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Broken Bow, Oklahoma
Broken Bow Municipal Offices
Broken Bow Municipal Offices
Location of Broken Bow, Oklahoma
Location of Broken Bow, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 34°1′47″N 94°44′16″W / 34.02972°N 94.73778°W / 34.02972; -94.73778Coordinates: 34°1′47″N 94°44′16″W / 34.02972°N 94.73778°W / 34.02972; -94.73778
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County McCurtain
 • Type Council-manager
 • Total 6.16 sq mi (15.95 km2)
 • Land 6.12 sq mi (15.84 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
469 ft (143 m)
 • Total 4,120
 • Estimate 
 • Density 667.92/sq mi (257.87/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 580 Exchange: 584
FIPS code 40-09100
GNIS feature ID 1090514
Downtown Broken Bow, OK IMG 8546
A portion of downtown Broken Bow

Broken Bow is a city in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 4,120 at the 2010 census. It is named after Broken Bow, Nebraska, the former hometown of the city's founders, the Dierks brothers. Other Dierks-associated legacies in town include Dierks Elementary School, Dierks Street, and Dierks Train #227 which is preserved in Broken Bow.


The land that would become Broken Bow was owned by the Choctaw tribe prior to being settled by non-Indians. Growing around a lumber company started by two brothers, Broken Bow had a population of 1,983, just a decade after its incorporation in 1911. The city lies within the Little Dixie region of Oklahoma, an area originally settled largely by Southerners seeking a new start following the American Civil War.


Broken Bow is located at 34°1′47″N 94°44′16″W / 34.02972°N 94.73778°W / 34.02972; -94.73778 (34.029784, −94.737656).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.0 square miles (13 km2), of which 5.0 square miles (13.0 km2) is land, and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.40%) is water.

The city of Broken Bow stands in a unique transition zone between the Red River basin and the Ouachita Mountains. While the Ouachita Mountains are sandstone ridges that are considered the roughest land in Oklahoma, the Red River basin is considered fertile. North of Broken Bow is Broken Bow Lake, created by the United States Army Corps of Engineers by damming the Mountain Fork River. The lake's creation forced Hochatown to relocate to its present-day location.

The Broken Bow Lake covers 14,220 acres (57.5 km2) and has 180 miles (290 km) of shoreline. The lake contains small islands, bass and is surrounded by pine trees.

The city sits at the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains, a subrange of the Ouachita Mountains. the Kiamichi Mountains sit within Le Flore, Pushmataha, and McCurtain counties near the towns of Poteau and Albion. The Kiamichi peaks line up south of the Kiamichi River and reach 2,500 feet (760 m) in elevation. The range is the namesake of Kiamichi Country, the official tourism designation for southeastern Oklahoma.

Black bear, coyote, bobcat, deer, minks, bats, bald eagles, and varieties of woodpeckers, doves, owls, and road runners are native to the Kiamichi Mountains region.


Climate data for Broken Bow, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 51.7
Average low °F (°C) 26.9
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.9


For the past ten years, Broken Bow High School Band has received Superior Rating at the McAlester Regional Marching Contest and have placed in class 4A in every marching competition that they competed in this past season. The Band was originally known as the "Savage Pride" before it was changed in 2006 to the "Black and Gold Regiment."


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 1,983
1930 2,291 15.5%
1940 2,367 3.3%
1950 1,838 −22.3%
1960 2,087 13.5%
1970 2,980 42.8%
1980 3,965 33.1%
1990 3,961 −0.1%
2000 4,230 6.8%
2010 4,120 −2.6%
2019 (est.) 4,085 −0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,120 people, 1,599 households, and 1,036 families residing in the city. The population density was 824 people per square mile (317/km2). There were 1,793 housing units at an average density of 359.6 per square mile (137.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 61.80% White, 8.30% African American, 18.50% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 3.90% from other races, and 6.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.32% of the population.

There were 1,599 households, out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 23.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51, and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.9% under the age of 18, 51.2% from 19–65, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.3 years. Males made up 46.2% of the population, while Females made up 53.8%.

The median income for a household in the city was $19,350, and the median income for a family was $22,500. Males had a median income of $32,2608 versus $20,895 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,381. About 36.6% of families and 46.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.9% of those under age 18 and 31.8% of those age 65 or over.


In recent years, Broken Bow has seen a tremendous economic boom through the development of its timber and tourism industries. The town is also home to a chicken-processing plant owned by Tyson Industries.


Broken Bow OK
Broken Bow Coves

In addition to being home of Broken Bow Lake, the city is a gateway for tourists visiting Beavers Bend Resort Park, Hochatown State Park, and Cedar Creek Golf Course at Beavers Bend. Hunters also visit the region, which bills itself as the "deer capital of the world."

Broken Bow is home to two museums containing Native American artifacts. The Gardner Mansion and Museum was the historic home of the "Chief of the Choctaws" and was built in 1884. The Indian Memorial Museum houses pre-historic Indian pottery, fossils, Quartz crystal and antique glass.


The forest industry is by far the area's largest business concern. Each year some 60 million cubic feet (1,700,000 m3) of lumber are harvested in McCurtain County, and great care is taken to ensure the prolonged health of local pine and hardwood forests. The Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture Forestry Division and United States Forest Service have a large presence in the area and are constantly surveying the area forests in order to prevent wildfires.

Weyerhaeuser Company operates a large plant in nearby Idabel, and International Paper also operates a large mill in Valliant. Additionally, Weyerhaeuser maintains several pine tree plantations throughout McCurtain County. Pan Pacific operates a fiberboard plant on the west side of Broken Bow. Huber Engineered Woods is the latest big player to enter the area, with a very large oriented strand board (OSB) plant, also on the west side of Broken Bow. Huber plans to employ about 160 people at the site and expects to create another 250 jobs within the local community.

Notable people

  • Harry Brecheen, former MLB pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • James Butler, former sprinter, NCAA champion and 200 m winner at the Liberty Bell Classic
  • Gail Davies, singer/songwriter with several top-10 country hits to her name.
  • Randy Rutherford, former basketball player, most notable for his time as a college player for Oklahoma State
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