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Ardmore, Oklahoma

Ardmore is a business, cultural and tourism city in and the county seat of Carter County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2006 census estimates, the city had a population of 24,535, while a 2007 estimate has the Ardmore micropolitan statistical area totaling 56,694 residents. Ardmore is located equidistant from Oklahoma City and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas at the junction of Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 70, and is generally considered the hub of the ten-county region in South Central Oklahoma, also known by state tourism pamphlets as Arbuckle Country and Lake and Trail Country. Geologically, Ardmore is situated about 16 kilometers south of the Arbuckle Mountains, and is located at the eastern margin of the Healdton Basin, one of the most oil-rich regions of the United States. Ardmore is also home of the Ardmore Liberty Project. www.myspace.com/ardmoreliberty

Ardmore was named after the affluent Philadelphia suburb and historic Pennsylvania Main Line stop Ardmore, Pennsylvania, which was named after Ardmore, Ireland by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1873. The name Ardmore is Gaelic signifying high grounds or hills.

History

Ardmore, Indian Territory began with a plowed ditch for a Main Street in the summer of 1887 in Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation. It owes much of its existence to the construction of the Santa Fe railroad through the area during that time. It grew, as most frontier towns grew, over the years into a trading outpost for the region. A large fire in 1895 destroyed much of the fledgling town, which forced residents to rebuild nearly the entire town. In the early 1900s, Ardmore became well known for its abundance of cotton-growing fields and eventually became known as the world's largest inland cotton port.

After the fields were stripped of their fertility, however, the city fortunately found itself positioned next to one of the largest oil fields ever produced in Oklahoma, the Healdton Oil Field. After its discovery in 1913, entrepreneurs and wildcatters flooded the area, and Carter County quickly became the largest oil-producing county in Oklahoma, and has remained so ever since. Ardmore has remained an energy center for the region ever since, with the region's natural wealth giving birth to such energy giants as Halliburton and the Noble Energy companies, among others. Ardmore also learned the perils of being energy-rich with yet another disaster in 1915, when a railroad car containing casing gas exploded, killing 45 people and destroying much of downtown, including areas rebuilt after the 1895 fire. The disaster, which made national news at the time, gave residents the resolve to establish the city's first fire department to ensure that such events would not compound themselves in the future. The city has not experienced any major setbacks since the 1915 fire, save for a 1995 tornado that nearly destroyed the Uniroyal Goodrich (now Michelin) Tire Plant in west Ardmore. Despite a shift at the plant working at the time, miraculously no one was killed as the tornado ripped through the area, thanks to the public being alerted by area news and tornado sirens.

Geography

Ardmore is located at (34.181240, -97.129363).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 50.0 square miles (129.5 km²), of which, 49.1 square miles (127.2 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²) of it (1.74%) is water.

Ardmore is located about 10 miles (16 km) south of the Arbuckle Mountains, an ancient, eroded range spanning some 100 km across southern Oklahoma. The geology is highly variegated within the area, with uplifted and folded ridges visible within the shoreline of some of the lakes surrounding Ardmore. The city of Ardmore has no intracity streams or rivers, but is part of the Washita and Red River watersheds, with two tributaries, Caddo and Hickory creeks, flanking the broad, low valley in which Ardmore is situated. Ardmore is also 5 km north of Lake Murray, an impoundment of the two arms of Anadarche Creek, which eventually flows into the western reaches of Lake Texoma.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 23,711 people, 9,646 households, and 6,308 families residing in the city. The population density was 482.7 people per square mile (186.4/km²). There were 10,926 housing units at an average density of 222.4/sq mi (85.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.02% White, 11.27% African American, 8.78% Native American, 0.99% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.55% from other races, and 4.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.70% of the population.

There were 9,646 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,046, and the median income for a family was $37,758. Males had a median income of $28,685 versus $23,070 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,502. About 13.6% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.

Culture

Being home to many pioneers in the dawn of the American oil industry, Ardmore has been blessed with riches far beyond most cities of its size, as well as the colorful past that often accompanies such 'instant' wealth. Such wealth has been channeled into many philanthropical endeavors, as well as reinvested into the area in various art and infrastructure endowments.

Such amenities include:

Ardmore has many civic organizations committed to its betterment. The Ardmore Masonic Lodge is one of the oldest civic organization in Ardmore.

Famous people from Ardmore

Education

Colleges and universities

Ardmore is home to the Ardmore Higher Education Center (a consortium-model system of higher education) which offers courses and degrees to the local population from four participating institutions of higher education: Murray State College, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, East Central University and Oklahoma State University (from the Oklahoma City campus).

Primary and secondary schools

Ardmore City Schools operates public schools in Ardmore.

Ardmore-Plainview Public Schools operates public schools in Ardmore.

Dickson Public Schools is within proximity, however, part of the incorporated town limits of Dickson, which operates this public school district adjacent to the city limits of Ardmore.

Ardmore-Oak Hall Episcopal School one of only three Episcopal diocesan schools in the state of Oklahoma.

CareerTech

Southern Oklahoma Technology Center, a career and technical education school for high school, college and adult continuing education in technology and career development, is run by the state of Oklahoma with taxpayer assistance. It also serves as a training facility for the TASO (Training Alliance Services of Oklahoma) in which businesses train their employees to help perform their jobs better with better training.

Media

Newspaper

Television

Radio

FM

  • KLCU - 90.3 (Public/NPR - Cameron University, Lawton)
  • KTRX - 92.7 (Classic Rock)
  • KKAJ - 95.7 (Country)
  • KICM - 97.7 (Country)
  • KYNZ - 107.1 (Oldies)

Transportation

Highways

Interstate 35 is located within the city limits of Ardmore, as it traverses the United States from Duluth, Minnesota to Laredo, Texas.

Ardmore has four exits off I-35:

In addition to Interstate 35, Ardmore is also home to the junction of US-70 and US-77, SH-142, and SH-199. Ardmore is connected to Lake Murray via SH-77S.

Airports

Ardmore has two general aviation airports, Ardmore Downtown Executive Airport and Ardmore Industrial Airpark. The nearest scheduled air service occurs at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, both from Ardmore. Ardmore is linked by rail with the DFW Airport via the Heartland Flyer to Trinity Railway Express connection.

Rail

Ardmore has one principal rail line, that being one of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe mainlines running from Fort Worth, Texas to Oklahoma City (also connecting with Kansas City and Chicago), formerly part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe rail network before the merger with Burlington Northern. The line dates back to 1887, and the first train arrived on July 28 in that year. The company has multiple parallel tracks (5+) running through central Ardmore (MP 450.5), added concomitantly with the rise of the trading status of the city and region throughout the early 1900s. There is also a lightly-used transverse rail spur from the BNSF line to the Michelin Tire Plant in west Ardmore, mainly intended for the transport of raw materials to the factory.

Mass transit

The historic Santa Fe depot in downtown Ardmore is also a stop on Amtrak's Heartland Flyer train route, with daily service to and from Oklahoma City and Fort Worth.

Ardmore also has a scheduled stop on the Greyhound/Jefferson Bus Lines system.

Southern Oklahoma Rural Transit System (SORTS) provides transit services for the public in Ardmore and the surrounding areas.

Historically speaking, Ardmore had a fairly extensive traction (streetcar/interurban) railway system, franchised in February 1905, that linked outlying areas, such as the Dornick Hills Country Club, to the central business district. The main part of the streetcar line originally ran down the center lane of Main Street. Service ended in 1922.

Economy

Ardmore is the principal center of trade for a ten-county region in south central Oklahoma, with a retail pull factor of 1.7 - 1.9. Ardmore's major employers are Michelin North America, with 1,900 employees and Mercy Memorial Health Center, with 900 employees. Several hundred employees work for regional distribution centers for Best Buy, Circuit City, Dollar Tree (Marietta) and Dollar General Stores, among others. The Valero Refinery in northeast Ardmore employs some 250 area residents. Ardmore is also home to the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, among the nation's 50 largest private foundations, primarily engaged in agricultural bioresearch activities.

References

External links

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