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Afton, Oklahoma
View of Route 66 in downtown Afton, Oklahoma
View of Route 66 in downtown Afton, Oklahoma
Location within Ottawa County and the state of Oklahoma
Location within Ottawa County and the state of Oklahoma
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Ottawa
Area
 • Total 2.02 sq mi (5.23 km2)
 • Land 2.02 sq mi (5.23 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
787 ft (240 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 1,049
 • Estimate 
(2019)
1,020
 • Density 505.20/sq mi (195.04/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
74331
Area code(s) 539/918
FIPS code 40-00600
GNIS feature ID 1089546
Afton Station
Afton Station, now a Packard museum and visitors center.

Afton is a town in southwest Ottawa County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,049 as of the 2010 census, with population growth stemming from the near abandonment of nearby towns of Cardin and Picher because of ground contamination sites by local mining quarries. The town may have been named for the Scottish River Afton.

History

Afton developed in this part of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory after the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, or Frisco) built tracks through the area to Vinita in 1871. Oklahoma historian George Shirk asserts that a Scottish railroad surveyor, Anton Aires, named the town Afton after his daughter. Others have claimed the name comes from Robert Burns's poem, "Flow Gently Sweet Afton." Both Afton Aires' name and the Burns's poem honor the Afton River in Scotland.

A post office was established in Afton during 1886. In 1901, the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railroad, which soon became part of the Frisco system, constructed another line through the town, creating a shorter route to Kansas City. The town became a Frisco division point and shipping center.

Geography

Afton is located at 36°41′31″N 94°57′50″W / 36.69194°N 94.96389°W / 36.69194; -94.96389 (36.691845, -94.964024).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), all of it land.

Originally a farming and railroad community, Afton is located on the historic U.S. Route 66 in Oklahoma. Route 66 was bypassed by I-44 in 1957. Businesses which formerly served US 66 travellers in the town's heyday included the Palmer Hotel, Rogers’ Motel, Rest Haven Motel, Green Acres Motel and Avon Motor Court, Baker’s Cafe, Clint’s Cafe, Smith Store and Barrett’s Food Store, Mack’s Place and Fred’s 66 Bar.

The Afton Station Packard Museum is housed in a former D-X filling station, built in 1937 and restored in 1999 to house Packard and U.S. Route 66 memorabilia.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 606
1910 1,279 111.1%
1920 1,518 18.7%
1930 1,219 −19.7%
1940 1,261 3.4%
1950 1,252 −0.7%
1960 1,111 −11.3%
1970 1,022 −8.0%
1980 1,174 14.9%
1990 915 −22.1%
2000 1,118 22.2%
2010 1,049 −6.2%
2019 (est.) 1,020 −2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

Afton is part of the Joplin-Miami, MO-OK metropolitan area.

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,049 people living in the town. The population density was 620 people per square mile (240/km2). There were 488 housing units at an average density of 307.7 per square mile (119.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 77.46% White, 0.09% African American, 14.58% Native American, 0.09% Asian, and 7.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.70% of the population.

There were 441 households, out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 29.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $21,964, and the median income for a family was $28,036. Males had a median income of $22,361 versus $16,964 for females. The per capita income for the town was $11,032. About 15.9% of families and 21.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.6% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.

National Register of Historic Places

  • Cities Service Station
  • Horse Creek Bridge

Education

Afton is served by the Afton Independent School District.

Northeast Tech operates one of its four campuses at 19901 S. Hwy 69; the Afton Campus serves approximately 500 students.

In 2017, the Afton High School Football team won the Class A State Trophy for the first time in school history.

Transportation

Highways

Afton sits at the junction of one Interstate Highway and three US Highways. A fourth US Highway previously ran through the area.

  • I-44
  • US-59
  • US-60
  • US-66 (former)
  • US-69

Railroads

Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BNSF) runs through Afton on the town's north side as it roughly parallels 1st Street. Afton has two major subdivisions that operate through the town. The BNSF Cherokee Subdivision begins in Springfield, Missouri and ends at the BNSF Cherokee Yard in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The BNSF Afton Subdivision begins at the wye to the northeast of town and runs north to just south of Fort Scott, Kansas, where it merges with, and becomes, the BNSF Fort Scott Subdivision into Kansas City, Missouri.

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