Durant, Oklahoma facts for kids

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Durant, Oklahoma
City
Main street durant ok.jpg
Official seal of Durant, Oklahoma
Seal
Nickname(s): City of Magnolias and Gateway to Lake Texoma
Location within the state of Oklahoma
Location within the state of Oklahoma
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Bryan
Area
 • Total 26.8 sq mi (69.3 km2)
 • Land 26.7 sq mi (69.2 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 636 ft (194 m)
Population (2014)
 • Total 15,856
 • Density 638/sq mi (246.3/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 74701-74702
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-22050
GNIS feature ID 1092307
Website www.durant.org

Durant is a city in Bryan County, Oklahoma, United States and serves as the capital of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The population was 15,856 at the 2010 census. Durant is the principal city of the Durant Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 42,416 in 2010. Durant ranks as the second largest city within the Choctaw Nation, following McAlester, and ahead of Poteau. Durant is also part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Combined Statistical Area, anchoring the northern edge.

The city was founded by Dixon Durant, a Choctaw who lived in the area, after the MK&T railroad came through the Indian Territory in the early 1870s. It became the county seat of Bryan County in 1907 after Oklahoma statehood.

Durant is home to Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the headquarters of the Choctaw Nation. The city is officially known as the Magnolia Capital of Oklahoma. The city and its micropolitan are a major part of the Texoma region.

History

Bryan co ch
Bryan County Courthouse

The Durant area was once claimed by both Spain and France before officially becoming part of the United States after the Louisiana Purchase and Adams–Onís Treaty. During the 1820s and 1830s the area was designated as part of the Choctaw Nation in the southern Indian Territory. During the Indian removals the Choctaws followed the Choctaw Trail of Tears from their ancestral homeland in Mississippi and Alabama into this area. The Choctaw Nation originally extended from the Mexican border in the west (now part of the Texas panhandle) to the Arkansas Territory in the east, from the Red River in the south to the South Canadian River in the north.

Pierre Durant and his four sons, all of French-Choctaw origin, made the journey up the Trail of Tears on the way to the southeastern part of the Choctaw Nation in 1832. The brothers, grown, with families of their own, established homesteads from the Arkansas line to Durant. One son, Fisher, married to a full-blood Choctaw, found a beautiful location for a home between Durant's present Eighth and Ninth avenues.

Fisher Durant's son Dixon Durant is recognized as the founder of Durant and is honored as its namesake. A minister, businessman and civic leader, Dixon Durant is credited with pastorates in local Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodist churches. He established the first store selling general merchandise in 1873, around the time of the 1872 creation of the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad (Katy Railroad) siding at Durant, which was the initial impetus for establishing the community.

The first post office at the site was known as Durant Station, opening on February 20, 1879, and closing on July 11, 1881. A.E. Fulsom was postmaster. The U.S. Postal Service re-established the post office at the site as Durant on March 8, 1882, dropping the word "station" from the name.

W.H. Hilton was elected the first mayor of Durant.

A memorable event in Durant's rail history occurred on April 5, 1905. A special southbound Katy train stopped in the city with President Theodore Roosevelt aboard.

Durant city hall
Durant City Hall

Bryan County was created from Choctaw lands in 1907, the same time as statehood, and was named after William Jennings Bryan. Bryan was nominated three times for President of the United States and at the age of 36 lost to William McKinley. He lost to McKinley again in 1900, and to William H. Taft in 1908. Woodrow Wilson appointed the county's namesake as United States Secretary of State in 1913.

Eleven people were killed in Durant by a tornado in April 1919.

The town's population grew from 2,969 in 1900 to 5,330 in 1910, 12,823 in 1990, and to 13,549 in 2000.

In 1953, actor José Ferrer and actress/singer Rosemary Clooney were married in Durant while Jose was performing in the musical Kiss Me, Kate in Dallas.

Geography

Durant is located in southern Oklahoma, in a region named Texoma, or Texomaland, because of its short distance from Lake Texoma. The city is also part of Kiamichi Country and Arbuckle Country. Its geographic coordinates are 33°59′59″N 96°23′5″W / 33.99972°N 96.38472°W / 33.99972; -96.38472 (33.999834, −96.384825). It is approximately 14 miles (23 km) north of the Texas border at the Red River. Dallas is about 88 miles (142 km) south of Durant. The north edge of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, in McKinney, is about 58 miles (93 km) to the south.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Durant has a total area of 26.8 square miles (69.3 km2), of which 26.7 square miles (69.2 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.24%, is water.

Climate

Climate data for Durant, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
(31.7)
93
(33.9)
99
(37.2)
97
(36.1)
103
(39.4)
107
(41.7)
111
(43.9)
118
(47.8)
111
(43.9)
100
(37.8)
88
(31.1)
87
(30.6)
118
(47.8)
Average high °F (°C) 53
(11.7)
57
(13.9)
66
(18.9)
75
(23.9)
82
(27.8)
91
(32.8)
95
(35)
96
(35.6)
89
(31.7)
78
(25.6)
65
(18.3)
55
(12.8)
75
(23.9)
Average low °F (°C) 31
(-0.6)
34
(1.1)
42
(5.6)
51
(10.6)
59
(15)
68
(20)
71
(21.7)
70
(21.1)
63
(17.2)
52
(11.1)
41
(5)
33
(0.6)
51
(10.6)
Record low °F (°C) -6
(-21.1)
-4
(-20)
-7
(-21.7)
28
(-2.2)
33
(0.6)
46
(7.8)
52
(11.1)
50
(10)
34
(1.1)
16
(-8.9)
9
(-12.8)
5
(-15)
-6
(-21.1)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.2
(56)
2.7
(69)
2.9
(74)
4.5
(114)
5.4
(137)
3.8
(97)
3.2
(81)
2.8
(71)
3
(76)
3.8
(97)
2.6
(66)
2.6
(66)
39.5
(1,003)
Snowfall inches (cm) 1.2
(3)
0.8
(2)
0.3
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(1)
2.7
(6.9)
Source #1: weather.com
Source #2: Weatherbase.com

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 2,969
1910 5,330 79.5%
1920 7,340 37.7%
1930 7,463 1.7%
1940 10,027 34.4%
1950 10,541 5.1%
1960 10,467 −0.7%
1970 11,118 6.2%
1980 11,972 7.7%
1990 12,823 7.1%
2000 13,549 5.7%
2010 15,856 17.0%
Est. 2015 17,286 9.0%
Sources:

As of the census of 2010, there were 15,856 people and 3,651 families residing in the city. The population density was 830 people per square mile (322/km²). There were 7,202 housing units. Nearly three fourths of the city's population (74.7%) self-identified as white, 13.3% self-identified as Native American, and 2.2% self-identified as black or African American. Less than a tenth of the population (7.1%) self-identified as Hispanic or Latino, regardless of race. Individuals of mixed Native American and white heritage accounted for 4.8% of the population. Less than 1% of the population was Asian or Pacific Islander.

Durant's first census was recorded in 1900, and the population was 2,969. The 2000 census reported Durant's population as 13,549.

There were 6,331 households in the city, of which 26% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.3% were non-families. Individuals living alone accounted for 32.9% of households and 25.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city, the population was spread out with 22% under the age of 18, 18.6% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.9 years. There were slightly more females (51.4% of the population) than males (48.6%).

The median income for a household in the city was $35,135, and the median income for a family was $41,014. Males working full-time had a median income of $34,040 versus $26,197 for female full-time workers. The per capita income for the city was $18,009. About 21% of families and 28% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35% of those under age 18 and 14% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

World's Largest Peanut Monument
Durant's Big Nut on display

Durant is home to the annual Magnolia Festival and the Three Valley Museum. The festival is put on by the Durant Chamber of Commerce and Durant Main Street Program the weekend following Memorial Day. It features music, shopping, shows, and two pageants - the Magnolia Pageant and the Choctaw Princess Pageant.

Durant has a "World's Largest Peanut" monument, a title it shares with two other monuments in Texas and Ashburn, Georgia. This monument to the peanut growers in Bryan County is located on the front lawn of Durant's city hall. Dedicated in 1973, it includes a time capsule that contains historic and legal documents, which will be unearthed in the year 2023.

The Three Valley Museum houses historical artifacts of Bryan County. Opened in 1976, it is named for a book about Durant, Queen of the Three Valleys by Henry McCreary, which references the city's location in the middle of the Red, Blue River, and Washita River valleys. The museum's exhibits include an early law office, doctor's office, child's room, parlor, and general store.

The Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival is housed on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival is one of the top summer theatre festivals in America. It has made Durant and Southeastern Oklahoma State University a destination for tourists, professional and aspiring actors and theatre artisans.

Parks and recreation

The City of Durant maintains and operates 11 parks totaling more than 251 acres (1.02 km2). They include:

  • Durant Multi-Sports Complex
  • Dixon Durant Park – formerly Northside Park, or Rocket Park, renamed in honor of the founder of Durant.
  • Carl Albert Memorial Park & public pool
  • Billy Miller Park
  • Schuler Park
  • Lake Durant

Golf courses:

  • Silverado Golf Course

Less than 10 miles (16 km) away, Lake Texoma has between 8–10 million visitors every year and is the 12th largest lake in the United States, and also one of the largest reservoirs in the country, contributing to Durant's economic and population growth.

Popular culture references

Bonnie & Clyde - Durant, Oklahoma
Detail from the 2013 Bonnie & Clyde miniseries in which the title characters are wanted for crimes committed in Durant, Oklahoma.
  • The Wendell Baker Story - A reference is made in the 2005 film to Neil King (Owen Wilson)'s mother living "nine miles due south of Durant, Oklahoma."
  • All About Steve - In the 2009 film, Sandra Bullock's character, Mary Horowitz, tells her friends "...if I had a car, I could drive through Durant, Oklahoma, where they have the world's largest peanut."
  • On the Road with Austin & Santino - Durant was prominently featured in the 2010 episode "Wedding Knots", as the two designers created a wedding dress for a local woman. Local businesses visited include the Choctaw Casino Resort, Bliss Boutique, and Doylene's Fabric Outlet.
  • Bonnie & Clyde - In this 2013 mini-series, Durant, Oklahoma is referenced in a newspaper article that appears on screen. It reads "Barrow Gang spotted in Durant, Oklahoma," with a sub-headline reading "Three Businesses Robbed At Gunpoint. Outlaws wanted in multiple states." True to the mini-series' inspiration, this was based upon true events.

Images for kids


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