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Pryor Creek, Oklahoma facts for kids

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Pryor Creek, Oklahoma
A Town For All Seasons
Location of Pryor Creek and Mayes County
Location of Pryor Creek and Mayes County
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Mayes
 • Total 9.94 sq mi (25.75 km2)
 • Land 9.90 sq mi (25.65 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2)  0.31%
630 ft (190 m)
 • Total 9,539
 • Estimate 
 • Density 946.99/sq mi (365.64/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
74361, 74362
Area code 918/539
FIPS code 40-60950
GNIS feature ID 1102850

Pryor Creek or Pryor is a city in and county seat of Mayes County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 8,659 at the 2000 census and 9,539 in the 2010 census.

Originally named Coo-Y-Yah, Cherokee for "place of the huckleberries", it was renamed Pryor Creek in 1887 which was the name of the local railroad station, which in turn was named for the nearby creek. Due to confusion in distinguishing handwritten mailing addresses to Pryor Creek and Pond Creek, the U.S. Postal Service name for the city was shortened to Pryor, and both names are in common usage.


In the early 1800s, treaties with the Cherokee, Osage, and Choctaw gave the tribes allotments in Indian Territory in the region that would become Oklahoma. Captain Nathaniel Hale Pryor, who was married to an Osage woman and served as an agent to the Osage people, was among those settling northeastern Oklahoma. He established a trading post on Grand River, shortly before the Union Mission was established 5 miles southeast of present-day Chouteau in 1820.

In 1870, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad started construction in the Cherokee Nation along the Kansas border, laying tracks to Texas. By June 1871, the railroad reached present-day Pryor Creek.

A post office was eventually established naming the town Coo-y-yah, Indian Territory. Coo-y-yah is the Cherokee name for "huckleberry". On April 23, 1887, Coo-y-yah was changed to Pryor Creek, but the "Creek" was dropped by the post office on January 26, 1909.[The official name of the city government is still Pryor Creek despite a proposition put before voters in 1963 to change the name.

In 1951, voters approved the present city charter of a mayor-council government system, which provided for the election of a mayor, clerk, treasurer, police chief and eight councilors. The charter also established a cemetery, park, library board, and a municipal utility board, which oversees operations of the city-owned gas, water, electric and sewer systems.

Aftermath of the Tornado that hit Pryor Creek on April 27, 1942

On April 27, 1942, a tornado swept along Pryor Creek's main street from the western edge of the business district to the eastern edge of the city, destroying nearly every building and causing extensive damage to the residential section. The storm killed 52 people, according to the U.S. Weather Bureau, but The Associated Press set the total at 60 two days after the storm. More than 400 were injured in the storm that caused damage estimated at US$3 million.

The F4 tornado struck about 5 p.m. (17:00) local time, an hour and a half after one hit near Talala, Oklahoma, and mowed a path about 5 miles (8 km) long, killing three and injuring 12. Talala, which was not hit, is about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Pryor Creek. Governor Leon C. Phillips put the area under martial law, but because the Oklahoma National Guard had been activated for service during World War II, he sent state troopers to rescue victims, maintain order and prevent looting.

The Pryor tornado ranks as the fifth deadliest in Oklahoma history behind tornadoes at Woodward in 1947, Snyder in 1905, Peggs in 1920, and Antlers in 1945. The May 3, 1999, tornado at Midwest City caused more damage but fewer deaths.


Pryor Creek is located at 36°18′30″N 95°19′1″W / 36.30833°N 95.31694°W / 36.30833; -95.31694 ( 36.3084275, -95.3169136 ). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.5 square miles (16.9 km²), of which, 6.5 square miles (16.8 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.31%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 495
1910 1,798 263.2%
1920 1,767 −1.7%
1930 1,828 3.5%
1940 2,501 36.8%
1950 4,486 79.4%
1960 6,476 44.4%
1970 7,057 9.0%
1980 8,483 20.2%
1990 8,327 −1.8%
2000 8,659 4.0%
2010 9,539 10.2%
2019 (est.) 9,379 −1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 census Pryor Creek had a population of 9,539. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 72.3% white, 0.7% African American, 16.9% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 1.9% reporting some other race and 7.7% reporting two or more races. Hispanic or Latino Americans were 4.9% of the population.

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,659 people, 3,567 households, and 2,343 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,332.5 people per square mile (514.3/km2). There were 3,887 housing units at an average density of 598.2 per square mile (230.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.91% White, 0.29% African American, 14.12% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.97% from other races, and 6.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino were 2.78% of the population.

There were 3,567 households, out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 30.9% of households were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.1% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,424, and the median income for a family was $37,115. Males had a median income of $33,547 versus $20,737 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,887. About 10.8% of families and 13.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.9% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

Annual festivals

Pryor Creek is home of Catch the Fever Music Festivals, which is host to Rocklahoma, just 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Pryor Creek.

Parks and recreation

Area recreational facilities include a brand new state of the art municipal recreation center that includes an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, meeting rooms and a chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. Pryor also has five city parks, Whitaker, Centennial, Roosevelt, Bobby Buck, Earl Ward, as well as a softball & baseball complex. Earl Ward Park is home of the city-owned 18-hole golf course and is located just east of the industrial park on Highway 69A. Pryor is also just a few miles away from Lake Hudson, Grand Lake and Ft. Gibson Lake


Google Mayes County P0004991a
Google Data Center, outside Pryor Creek
MidAmerica Industrial Park Airport
Mid-America Industrial Airport near Pryor Creek

MidAmerica Industrial Park is located about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Pryor. It houses more than 80 companies, including Fortune 500 leaders such as Google, DuPont and Nordam. The facility includes its own airfield, the MidAmerica Industrial Park Airport, featuring a 5,000 foot runway refurbished in 2016.

In May 2007 Google announced its plans to build a large Internet data center at the Mid-America Industrial Park. The $600 million facility is now open and employs around 400 people. It is currently Google's second largest data center in the world. Google shut the worksite down in 2008 because of the status of the United States economy and work on its overseas projects and affairs, then restarted the project in October 2010 and opened at the end of September 2011.

In February 2018, Google announced a $600 million expansion to their data center in Pryor. The investment was to build a new four-story data center, which brought Pryor to be Google's second largest data center in their operations. This brings their total investment in the Pryor community to $2.5 billion.

On June 17, 2021, electric vehicle manufacturer, Canoo, announced plans to build its first electric vehicle factory in a 400-acre site in the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor.

According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, manufacturing employs about 40 percent of the city's workforce. It is the seventh largest manufacturing center in the state. The main industries that it serves are: machinery, metals, electronics and transportation equipment.


Pryor Creek Public Schools includes one early childhood center, three primary schools, one junior high school, one senior high school, a performing arts auditorium and a basketball arena.

Pryor is the location of the administrative office and one of the four campuses of Northeast Tech, a vocational and technical school. The Pryor campus has approximately 400 students.

Rogers State University has a branch campus in Pryor. The Rogers State University Pryor campus is the only university serving the Pryor and Mayes County area, and on average more than 350 students attend the campus each semester.

Pryor Creek is also home to Pryor Beauty College.

The Thunderbird Youth Academy, funded by the Federal Government and operated by the Oklahoma National Guard, is a twenty-two-week program to help high school dropouts restructure their lives. It is open to men and women who are Oklahoma residents, 16 to 18 years old, and is free to the participants. It is held at the site of the former Whitaker State Orphans Home.

Notable people

  • Preston Bynum (1939-2018) - Arkansas politician and businessman
  • Joseph J. Clark (1893-1971) - born in Pryor, Admiral in U.S. Navy during WWII.
  • "Indian" Bob Johnson - professional baseball player
  • Roy Johnson - professional baseball player
  • Chad Kimsey - professional baseball player
  • J. H. Langley, Associate Justice of Oklahoma Supreme Court
  • Cliff Mapes - professional baseball player
  • Mayes McLain -professional football player and pro-wrestler
  • Clyde Van Sickle - professional football player
  • Hank Wyse - professional baseball player

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Pryor Creek (Oklahoma) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Legendary Hispanic musicians
Carlos Santana
Ricky Martin
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