Weleetka, Oklahoma

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Weleetka, Oklahoma
Town
Location of Weleetka, Oklahoma
Location of Weleetka, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°20′44″N 96°8′5″W / 35.34556°N 96.13472°W / 35.34556; -96.13472Coordinates: 35°20′44″N 96°8′5″W / 35.34556°N 96.13472°W / 35.34556; -96.13472
CountryUnited States
StateOklahoma
CountyOkfuskee
Area
 • Total0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
 • Land0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation725 ft (221 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total998
 • Density1,425.7/sq mi (554.4/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code74880
Area code(s)405
FIPS code40-79800[1]
GNIS feature ID1099475[2]
 
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Weleetka, Oklahoma
Town
Location of Weleetka, Oklahoma
Location of Weleetka, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°20′44″N 96°8′5″W / 35.34556°N 96.13472°W / 35.34556; -96.13472Coordinates: 35°20′44″N 96°8′5″W / 35.34556°N 96.13472°W / 35.34556; -96.13472
CountryUnited States
StateOklahoma
CountyOkfuskee
Area
 • Total0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
 • Land0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation725 ft (221 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total998
 • Density1,425.7/sq mi (554.4/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code74880
Area code(s)405
FIPS code40-79800[1]
GNIS feature ID1099475[2]

Weleetka is a town in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, United States. It is about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Okemah, the county seat. The name is a Creek word meaning "running water."[3] The population was 998 at the 2010 census, a decline of 1.6 percent from 1,014 at the 2000 census.[4]

Geography[edit]

Weleetka is located at 35°20′44″N 96°8′5″W / 35.34556°N 96.13472°W / 35.34556; -96.13472 (35.345626, -96.134592)[5]. The townsite is on a horseshoe bend of the North Canadian River.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2), all of it land.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,014 people, 368 households, and 235 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,463.7 people per square mile (567.4/km²). There were 450 housing units at an average density of 649.6 per square mile (251.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 60.36% White, 6.31% African American, 23.77% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 1.08% from other races, and 8.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.66% of the population.

There were 368 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 22.3% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $19,141, and the median income for a family was $26,917. Males had a median income of $23,542 versus $15,227 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,103. About 22.3% of families and 27.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.2% of those under age 18 and 18.7% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

Weleetka was once a major railroad town, serving as the division point for the Fort Smith and Western Railway. All train crews changed out in Weleetka, the town also housed major shops and repair facilities for the Steam Locomotives. Headquartered in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the Fort Smith and Western was a railroad that operated in the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma. The railroad's main line extended 217 miles, from Ft. Smith, Arkansas, through Weleetka to Guthrie, Oklahoma. The Fort Smith and Western owned a subsidiary, St. Louis, El Reno and Western which began operating 42 miles between Guthrie and El Reno, Oklahoma in June 1904. The railroad also acquired 32.5 miles of trackage rights over the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad from Fallis, Oklahoma to Oklahoma City.

The railroad supported much of the business and hotels of the City in the first half of the 1900s. Trains entering town from the East were switched and broken down in Weleetka, and dispatched Northwest for either Oklahoma City, Guthrie or El Reno. Thanks to the railroad yard in Weleetka, the single Westbound train could thus become two Westbound trains. The reverse was true for Eastbound Trains. Weleetka was vital to the life of the railroad. The railroad provided regular passenger service and at one time boasted through Pullman sleeping cars to and from St. Louis and Oklahoma City. The route of the FS&W served no major population centers, but did serve major coal mining operations in eastern Oklahoma at Coal Creek, Bokoshe, and McCurtain. Other towns served included Crowder, Okemah, Boley, Prague, Vernon, Indianola and Meridian. A major portion of the road's freight traffic was metallurgical-grade coal from San Bois Coal Company mines near McCurtain. As coal traffic declined, an oil discovery near Okemah brought additional traffic, which postponed the abandonment of the railroad. The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad withdrew trackage rights between Fallis and Oklahoma City in January 1939 after FS&W defaulted on rental fees, and when the Fort Smith and Western ceased operations on February 9, 1939, Weleetka lost its major employer.

Notable residents[edit]

Weleetka is home to country singer Amber Hayes.[6]

Weleetka murders[edit]

On June 8, 2008, 13-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and her best friend, Skyla Jade Whitaker, 11, were shot to death while walking along County Line Road in Weleetka. They were both shot by a .40-caliber Glock 22 pistol.

On December 9, 2011, 25-year-old Oklahoma man, Kevin Sweat, of Henryetta, Okla., was charged with the murders of 13-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b Anglin, Milbria. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Weleetka." Retrieved September 8, 2012.[1]
  4. ^ CensusViewer:Weleetka, Oklahoma Population
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ Brandy McDonnell, [http://blog.newsok.com/bamsblog/2012/10/25/country-artist-and-oklahoma-native-amber-hayes-releases-sophomore-ep-any-day-is-a-good-day/ "Country artist and Oklahoma native Amber Hayes releases sophomore EP 'Any Day Is a Good Day'", The Oklahoman, October 25, 2012.
  7. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/09/25-year-old-man-charged-with-murder-in-2008-shooting-death-oklahoma-girls/

Further reading[edit]