kids encyclopedia robot

Bartlesville, Oklahoma facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Downtown Bartlesville viewed from the Price Tower (2008)
Downtown Bartlesville viewed from the Price Tower (2008)
Flag of Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Location of Bartlesville within Oklahoma
Location of Bartlesville within Oklahoma
Country United States
State Oklahoma
Counties Washington, Osage
Bartlesville, Indian Territory January 15, 1897
 • Total 22.86 sq mi (59.22 km2)
 • Land 22.84 sq mi (59.16 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.06 km2)
705 ft (215 m)
 • Total 37,290
 • Density 1,632/sq mi (630.3/km2)
 • μSA
52,455 (US: 198th)
 • CSA
1,134,125 (US: 53rd)
Demonym(s) Bartian
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
Area codes 539/918
FIPS code rE 40-04450
GNIS feature ID 1089874

Bartlesville is a city mostly in Washington County in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 37,290 at the 2020 census. Bartlesville is 47 miles (76 km) north of Tulsa and 18 miles (29 km) south of the Kansas border. It is the county seat of Washington County. The Caney River runs through Bartlesville.

Bartlesville is the primary city of the Bartlesville Micropolitan area, which consists of Washington County and had a population of 51,843 in 2018. A small portion of the city is in Osage County. The city is also part of the Tulsa Combined Statistical Area, with a population of 1,151,172 in 2015.

Bartlesville is notable as the longtime home of Phillips Petroleum Company. Frank Phillips founded Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville in 1905 when the area was still an Indian Territory. The company merged with Conoco as ConocoPhillips and later split into the two independent companies, Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips. Both companies have retained some operations in Bartlesville, but they have moved their corporate headquarters to Houston.

It is one of two places in Oklahoma where a Lenape Native American tribe lives, the other being Anadarko.


Jacob Bartles, son-in-law of Delaware chief Charles Journeycake, moved from Wyandotte County, Kansas to Indian Territory in 1873. He settled first at Silver Lake, a natural lake south of the present city of Bartlesville. In 1874, he opened a trading post and post office on Turkey Creek, in what is now East Bartlesville. In the following year, he bought a grist mill on the Caney River and modified it to produce flour. Bartles then built a two-story general store and residence, and added a rooming house, a blacksmith shop and a livery stable. Other settlers soon moved into the immediate area, which was then called Bartles Town. In 1880, Bartles moved his Turkey Creek post office to this town. Bartles then provided the community with electricity, a telephone system and a water distribution system.

Development of the present city began after William Johnstone and George B. Keeler opened a general store on the south side of the Caney River in 1884. The first newspaper, The Weekly Magnet, began publication in March 1895. The town was incorporated in Indian Territory in January 1897. The town was surveyed and platted in 1898, and eighty acres were offered to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad for a depot. The railroad reached the town in 1899. The post office was moved from "North Bartlesville" in 1899. Bypassed by the railroad, Jacob Bartles moved his store to Dewey, Oklahoma.

In 1957, Bartlesville was the test site for the first experiment in pay cable television. The Bartlesville Telemovie System debuted with The Pajama Game, starring Doris Day, and aired it to an audience of 300 homes. The headline of the September 4, 1957 issue of Variety read "First-Run Films Now at Home".


Bartlesville is located at 36°44′50″N 95°57′34″W / 36.74722°N 95.95944°W / 36.74722; -95.95944 (36.747193, -95.959498). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.1 square miles (54.6 km2), of which 21.1 square miles (54.6 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) (0.09%) is water.

Caney River
Caney River

The Caney River flows through Bartlesville separating the downtown area from the east side. The river flooded in October 1986 due to above average rainfall. The city was split in half for several days and the flood caused considerable property damage. The river left its banks again in June 2007, cresting five feet below the 1986 crest.


Bartlesville is familiar with both very hot conditions in the summer with a record high of 115 °F or 46.1 °C and with very cold conditions with a record of low of −28 °F or −33.3 °C. However, even with this record of extremes, the climate of Bartlesville is considered humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa) with relatively mild winters and hot summers, with the majority of precipitation falling in spring, between the months of April and June. Bartlesville lies in Tornado Alley, meaning that severe weather, including tornadoes, can occur. Severe weather occurs most often in the spring months, and occurs with much less frequency throughout the rest of the year.

Climate data for Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
Average high °F (°C) 46.5
Average low °F (°C) 23.5
Record low °F (°C) −25
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.62
Average snowfall inches (cm) 2.8
trace 0.0


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 698
1910 6,181 785.5%
1920 14,417 133.2%
1930 14,763 2.4%
1940 16,267 10.2%
1950 19,228 18.2%
1960 27,893 45.1%
1970 29,683 6.4%
1980 34,568 16.5%
1990 34,256 −0.9%
2000 34,748 1.4%
2010 35,750 2.9%
2020 37,290 4.3%

As of the census of 2000, there were 34,748 people, 14,565 households, and 9,831 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,646.4 people per square mile (635.5/km2). There were 16,091 housing units at an average density of 762.4 per square mile (294.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.09% White, 3.20% African American, 7.18% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 5.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 3.02% of the population.

There were 14,565 households, out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.0% 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 2.89.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.9% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,195, and the median income for a family was $56,432. The per capita income for the city was $27,417. About 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line.

As of 2010 Bartlesville had a population of 35,750. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 79.0% White (76.1% non-Hispanic), 3.1% Black or African American, 8.7% Native American, 1.4% Asian (0.4% Indian, 0.3% Chinese, 0.2% Vietnamese), 2.1% reporting some other race, 5.7% reporting two or more races and 5.9% Hispanic or Latino (4.5% Mexican, 0.3% Spanish or Spaniard, 0.2% Puerto Rican).


Price tower
Price Tower, located downtown, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank and Jane Phillips House
Frank and Jane Phillips house (2013)

Price Tower, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, stands in downtown Bartlesville. It is the only realized skyscraper by Wright, and is one of only two vertically oriented Wright structures extant (the other is the S.C. Johnson Wax Research Tower in Racine, Wisconsin). The nearby Bartlesville Community Center, designed by William Wesley Peters, one of Wright's students, hosts the "OK Mozart" International Festival, an annual week-long music event in June. Begun in 1985 organized around the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the festival features performances of classical, jazz, light opera, and more. World-renowned musicians who have performed at OK Mozart include Itzhak Perlman, Joyce Yang, Joshua Bell, and André Watts. The Community Center also hosts the Bartlesville Community Concert Association's concert lineup.

The city also hosts several annual festivals and shows, nearly all focused in the downtown. Sunfest is scheduled the first weekend of June. It includes an arts and crafts show, a music festival, a kids festival, and a classic cars show in Downtown. A second classic air show and festival in the fall. An Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival held at the Community Center in Downtown Bartlesville each fall.

Bartlesville's downtown revitalization efforts are in full swing, with many blocks of National Register Historic District, and the catalyst project, the once burned out May Brothers and 1904 Buildings are coming to completion at the downtown's center. The original Kress Building has been taken over by Bartlesville Monthly Magazine and restored with the Frank Phillips Club on the first floor. The original Jane Phillips Memorial Hospital is about to undergo historic preservation for re-use as lofts, as downtown Bartlesville is so full of young professionals that the many developed historic lofts all have a long waiting list, and nearly twenty new retail and restaurant businesses have recently located in the downtown, including Indian Coffee, Lubella's Boutique, and Oklahoma's famous Hideaway Pizza. Downtown Bartlesville Inc., the Bartlesville Redevelopment Trust Authority, the Bartlesville Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Bartlesville Development Authority work in tandem to promote this thriving "Next City" in Oklahoma downtown redevelopment in a City rich in oil history and energized for the future with the highest job growth in Oklahoma.

Frank Phillips' former home in Bartlesville is a museum maintained by the Oklahoma Historical Society. His ranch and retreat about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Bartlesville is called Woolaroc (a portmanteau of the words woods, lakes, rocks). A working ranch of 3,700 acres (1,500 ha), Woolaroc houses a museum exhibiting Phillips' extensive Native American, western, and fine art collections. It holds one of the most complete private collections of Colt firearms in the world. The property includes the Phillips family's lodge and mausoleum, along with a huge wildlife preserve with herds of American bison, elk, Texas longhorn cattle, water buffalo, zebra, and more than 20 other animal species.

A Wall of Honor is located inside Washington Park Mall, with names of service members listed on panels beside cabinets that display military artifacts, photos, story boards, POW/MIA listings, and other exhibits. A special display honors Lance Corporal Thomas A. Blair, Oklahoma's first casualty during the Iraq War.

Bruce Goff designed Shin'enKan ("The House of the Far Away Heart") in 1956. Built for Joe D. Price as his house and studio, it was destroyed by fire in December 1996. However, Bartlesville is the home of multiple other Bruce Goff architectural masterpieces, a home for the Price Pipe and Supply Family, by Frank Lloyd Wright, and numerous homes by the famous Kansas City Architect, Edward Delk. The Conference Basketball tournament for The Great American Conference is hosted in Bartlesville OK.


Oklahoma's first commercial oil well, the Nellie Johnstone, discovered oil on 15 April 1897 along a bank of the Caney River, near Bartlesville.

Before its merger with Conoco, Phillips Petroleum Company had its headquarters in Bartlesville. After ConocoPhillips formed, the combined company established a global systems and services office in Bartlesville. ConocoPhillips spun most of its operations not related to exploration and production to form a new company, Phillips 66, in 2012. The two companies combined employ or contract with more than 3,800 people in the area. Chevron Phillips also has an office here.

Phillips Petroleum had a large presence in Bartlesville. A writer for the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune said, "I never quite understood why the town where I spent my high school years wasn't named Phillipsburg. Nearly everything else in town was named after the Phillips Petroleum company or its founder".


Oklahoma Wesleyan University, a private religious school affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, enrolls about 1,100 students at the main campus in Bartlesville, satellite locations, and online campuses. About 700 students attend the Rogers State University campus downtown.

Career and technical training is provided by Tri County Technology Center, which offers several programs for high-school and adult students along with short-term courses. In December 2018, Tri-County Tech was recognized for performance excellence as one of the recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Bartlesville Public Schools are in the Bartlesville Public School District (BPSD), also known as Independent School District 30. They include six elementary (PreK-5) sites, Central and Madison middle schools (6-8), and the high school (9-12).

Private schools in Bartlesville include St. John School, a Catholic school, Coram Deo Classical Academy, and the Wesleyan Christian School, which is affiliated with First Wesleyan Church. Some students also attend Tulsa-area private high schools.


Bartlesville is served by two US Highways and one Oklahoma state highway:

  • US-75 is the primary north-south US highway through Bartlesville and Washington County. It follows Washington Boulevard from Minnesota Street as it comes out of the nearby city of Dewey to the north and Washington County Road W. 2400 to the south. The city limits stretch just to the south of the Walmart Distribution Center on US-75/Washington County Road W. 3000, east of the town of Ochelata. US-75 continues south into Tulsa.
  • US-60 is the primary east-west US highway in Bartlesville and Washington County. It follows Nowata Road, east of SE Bison Road on the city's east side to Washington Boulevard (US-75). The highway continues north, where it follows Washington Boulevard (US-75) to the Washington Boulevard/Adams Road interchange. From the Washington Boulevard/Adams Road interchange, US-60 departs US-75 and continues west, where it follows Adams Road to Western Street. From Adams Road, it continues north on Western Street (OK-123) to the Western Street/Frank Phillips Boulevard/Hensley Boulevard intersection, where the highway exits to the west, toward Pawhuska. Western Street rests on the Washington/Osage County Line.
  • SH-123 follows Bartles Road coming from the west side of Dewey as it crosses the Caney River Bridge just north of Hensley Boulevard. The highway turns west and runs along Hensley Boulevard for approximately 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to the Hensley Boulevard/Frank Phillips Boulevard/Western Street intersection. The highway runs a brief distance along US-60, departing at Adams Road. SH-123 then departs Bartlesville to the southwest toward Barnsdall in Osage County.

Intercity bus service is available through Jefferson Lines.

Airport and aviation

Bartlesville Municipal Airport sits on the city's west side on US-60 in Osage County. It is a single-runway airport. Runway 17/35 is a concrete runway that is 6,850' by 100'. It has terminal and fixed-base operations and is owned by the City of Bartlesville.

In the early 1950s, the airport hosted commercial air transportation provided by Central Airlines. Commercial air transportation is now available at Tulsa International Airport, about 45 miles south.


Bartlesville is served by the South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad ("SKOL"), a shortline carrier of Watco headquartered in Pittsburg, Kansas. The line comes into Bartlesville from the north, crossing the trestle over the Caney River. It continues southwest to the west of downtown and exits Bartlesville at the trestle to the south near East 23rd Street.

This line was the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe until it merged with Burlington Northern to form the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe. The line was to be abandoned, leaving Bartlesville and Washington County without rail service. The line comes into Washington County to the north from the nearby town of Caney, Kansas, then runs through Copan, Dewey, Bartlesville, Ochelata, Ramona, and Vera into Collinsville, Owasso, and Tulsa. The switch to the BNSF Cherokee Subdivision is just west of North Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa. There are no Class 1 Railroads in Bartlesville or Washington County. The line at one time had passenger service and the depot downtown on SW. Keeler Avenue at 2nd Street was a full-time passenger and freight depot.

Notable people

  • Boots Adams, business executive and civic philanthropist of Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • Bud Adams, owner of the Tennessee Titans; enrolled Cherokee, grew up in Bartlesville
  • Nancy Barrett, actress
  • Omar Browning, basketball player, 1948 United States men's Olympic basketball team head coach
  • Mark Costello, Oklahoma politician
  • Leo G. Cox, theologian
  • Patrick Cranshaw, actor
  • Ree Drummond, blogger and TV cook
  • Lyle Goodhue, scientist
  • Meredith Howard Harless, performer
  • Becky Hobbs, singer
  • Sven Erik Holmes, United States district judge
  • Ted Hsu, retired Member of Canadian Parliament for the riding of Kingston and the Islands
  • Todd Ames Hunter, Texas politician, born in Bartlesville in 1953
  • Bob Kurland, basketball player
  • Terrence Malick, cinema director
  • Tyson Meade, rock singer
  • Emeka Okafor, basketball player
  • Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum
  • Kinga Philipps, actress/producer
  • Mark Price, basketball player
  • Tim Pugh, baseball player
  • John Wesley Raley, minister and educator
  • Allen Rucker, writer
  • William Salyers, stage, screen and voice actor
  • Joe Sears, actor
  • Louis Skurcenski, basketball player
  • Gretchen Wyler, actress
  • Kathleen Zellner, attorney

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bartlesville (Oklahoma) para niños

kids search engine
Bartlesville, Oklahoma Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.