
Osage Nation
The Osage Nation is a Native American Siouan-language tribe in the United States that originated in the Ohio River valley in present-day Kentucky. After years of war with invading Iroquois, the Osage migrated west of the Mississippi River to their historic lands in present-day Arkansas, Missouri,...

 Indians. Two miles north of Newkirk is the Washunga cemetery of the Kaw Indians which was moved here to avoid having it covered by water when a dam created Kaw Lake. Seven miles north is the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School
Chilocco Indian Agricultural School
Chilocco Indian School was an agricultural school for Native Americans located in north-central Oklahoma from 1884 to 1980. It was located approximately 20 miles north of Ponca City, Oklahoma and seven miles north of Newkirk, Oklahoma, near the Kansas border....

, now closed.

Climate.The climate of Newkirk can be described as extreme Continental with an average low temperature in January of 20 degrees F (-7 C) and an average high temperature in July of 92 F (33 C). Winter temperatures sometimes fall below zero (-18 C) and 100 degree (38 C) days are common in summer. Average precipitation is 37 inches (96 mm) per year, but highly variable. May and June are the wettest month on average and the winter months of December, January, and February are the driest Tornados are common in the region although Newkirk has never suffered major damage.


Newkirk is located on land known as the Cherokee Strip
Cherokee Outlet
The Cherokee Outlet, often mistakenly referred to as the Cherokee Strip, was located in what is now the state of Oklahoma, in the United States. It was a sixty-mile wide strip of land south of the Oklahoma-Kansas border between the 96th and 100th meridians. It was about 225 miles long and in 1891...

 which belonged to the Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 Indians. In 1893, the Cherokee sold the land to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 government. The land was opened to White settlement by means of the Cherokee Strip Land Run
Land Run of 1893
The Land Run of 1893, also known as the Cherokee Strip Land Run, marked the opening of the Cherokee Outlet to the public. The run happened on September 16, 1893 at noon with more than 100,000 participants hoping to claim land. The land offices for the run were set up in Perry, Enid, Woodward, and...

 on September 16, 1893. More than 100,000 people raced to claim plots of land.

The town of Newkirk had been laid out before the Run by the government as the county seat of “K” county. It was named Lamoreaux after Silas W. Lamoreaux who was Commissioner of the General Land Office. Two miles north of Lamoreaux was “Kirk” a station of the Santa Fe Railroad.

That first day of the Land Run, 5,000 people staked claims in and near Lamoreaux. Claimants were allowed two town lots: one for a home and one for a business. In designated rural areas claimants could select 160 acres. The population quickly dropped to about 2,100 as disappointed land seekers left. A town government was organized and among the first items of business was to change the name of the town from Lamoreaux to Santa Fe. The railroad, however, did not approve the name as several other places were named Santa Fe. Meanwhile, the railroad station at Kirk had been closed and so the name “Newkirk.” was chosen on November 8, 1893.
In 1901, Newkirk suffered a major reverse when nearly a whole block of its thriving downtown burned. The wood buildings that burned were mostly replaced with stone buildings from the distinctive yellow limestone quarried four miles east of Newkirk. “Imposing stone buildings began to give dignity and permanence to the dusty streets while wood-frame homes gradually replaced the “proving-up” homes of the Run. Young Elms, Cottonwoods, shrubs, and flowers began to change the once treeless prairies into shaded garden spots.”
Newkirk’s business district was placed on the National Register as a historic district in 1984.
Newkirk was also the name of the town in the movie Twister where the drive in movie scene took place. Even though it wasn't filmed in Newkirk, but in Guthrie, Oklahoma
Guthrie, Oklahoma
Guthrie is a city in and the county seat of Logan County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City Metroplex. The population was 9,925 at the 2000 census.Guthrie was the territorial and later the first state capital for Oklahoma...

, the directors took the name from this town.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 2,243 people, 928 households, and 607 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,728.5 people per square mile (666.2/km²). There were 1,024 housing units at an average density of 789.1 per square mile (304.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.73% White, 1.20% African American, 8.69% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.85% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 5.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.10% of the population.

There were 928 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 98.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,941, and the median income for a family was $38,125. Males had a median income of $28,984 versus $19,315 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $14,971. About 11.0% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.1% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.

External links

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