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Oakley, Kansas
Gas station on US Route 40 near I-70 (2011)
Gas station on US Route 40 near I-70 (2011)
Location within Logan County and Kansas
Location within Logan County and Kansas
KDOT map of Logan County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
Counties Logan, Thomas, Gove
Founded 1884
Incorporated 1887
Named for Elizabeth Oakley Gardner Hoag
 • Total 1.93 sq mi (4.99 km2)
 • Land 1.93 sq mi (4.99 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
3,064 ft (934 m)
 • Total 2,046
 • Density 1,060.1/sq mi (410.0/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 785
FIPS code 20-51825
GNIS ID 485446

Oakley is a city in Gove, Logan, and Thomas counties in the U.S. state of Kansas. It is the county seat of Logan County. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 2,046.


The area that would later become Oakley was initially settled in the 1870s and 1880s by travelers from the Smoky Hill Trail. Oakley was founded in 1884 by Judge Fredman and David D. Hoag. Originally named Carlyle, its name was changed to Cleveland, before settling on its official name in 1885, named after Hoag's mother, Elizabeth Oakley Gardner Hoag.


Oakley is located at 39°7′41″N 100°51′16″W / 39.12806°N 100.85444°W / 39.12806; -100.85444 (39.128023, -100.854490) at an elevation of 3,064 feet (934 m). It lies roughly 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the South Fork of the Saline River in the High Plains region of the Great Plains.

The city is located at the intersection of Interstate 70, U.S. Route 40, and U.S. Route 83 in northwest Kansas. It is in the northeast corner of Logan County, and portions of it extend into Gove County and Thomas County. Oakley is approximately 211 miles (340 km) northwest of Wichita, 227 miles east-southeast of Denver, and 335 miles (539 km) west of Kansas City.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.94 square miles (5.02 km2), all of it land.


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


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 176
1900 269 52.8%
1910 681 153.2%
1920 768 12.8%
1930 1,159 50.9%
1940 1,138 −1.8%
1950 1,915 68.3%
1960 2,190 14.4%
1970 2,327 6.3%
1980 2,343 0.7%
1990 2,045 −12.7%
2000 2,173 6.3%
2010 2,045 −5.9%
2020 2,046 0.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,045 people, 920 households, and 562 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,054.1 inhabitants per square mile (407.0/km2). There were 1,035 housing units at an average density of 533.5 per square mile (206.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.6% White, 0.4% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.

There were 920 households, of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.9% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.78.

The median age in the city was 44.8 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.8% were from 25 to 44; 27.3% were from 45 to 64; and 22.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.


Oakley Kansas
Stockyard on the edge of Oakley

The Fick Fossil and History Museum is a museum that displays large dinosaur fossils from Kansas, many old tools, mineral specimens, and shell and mineral folk art. The museum is free (donations) and open seven days a week in the summer, with shorter hours during the winter.


U.S. Route 40 runs east–west along the southern edge of the city. U.S. Route 83, which runs north–south, intersects U.S. 40 south of the city, runs concurrently with it for one mile going west, then turns north, running along the western edge of the city. East of the city, U.S. 40 merges with Interstate 70, which approaches from the northwest, and continues east.

Oakley Municipal Airport, located southeast of the city, hosts general aviation.

The Kansas Pacific (KP) Line of the Union Pacific Railroad runs east–west through town. A branch line splits off to the northwest toward Colby.

In popular culture

The Palace Theatre in Oakley has been featured in People magazine and ABC World News Tonight after the establishment reopened in 2003 after being forced to close indefinitely two years prior. It is a community run theatre and is managed by senior students in the Oakley High School entrepreneurship class. See the ABC World News video here

The 2006 CBS television series Jericho is about a fictional small town in northwest Kansas that must cope with the aftermath of nuclear attacks on major American cities. The fictional town of Jericho shares many similarities with Oakley, which is about 70 miles (110 km) from the Colorado–Kansas border. Oakley and Jericho also share the same intersection points of Interstate 70, U.S. Route 83, and U.S. Route 40.

  • History of the State of Kansas; William G. Cutler; A.T. Andreas Publisher; 1883. (Online HTML eBook)
  • Kansas : A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc; 3 Volumes; Frank W. Blackmar; Standard Publishing Co; 944 / 955 / 824 pages; 1912. (Volume1 - Download 54MB PDF eBook),(Volume2 - Download 53MB PDF eBook), (Volume3 - Download 33MB PDF eBook)


The community is served by Oakley USD 274 public school district, which operates three schools in the city:

  • Oakley Elementary School (Grades Pre-K-5)
  • Oakley Middle School (6-8)
  • Oakley High School (9-12)

There is also one Catholic school in Oakley, St. Joseph School (Pre-K-5).

The Oakley Plainsmen have won the following Kansas State High School championships:

  • 1974 Wrestling - Class 2-1A
  • 1970, 1971 Cross Country Boys - Class 2-1A
  • 1976 Boys Basketball - Class 2A
  • 2005 Girls Cross Country - Class 2A
  • 2007 Girls Basketball - Class 2A
  • 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1993 Volleyball - Class 3A
  • 2000 Speech and Drama - Class 3A
  • 1998 Two Speaker Debate - Class 3-2-1A

See also

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