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Vian, Oklahoma
Vian Town Hall
Vian Town Hall
Location of Vian, Oklahoma
Location of Vian, Oklahoma
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Sequoyah
 • Total 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)
 • Land 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
541 ft (165 m)
 • Total 1,486
 • Density 1,857.5/sq mi (707.6/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 539/918
FIPS code 40-77250
GNIS feature ID 1099250

Vian is a town in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, United States. It is part of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,466 at the 2010 census, a 17.6 percent gain from 1,362 at the 2000 census. It was named for Big Vian and Little Vian Creeks. Nearby tourist attractions include Lake Tenkiller, Lake Robert S. Kerr and Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge.


Vian began as a trading post where the primary goods were meat-related, between Big Vian and Little Vian Creeks in the Cherokee Nation. When a post office was established in 1886, the first postmaster, Mahala Thompson, wanted to name the town Round Mountain, but the name was already in use and was thus rejected. The post office was therefore named Vian for the two creeks, which get their name from the French word for meat. After the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway laid tracks through the town in 1888, it became an important shipping point for cotton produced in the surrounding farmland. Vian was incorporated and shown on maps as a town in 1903. It was the original county seat of Sequoyah County before it was moved to Sallisaw.

Originally, Vian was a more bustling town than what it is today. A theater and many other venues existed here. Its downfall was seen most keenly when the county seat was moved.

In 2013, one of Vian's oldest buildings burned to the ground due to a fire in a neighboring café.


Vian is located at 35°29′52″N 94°58′15″W / 35.49778°N 94.97083°W / 35.49778; -94.97083 (35.497910, -94.970841). It is 11 miles (18 km) west of Sallisaw.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 296
1910 794 168.2%
1920 1,176 48.1%
1930 900 −23.5%
1940 941 4.6%
1950 927 −1.5%
1960 930 0.3%
1970 1,131 21.6%
1980 1,521 34.5%
1990 1,414 −7.0%
2000 1,362 −3.7%
2010 1,466 7.6%
Est. 2015 1,396 −4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,362 people, 503 households, and 339 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,702.3 people per square mile (657.3/km²). There were 558 housing units at an average density of 697.4 per square mile (269.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 51.54% White, 6.98% African American, 26.51% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 14.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.13% of the population.

There were 503 households out of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the town, the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 83.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $18,264, and the median income for a family was $24,167. Males had a median income of $26,731 versus $16,806 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,471. About 28.2% of families and 35.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.2% of those under age 18 and 33.5% of those age 65 or over.

General description

The center of Vian is located at the intersection of OK-82's southern segment (the terminus is located just south of the town, where it is called Thornton Street and is the main street) and US-64 (Schley Street). It is exit 297 on I-40 and is a major location on the interstate in the county because it is the only way to Tenkiller Ferry Lake and the state park of the same name, popular destinations. The closest town to the west is Gore, at 12 miles west of town, and the closest town to the east is Sallisaw, at 11 miles eastward.

Vian has three convenience stores, two grocery stores, a locally owned furniture/decor store, and two resale shops as of May 2013.

Vian in Popular Culture

A scene in the 1974 movie, Where the Red Fern Grows, was filmed in Vian. In the movie, it was credited as Tahlequah.

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