kids encyclopedia robot

Idabel, Oklahoma facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Idabel, Oklahoma
Idabel City Hall
Idabel City Hall
Nickname(s): 
Dogwood Capital of Oklahoma
Location of Idabel, Oklahoma
Location of Idabel, Oklahoma
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County McCurtain
Government
 • Type Mayor-council
Area
 • Total 17.00 sq mi (44.03 km2)
 • Land 16.88 sq mi (43.72 km2)
 • Water 0.12 sq mi (0.31 km2)
Elevation
472 ft (144 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 7,010
 • Estimate 
(2019)
6,843
 • Density 405.37/sq mi (156.51/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
74745
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-36750
GNIS feature ID 1101480

Idabel is a city in and county seat of McCurtain County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 7,010 at the 2010 census. It is located in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, a tourist area known as Choctaw Country.

History

Another view of downtown Idabel, OK IMG 8501
Part of downtown Idabel
Martha A. Johnson Library, Idabel, OK IMG 8504
Martha A. Johnson Library in Idabel

Idabel was established in 1902 by the Arkansas and Choctaw Railway (later part of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway (Frisco). The city was first named Purnell, after Isaac Purnell, a railroad official. When postal officials rejected that designation, the name was changed to Mitchell, honoring another railroad company officer. Postal officials also rejected because another post office of that name existed elsewhere in the territory. They named the post office Bokhoma (a Choctaw word meaning Red River), which opened December 15, 1902. Railroad officials then chose the name Idabel, a compound of the names of Isaac Purnell's two daughters, Ida and Bell. The post office was then renamed Idabel.

For its first four years, Idabel local government was the responsibility of the Choctaw tribe for the Indians themselves. The national government was responsible for enforcing the law among non-Choctaws. In 1906, the citizens elected their first mayor and established a mayor-council form of government. At the time of statehood, November 16, 1907, the town was designated as the county seat of McCurtain County. A census in that year reported 726 residents. By 1910, the population had grown to 1,493. In 1920, there were 3,617 residents, but the number fell to 2,581 in 1930. Growth resumed by the end of the Great Depression in the late 1930s.

Geography

Idabel is located at 33°53′47″N 94°49′45″W / 33.89639°N 94.82917°W / 33.89639; -94.82917 (33.896299, -94.829238).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.9 square miles (41 km2), of which, 15.9 square miles (41 km2) of it is land and 0.06% is water.

Idabel lies between the Little River and the Red River, about 21 miles (34 km) west of the Oklahoma-Arkansas state line and 40 miles (64 km) east of Hugo.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Idabel has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Climate data for Idabel, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 15. 1
(-17.8)
Average high °F (°C) 52.1
(11.17)
56.9
(13.83)
66.1
(18.94)
74.5
(23.61)
81.3
(27.39)
88.2
(31.22)
92.5
(33.61)
92.7
(33.72)
85.9
(29.94)
76.8
(24.89)
65.1
(18.39)
55.4
(13)
74.0
(23.33)
Average low °F (°C) 27.8
(-2.33)
31.8
(-0.11)
40.5
(4.72)
49.6
(9.78)
58.0
(14.44)
65.8
(18.78)
69.4
(20.78)
68.3
(20.17)
61.9
(16.61)
50.0
(10)
39.8
(4.33)
31.2
(-0.44)
49.5
(9.72)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.7
(69)
3.5
(89)
4.9
(124)
4.4
(112)
5.9
(150)
4.3
(109)
3.3
(84)
2.6
(66)
4.2
(107)
4.5
(114)
4.1
(104)
3.7
(94)
48.1
(1,222)
Source #1: weather.com
Source #2: Weatherbase.com

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,493
1920 3,067 105.4%
1930 2,581 −15.8%
1940 3,689 42.9%
1950 4,671 26.6%
1960 4,967 6.3%
1970 5,946 19.7%
1980 7,622 28.2%
1990 6,957 −8.7%
2000 7,658 10.1%
2010 7,010 −8.5%
2019 (est.) 6,843 −2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 7,658 people, 2,735 households, and 1,785 families residing in the city. The population density was 436.3 people per square mile (168.5/km2). There were 3,129 housing units at an average density of 196.4 per square mile (75.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 56.99% White, 24.45% African American, 10.44% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.37% from other races, and 4.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.96% of the population.

There were 2,735 households, out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 21.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.5% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,496, and the median income for a family was $24,189. Males had a median income of $24,182 versus $16,958 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,241. About 28.7% of families and 31.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.5% of those under age 18 and 18.4% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Initially, timber was the basis for the local economy, but this was supplanted by cotton production after the nearby forests were cleared. One cotton gin operated in Idabel in 1904, but six were in business in 1930. However, the Great Depression, depleted soil and destructive pests essentially wiped out this industry around Idabel. Landowners converted their properties to pastures and expanded beef production. Chicken farms were also established in the area and marginal agricultural land was turned into pine plantations.

Education

Idabel August 2018 30 (Idabel Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture - Frisco Station)
Idabel train station aka Frisco Station
Former State Theater in Idabel, OK IMG 8500
The former State Theater, across from the courthouse in Idabel, houses a law office, the Legal Arts Building.
Idabel August 2018 27 (McCurtain Daily Gazette)
McCurtain Daily Gazette office in Idabel

Public schools

Idabel Public Schools serves the community.

  • Idabel High School - Grades 9–12
  • Idabel Middle School - Grades 6–8
  • Central Elementary - Grades 3–5
  • Idabel Primary South - Grades 1–2 PRE-K–K
  • EvenStart - Ages 2–4
  • Southeast Elementary - pre-k–4–Adult Ed

Advanced education

  • Kiamichi Technology Center
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State University, McCurtain County campus (formerly called the ET Dunlap Center)
  • Eastern Oklahoma State College

Transportation

Idabel is served by US-259, US-70, SH-3, and SH-37.

McCurtain County Regional Airport (FAA ID: 4O4) is 2 miles northwest of Idabel, and features a 5002 x 75 ft. paved runway.

Commercial air transportation is available out of Texarkana Regional Airport, about 73 miles southeast.

Idabel has rail freight service through the Kiamichi Railroad.

Notable people

  • Vice Admiral Phillip Balisle, United States Navy
  • Randall Burks, former professional football player
  • Ray Burris, professional baseball player
  • Hadley Caliman, jazz musician
  • Robert Evans, podcaster and journalist
  • Earl Grant, organist
  • Jeff Keith, lead singer for the rock band Tesla
  • Sunny Murray, jazz drummer, composer and band leader
  • Harold Stevenson, artist (1929-2018)
  • Countess Vaughn, actress
kids search engine
Idabel, Oklahoma Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.