Alva, Oklahoma

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Alva, Oklahoma
City
The "Charles Share" mural painted by artist Don Gray under commission from the Alva Mural Society in 2004.[1]
The "Charles Share" mural painted by artist Don Gray under commission from the Alva Mural Society in 2004. [1]
Location of Alva within Oklahoma
Location of Alva within Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36°48′21″N 98°40′04″W / 36.80583°N 98.66778°W / 36.80583; -98.66778
ALVA OKLAHOMA Latitude and Longitude:

36°48′21″N 98°40′04″W / 36.80583°N 98.66778°W / 36.80583; -98.66778
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Woods
Incorporated 1893; 124 years ago (1893)
Government [2]
 • Type Council-manager
 • Mayor Mayor Kelly Parker
 •  City manager Joe Don Dunham
Area
 • Total 2.389121 sq mi (6.187795 km2)
 • Land 2.389121 sq mi (6.187795 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,348 ft (411 m)
Population ( 2010) [3]
 • Total 4,945
 • Density 2,100/sq mi (800/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) ( UTC-6)
 • Summer ( DST) CDT ( UTC-5)
ZIP code 73717
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-01800 [4]
GNIS feature ID 1089605 [5]
Website alvaok.org

Alva is a city in and the county seat of Woods County, Oklahoma, United States, [6] along the Salt Fork Arkansas River. The population was 4,945 at the 2010 census. [3] Northwestern Oklahoma State University is located in Alva. [7]

History

Alva was established in 1893 as a land office for the Cherokee Outlet land run, the largest of the land rushes that settled western and central Oklahoma. The site was chosen for its location on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and likely named for a railroad attorney, Alva Adams, who had become governor of Colorado.

When the Southern Kansas Railway, began extending its line from Kiowa, Kansas across the Cherokee Outlet in 1886, Alva became the first railroad station southwest of Kiowa. The line was operational in 1887, in time for the opening of the Unassigned Lands. [7]

The Secretary of the Interior chose Alva as the seat of County M when Oklahoma Territory was organized in 1890. A U.S. government land office opened there before a presidential proclamation on August 19, 1893, opened the Cherokee Outlet for general settlement. The actual land run occurred September 16, 1893. By then, Alva's 320 acres (1.3 km2) site had been formally surveyed and platted. [7]

In 1896, three years after the land run, George Cromwell and "Coal Oil Johnny" Broughan created and managed the Alva Giants, the city's first traveling baseball team including pitcher Bill Mcgill, who went on to join the St. Louis Browns in 1907. [8] [9]

Northwestern Territorial Normal School, now Northwestern Oklahoma State University, was established in 1897 in Alva by the Territorial Legislature. [7]

During World War II, Alva was the site of a prisoner of war camp for German POWs. On July 19, 1943, the United States Department of War ordered that Camp Alva would be the place for the internment of the most troublesome German prisoners of war – "Nazi leaders, Gestapo agents, and extremists". [10]

Today, the city council is actively soliciting murals and trying to attract businesses and tourists to keep people in town. Alva lost 200 people between 1990 and 2000 according to official census figures. The Alva Review-Courier is published Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Alva is also the location of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections minimum-security Charles E. Johnson Correctional Center housing 630 male felon drug offenders. [11]

Geography

Alva is located in the northeastern quadrant of Woods County, Oklahoma, 65 miles (105 km) northeast of Woodward, Oklahoma, 72 miles (116 km) northwest of Enid, Oklahoma and 119 miles (192 km) southwest of Wichita, Kansas. [7] Its geographic coordinates are 36°48′7″N 98°39′57″W / 36.80194°N 98.66583°W / 36.80194; -98.66583 (36.801931, −98.665959). [12] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land.

Climate

Climate data for Alva, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 85
(29)
89
(32)
99
(37)
100
(38)
106
(41)
114
(46)
120
(49)
118
(48)
115
(46)
103
(39)
92
(33)
85
(29)
120
(49)
Average high °F (°C) 48
(9)
53
(12)
62
(17)
72
(22)
80
(27)
91
(33)
96
(36)
96
(36)
88
(31)
76
(24)
61
(16)
50
(10)
72.8
(22.8)
Average low °F (°C) 23
(−5)
26
(−3)
34
(1)
45
(7)
54
(12)
64
(18)
69
(21)
68
(20)
60
(16)
48
(9)
34
(1)
31
(−1)
46.3
(8)
Record low °F (°C) −15
(−26)
−16
(−27)
−5
(−21)
16
(−9)
25
(−4)
41
(5)
51
(11)
45
(7)
31
(−1)
10
(−12)
5
(−15)
−10
(−23)
−16
(−27)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.9
(23)
1.2
(30)
1.6
(41)
2.6
(66)
4.1
(104)
3.7
(94)
2.5
(64)
3.1
(79)
2.8
(71)
2.2
(56)
1.5
(38)
1.0
(25)
27.3
(693)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 3.5
(8.9)
4.8
(12.2)
3.2
(8.1)
0.2
(0.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.1
(2.8)
3.3
(8.4)
16.1
(40.9)
Source: Weatherbase [13]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 1,499
1910 3,688 146.0%
1920 3,913 6.1%
1930 5,121 30.9%
1940 5,055 −1.3%
1950 6,505 28.7%
1960 6,258 −3.8%
1970 7,440 18.9%
1980 6,416 −13.8%
1990 5,495 −14.4%
2000 5,288 −3.8%
2010 4,945 −6.5%
Est. 2015 5,180 [14] 4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,945 people, 2,107 households, 1,134 families residing in the city. [3] The population density was 2,100 people per square mile (800/km²). There were 2,568 housing units at an average density of 1,110 per square mile (425/km²). [3] Self-identified white residents made up 90% of the population, with the remainder composed of 2% African American, 2.1% Native American, 1.1% Asian, less than 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.

Of the 2,107 households, a quarter (24.9%) included individuals under the age of 18, 40.8% were married couples, 13.1% had a householder with no spouse present, and 46.2% were non-families. More than a third of households (36%) consisted of a single individual. Less than a quarter (13.2%) consisted of an individual age 65 or older living alone. The average household size was 2.17. The average family size was 2.86.

2000 census

As of the census [4] of 2000, there were 5,288 people, 2,205 households, and 1,261 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,228.6 people per square mile (861.5/km²). There were 2,644 housing units at an average density of 1,114.3 per square mile (430.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.99% White, 1.30% African American, 1.34% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.82% of the population.

There were 2,205 households out of which 23.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.8% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.9% under the age of 18, 21.7% from 18 to 24, 20.5% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,432, and the median income for a family was $38,041. Males had a median income of $27,531 versus $17,981 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,966. About 9.1% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.

Education

Alva is home to Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU), founded in 1897 as a normal school. [7] The college's main building for a time was the "Castle on the Hill," a huge, fanciful brick building, modeled after a Norman castle, that towered over much of the town. The Castle burned down in 1935, to be replaced by Jesse Dunn Hall, which was dedicated in 1937 by Eleanor Roosevelt. [15]

Northwest Technology Center is based in Alva. The Alva Independent School District oversees the public schools in the Alva area.

Economy

Agriculture has been the basis of the city's economy since it was founded. Initially, the local farms produced a variety of crops and livestock. The original 160-acre farms have mostly been consolidated into much larger units, concentrating on production of beef and wheat. [7]

In 1998 a group of local wheat farmers founded the frozen dough manufacturing facility, Value Added Products, a cooperative that today employs 83 people with an annual payroll of $2.2 Million. [16] [17]

NWOSU is the largest employer in Alva. [7]

Currently Alva has a city sales tax of 4.35%, the Woods County tax rate of 0.5% and a State tax rate of 4.5% for a combined tax rate of 9.25% [18]

Government

Alva has an aldermanic form of government. [7]

Transportation

U.S. Route 64 runs east–west through the center of the city, intersecting U.S. Route 281, which runs north–south. U.S. Route 281 joins U.S. Route 64 for one mile between College Boulevard (west) and Lane Boulevard (east) on Oklahoma Boulevard. [19]

Alva Regional Airport, a 650-acre general aviation facility owned and operated by the city, is immediately south of the city on the west side of U.S. Route 281. [19]

Alva is located on the Panhandle Subdivision of the Southern Transcon route of the BNSF Railway. This is the main transcontinental route between Los Angeles and Chicago, and carries an average of 90 freight trains per day. In January 2015 BNSF Railway announced an expansion project to add a second track between Wellington, Kansas and Avard, Oklahoma passing through Alva as part of a $175 million expansion in the South Region. Work on the project will start by 2016 and is expected to be completed by 2017. [20] [21]

Notable people

In popular culture


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