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Boise City, Oklahoma
Cimarron County Courthouse (2011)
Location within Cimarron County and Oklahoma
Location within Cimarron County and Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36°43′48″N 102°30′41″W / 36.73000°N 102.51139°W / 36.73000; -102.51139Coordinates: 36°43′48″N 102°30′41″W / 36.73000°N 102.51139°W / 36.73000; -102.51139
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Cimarron
Founded 1908
Incorporated 1925
Area
 • Total 1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)
 • Land 1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
4,167 ft (1,270 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 1,266
 • Estimate 
(2019)
1,085
 • Density 748.79/sq mi (289.03/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
73933
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-07300
GNIS ID 1090365

Boise City is a city in and the county seat of Cimarron County, in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,266 at the 2010 census, a decline of 14.6 percent from 1,483 in 2000.

History

Boise City was founded in 1908 by developers J. E. Stanley, A. J. Kline, and W. T. Douglas (all doing business as the Southwestern Immigration and Development Company of Guthrie, Oklahoma) and who published and distributed brochures promoting the town as an elegant, tree-lined city with paved streets, numerous businesses, railroad service, and an artesian well. They sold 3,000 lots to buyers who discovered, on their arrival, that none of the information in the brochure was true. In addition to using false publicity, the three men did not have title to the lots they sold. Stanley and Kline were convicted of mail fraud and sent to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Stanley and Kline served two year terms in the penitentiary. Douglas died of tuberculosis before beginning his sentence. The town nevertheless took shape and incorporated on July 20, 1925.

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture says that the origin of the town name is unclear, but offers three possibilities: (1) a Captain Boice who was a hero in the Civil War, (2) the town of Boise, Idaho or (3) the Boise Cattle Company, which ran cattle in the area.

Boise City's prosperity in the 1930s was severely affected by its location at the heart of the Dust Bowl region.

Boise City was the location of an unusual event during World War II when it was mistakenly bombed by a friendly U.S. bomber crew during training. The bombing occurred on July 5, 1943, at approximately 12:30 a.m. by a B‑17 Flying Fortress Bomber. This occurred because pilots performing target practice became disoriented and mistook the lights around the town square as their target. No one was killed in the attack (only practice bombs were used and the square was deserted at the time), but the pilots were embarrassed. For the 50th anniversary of the incident, the crew of the bomber was invited back to Boise City, but all members declined. The former radio operator did, however, send an audio tape that was played at the celebration.

Geography

Boise City is located at 36°43′48″N 102°30′41″W / 36.73000°N 102.51139°W / 36.73000; -102.51139 (36.730115, -102.511419). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2)*, all land.

Boise City is closer to the capitals of both Colorado and New Mexico than it is to Oklahoma City. Denver, Colorado, is 303 miles (488 km) and Santa Fe, New Mexico, is 261 miles (420 km), while Oklahoma City is 326 miles (525 km) away.

From Boise City, one can drive to four other states (Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas) in under an hour.

Climate

Boise City experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with cool, dry winters and long, hot, wetter summers.

According weather data tallied between July 1, 1985 and June 30, 2015 for every location in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's official climate database, Boise City, Oklahoma, is the snowiest place in the state of Oklahoma with an average of 30.8 inches of snow per year.

Climate data for Boise City, OK (Data for 1908–2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
(26.7)
85
(29.4)
91
(32.8)
97
(36.1)
108
(42.2)
108
(42.2)
107
(41.7)
105
(40.6)
105
(40.6)
96
(35.6)
87
(30.6)
84
(28.9)
108
(42.2)
Average high °F (°C) 48.9
(9.39)
52.9
(11.61)
60.6
(15.89)
70.0
(21.11)
78.3
(25.72)
88.3
(31.28)
92.8
(33.78)
90.5
(32.5)
83.1
(28.39)
72.3
(22.39)
59.4
(15.22)
49.5
(9.72)
70.5
(21.39)
Average low °F (°C) 19.3
(-7.06)
22.5
(-5.28)
28.5
(-1.94)
38.0
(3.33)
47.4
(8.56)
57.4
(14.11)
62.5
(16.94)
61.0
(16.11)
52.9
(11.61)
40.7
(4.83)
28.6
(-1.89)
21.1
(-6.06)
40.0
(4.44)
Record low °F (°C) −24
(-31.1)
−16
(-26.7)
−12
(-24.4)
6
(-14.4)
20
(-6.7)
31
(-0.6)
39
(3.9)
36
(2.2)
25
(-3.9)
9
(-12.8)
−7
(-21.7)
−17
(-27.2)
−24
(-31.1)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.43
(10.9)
0.45
(11.4)
0.96
(24.4)
1.29
(32.8)
2.39
(60.7)
2.44
(62)
2.50
(63.5)
2.67
(67.8)
1.61
(40.9)
1.32
(33.5)
0.71
(18)
0.56
(14.2)
17.33
(440.2)
Snowfall inches (cm) 4.8
(12.2)
3.8
(9.7)
5.4
(13.7)
1.6
(4.1)
0.3
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.9
(2.3)
3.0
(7.6)
5.4
(13.7)
25.5
(64.8)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 3.1 3.4 4.9 4.7 7.0 7.0 7.1 6.3 4.6 3.4 3.2 2.8 57.5
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 1,256
1940 1,144 −8.9%
1950 1,902 66.3%
1960 1,978 4.0%
1970 1,993 0.8%
1980 1,761 −11.6%
1990 1,509 −14.3%
2000 1,483 −1.7%
2010 1,266 −14.6%
2019 (est.) 1,085 −14.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,483 people, 610 households, and 400 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,180.6 people per square mile (454.4/km2). There were 752 housing units at an average density of 598.7 per square mile (230.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.7% White, 0.2% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 13.4% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.0% of the population.

There were 610 households, out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.1% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.2% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 21.7% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 21.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,071, and the median income for a family was $35,761. Males had a median income of $23,088 versus $17,679 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,821. About 14.7% of families and 19.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.0% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over.

Gallery

Economy

The local economy is based on ranching, farming, and the production of oil and natural gas.

The local paper, starting as the Cimarron News in 1898 in Kenton, Oklahoma, has been known as The Boise City News since 1930. Calling itself The Official Newspaper of Cimarron County, it is available in both print and digital editions.

Transportation

RouteThreeInBoiseCityOklahomaSeptember2011
Main highway through Boise City, looking west (2011)

Highways include U.S. routes 56, 64, 287, 385, 412, and State Highway 325.

The Boise City Airport, which serves all of the county, is located approximately six miles north of the town center.

Commercial air transport is available out of Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport in Kansas approximately 99 miles east-northeast of town, or the larger Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Texas about 127 miles south-southeast of town.

Notable people

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