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Guymon, Oklahoma
Texas County Courthouse (2012)
Texas County Courthouse (2012)
Location within Texas County and Oklahoma
Location within Texas County and Oklahoma
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Texas
Incorporated 1901
Government
 • Type Council–Manager
Area
 • Total 7.80 sq mi (20.20 km2)
 • Land 7.78 sq mi (20.14 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)
Elevation
3,124 ft (952 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 12,965
 • Density 1,662.18/sq mi (641.83/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
73942
Area code 580
FIPS code 40-31750
GNIS ID 1093452

Guymon ( GHY-mən) is a city and county seat of Texas County, in the panhandle of Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2020 census, the city population was 12,965, an increase of 13.3% from 11,442 in 2010, and represents more than half of the population of the county. Cattle feedlots, corporate pork farms, and natural gas production dominate its economy, with wind energy production and transmission recently diversifying landowners' farms.

History

In the 1890s, Edward T. “E.T.” Guymon, president of the Inter-State Land and Town Company, purchased a section of land west of the Beaver River, also known as the North Canadian River. The site grew very rapidly after the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway (Rock Island) built a line from Liberal, Kansas to Texhoma, Texas in 1901. A community, first named Sanford by the U.S. Post Office Department, was sited along the line. It was renamed Guymon a month later by postal officials to avoid confusion with the town of Stratford, Texas, which was further down the line. Guymon incorporated in 1901. The town plat was filed in Beaver County, Oklahoma Territory, in 1904.

Texas County, Oklahoma courthouse from E 1
Texas County Courthouse, 2012

Guymon's growth was helped when most of the businesses moved there from the nearby town of Hardesty. One of these was the newspaper, Hardesty Herald, which owner Richard B. Quinn quickly renamed as the Guymon Herald. When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, Guymon claimed 839 residents, and was named county seat of the newly created Texas County. By the 1910 U.S. census, the town had 1,342 residents. It also had three banks, three hotels, four doctors, a flour mill, a grain company and several retail establishments. A second newspaper, the Guymon Democrat, was in business. Agriculture became the basis of Guymon's economy. The 1920 census recorded 1,507 residents, which grew to 2,181 in 1930. By 1932, the town had two cream stations and five grain elevators.

The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s had a negative effect on Guymon. Some old-time residents remember "Black Sunday", April 14, 1935, as the day of the worst dust storm in the area's history. However, discovery of the nearby Hugoton-Panhandle gas field created many new jobs, and brought Guymon's population to 2,290 in 1940.

The Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo has offered tributes to the community’s pioneer spirit every May since 1933. In 2014 the rodeo was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). In 2006, the rodeo had over 900 contestants with over $385,000 in prize money.

The Anchor D Ranch, a large cattle ranch in the No Man's Land section of the Oklahoma-Texas Panhandle, is located nearby.

Geography

Located on the High Plains of the central Oklahoma Panhandle Guymon sits 122 miles (196 km) north of Amarillo, Texas and 120 miles (193 km) west-northwest of Woodward, Oklahoma. Optima National Wildlife Refuge, Optima Lake and the state-run Optima Wildlife Management Area lie roughly 16 miles (26 km) to the east along the North Canadian River.

Guymon is located at 36°40′58″N 101°28′54″W / 36.68278°N 101.48167°W / 36.68278; -101.48167 (36.6828041,-101.4815493) and sits at an elevation of 3,126 feet (953 m). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (18.9 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (18.9 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) (0.27%) is water.

Climate

Climate data for Guymon, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 83
(28.3)
84
(28.9)
93
(33.9)
96
(35.6)
102
(38.9)
108
(42.2)
107
(41.7)
108
(42.2)
106
(41.1)
98
(36.7)
86
(30)
86
(30)
108
(42.2)
Average high °F (°C) 48
(8.9)
52
(11.1)
58
(14.4)
69
(20.6)
78
(25.6)
89
(31.7)
93
(33.9)
92
(33.3)
85
(29.4)
74
(23.3)
59
(15)
51
(10.6)
70.7
(21.48)
Average low °F (°C) 21
(-6.1)
25
(-3.9)
29
(-1.7)
41
(5)
50
(10)
61
(16.1)
65
(18.3)
65
(18.3)
56
(13.3)
44
(6.7)
30
(-1.1)
24
(-4.4)
42.6
(5.88)
Record low °F (°C) −19
(-28.3)
−11
(-23.9)
−7
(-21.7)
17
(-8.3)
28
(-2.2)
41
(5)
48
(8.9)
46
(7.8)
31
(-0.6)
24
(-4.4)
4
(-15.6)
0
(-17.8)
−19
(-28.3)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.5
(13)
0.9
(23)
0.8
(20)
1.7
(43)
3.1
(79)
2.5
(64)
3.5
(89)
2.8
(71)
1.9
(48)
1.8
(46)
0.8
(20)
0.6
(15)
20.9
(531)
Snowfall inches (cm) 3.2
(8.1)
3.9
(9.9)
3.3
(8.4)
1
(3)
0.1
(0.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.2
(0.5)
1.3
(3.3)
3.5
(8.9)
16.5
(41.9)
Humidity 75 71 62 67 59 58 58 54 55 61 58 73 63
Avg. rainy days 1.6 2.6 2.2 4.3 6.2 4.9 6.2 5.4 3.6 3.4 2 2 44.4
Source #1: weather.com
Source #2: Weatherbase.com

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,342
1920 1,507 12.3%
1930 2,181 44.7%
1940 2,290 5.0%
1950 4,718 106.0%
1960 5,768 22.3%
1970 7,674 33.0%
1980 8,492 10.7%
1990 7,803 −8.1%
2000 10,472 34.2%
2010 11,442 9.3%
2020 12,965 13.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2020 census, there were 12,965 people and 3,453 households residing in the city. The population density was 1,662 people per square mile (642/km2). There were 3,941 housing units at an average density of 539.4 per square mile (208.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city as of 2020 was 58.1% Hispanic, 29.3% non-Hispanic White, 3.6% Black, 5.6% Asian, 4.7% of two or more races, and 0.1% Native American.

There were 3,453 households; the average household size was 3.28 persons. As of 2010, 39.8% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 31.3% under the age of 18 and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. 45.2% of the city's 2020 population was female.

The median income for a household in the city was $53,164. The per capita income for the city was $19,455. About 24.6% of the population was below the poverty line, increasing from 14.3% in 2010.

In the 2010 census, Guymon had the fourth largest Hispanic population among cities in the state, trailing only Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Lawton.

Recreation

Economy

Guymon is a hub for the local economy, which includes wheat farming, livestock, hog and dairy farming, manufacturing, and oil and natural gas production. A United States soil conservation station is located nearby. Local manufacturers produce agricultural tillage tools, pressure tanks, and formula feeds. The town of Goodwell, Oklahoma, home of Oklahoma Panhandle State University, lies 11 miles (18 km) to the southwest of Guymon.

Opening of the Hugoton-Panhandle Gas Field led to the establishment of two carbon black plants, the Dandee Manufacturing Company (makers of farming equipment), an ice plant, the OK Welding Manufacturing Company, a feed mill, the Phillips Petroleum cracking plant, and the Southwestern Public Service Company generating plant. The Guymon Municipal Hospital (later renamed Memorial Hospital of Texas County) opened in 1949.

The city's largest employer, Seaboard pork processing plant, operates at double shift capacity and processes about 18,000 hogs each day, and its 2,300 employees make up about 20% of the entire city's population. Hitch Ranch, which began opening cattle feedlots during the 1960s, is the city's second-largest employer. A Swift and Company packing plant is located near Hitch Ranch. The City of Guymon, the Panhandle Telephone Cooperative, and the hospital round out the list of top employers.

A movement to harness wind power for electricity generation began a large-scale boom in the Guymon area in 2011. The DeWind Company had two 40-megawatt projects online (near Goodwell) in 2012, joined by a 200-megawatt project in 2015.

Education

Guymon residents are served by the Guymon School District. The school system was begun in 1902–3. The first high-school building was built in 1917. Guymon schools were closed for one year during the Great Depression because funds were insufficient to keep them operating. The school district opened a new high school in 1954. This was replaced with a new facility in 1974.

The city has eight elementary schools, one junior high school, and one high school, whose team mascot is the Tiger.

Elementary schools
  • Academy
  • Academy "C"
  • Carrier
  • Homer Long
  • Northeast
  • North Park
  • Prairie
Middle school
  • Guymon Junior High School
High school
  • Guymon High School

More than 80% of high school students qualify for a reduced-price school lunch, a common proxy for poverty.

About 30% of residents lack a high school diploma; the city has the lowest educational level in the state. Guymon High School lags behind the state average in several measures.

Subject State Average Guymon HS
HS graduation rate 84% 67%
English language arts 79% 65%
Math exam 74% 47%

Infrastructure

Transportation

Guymon is served by US-54, US-64, US-412, SH-3, and SH-136, some of said roads being partially concurrent or completely concurrent with others through Guymon.

Guymon Municipal Airport is a city-owned, public-use airport located two nautical miles (3.7 km) west of the central business district of Guymon.

Commercial air transport is available out of Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport in Kansas, about 41 miles northeast of town.

Notable people

  • Michael D. Brown – former FEMA director was born in Guymon in 1955.
  • Claudia Bryar (1918-2011) - film and television actress, was born in Guymon.
  • F. Hiner Dale (1881–1968) – Judge and founder of Guymon law firm of Wright, Dale, and Jett
  • Gordon Grice (b. 1965) – award-winning nature writer, was born in Guymon.
  • Ross Rizley (1892-1969) - former U.S. Representative, is buried in Guymon.
  • Sammi Smith (1943-2005) - country music star - born Jewel Faye Smith
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