Medicine Park, Oklahoma Article

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Medicine Park, Oklahoma
Town
Nickname(s): "America's First Cobblestone Community"
Location of Medicine Park, Oklahoma
Location of Medicine Park, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 34°44′04″N 98°28′39″W / 34.7344071°N 98.4776209°W / 34.7344071; -98.4776209
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Comanche
Area
 • Total 2.064977 sq mi (5.348265 km2)
 • Land 2.015280 sq mi (5.219551 km2)
 • Water 0.049697 sq mi (0.128714 km2)
Elevation 1,270 ft (387 m)
Population ( 2010)
 • Total 382
 • Density 180/sq mi (71/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 ( Central (CST))
 • Summer ( DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code 73557
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-47350 [1]
GNIS feature ID 1095292 [2]

Medicine Park is a town in Comanche County, Oklahoma, United States, situated in the Wichita Mountains near the entrance to the 60,000-acre (240 km2) Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Medicine Park has a long history as a vintage cobblestone resort town. Medicine Park is located near the city of Lawton and Fort Sill. It is an exurb, part of the Lawton Metropolitan Statistical Area. Many of the original structures are constructed of naturally formed cobblestones—these red granite cobblestones are unique to the Wichita Mountains. The population was 382 at the 2010 census.

History

Medicine Park was founded on July 4, 1908, by Elmer Thomas, a young lawyer who had just become a member of the Oklahoma State Senate and would end his career in 1951 as a U.S. senator.

In the spring of 1906, five years after the establishment of the Wichita Mountains National Forest, Elmer Thomas envisioned the need not only for a recreational area but for a permanent water source for the newly founded nearby city of Lawton.

When the resort first opened, it consisted merely of a large surplus Army tent with a wooden floor where hot meals were served. Two dams were constructed on Medicine Creek to form Bath Lake Swimming Hole, and a limited number of campsites were constructed.

Tourists came to Medicine Park from around Oklahoma and North Texas. Soon, there were two inns—the Outside Inn and the Apache Inn. Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys became regulars at the Dance Hall from 1929 through the late 1930s. Soon numerous other famous bands of the day made their way through Medicine Park en route to big city venues in Oklahoma City, Dallas, and Fort Worth.

The nearby Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and Lake Lawtonka attracted thousands of people each weekend and throughout the seasons. Medicine Park became the “playground” for the state’s rich, famous and notorious. Outlaws and horse thieves mixed with noted politicians and businessmen, soldiers and officers from Fort Sill, families, and socialites in the new cobblestone community. The pages of the town’s colorful history are filled with such figures as Will Rogers, Wiley Post, Frank Phillips, Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Lil Hardin Armstrong, Colonel Jack Abernathy, Les Brown, Roy Rogers, and Dale Evans. [3]

An Oklahoma television station reported on June 13, 2018 that Expedia had named Medicine Park as "... the fifth prettiest town in the U.S." [4] The Lake Lawtonka Mountain Bike Trails located in the Medicine Park area were named the best mountain bike trails in Oklahoma by Singletracks Magazine in 2018.[ citation needed]

People of interest

Elmer Thomas, the founder of Medicine Park, served in the Oklahoma State Senate from 1907 to 1920, was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1923 to 1927 and a United States senator from 1927 until 1951.

Geography

Medicine Park is located at 34°44′00″N 98°29′02″W / 34.733270°N 98.483923°W / 34.733270; -98.483923
MEDICINE PARK OKLAHOMA Latitude and Longitude:

34°44′00″N 98°29′02″W / 34.733270°N 98.483923°W / 34.733270; -98.483923
(34.733270, -98.483923). [5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), of which, 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (2.89%) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1970483
1980437−9.5%
1990285−34.8%
200037330.9%
20103822.4%
Est. 2015444 [6]16.2%
U.S. Decennial Census [7]

According to the census of 2010, the town had 382 people living in 191 households and 112 families. The population density was 189.6 people per square mile (73.2/km²). There were 306 housing units at an average density of 151.8 per square mile (58.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 88.2% White, 0.8% African American, 3.7% Native American, 0.8% Pacific Islander, 2.4% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.0% of the population. Of the 191 households 16.2% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% were non-families. Of all households 35.6% were composed of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.00 and the average family size was 2.58.

In the town, the population was spread out with 14.1% under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 39.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 100 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105 males.

According to the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the town was $26,607, and the median income for a family was $33,929. Males had a median income of $22,321 versus $18,854 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,236. About 19.6% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.9% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.

Utilities

Medicine Park Telephone Company provides service, including DSL, to the town and the surrounding area. The company is in the process of an FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) project in Granite Ridge. Medicine Park will be one of the few communities in Oklahoma with FTTH.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ http://www.lasr.net/travel/city.php?Old%20Plantation%20Restaurant&Attraction_ID=OK0203020a001&City_ID=OK0203020
  4. ^ "Oklahoma town named among ‘Most Beautiful Towns in America’." KFOR-TV. Undated. Accessed June 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.

External links