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Beckham County, Oklahoma

Beckham County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of 2000, the population was 19,799. Its county seat is Sayre. Beckham County was named for J. C. W. Beckham, who was Governor of Kentucky and the first popularly elected member of the United States Senate from Kentucky.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 904 square miles (2,342 km²), of which, 902 square miles (2,336 km²) of it is land and 2 square miles (6 km²) of it (0.26%) is water.

Major highways

Adjacent counties


After a dispute over the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, both the governments of the United States and the state of Texas claimed ownership of some 1.5 million acres (6,100 km²) in what was then operated as Greer County, Texas. Litigation followed, and in the case of United States v. State of Texas , issued on March 16, the Supreme Court, having original jurisdiction over the case, decided in favor of the United States. The county was then assigned to the Oklahoma Territory on May 4 1896, and when Oklahoma became a state, in addition to forming a part of Beckham County, the region was also further split into Greer, Harmon, and Jackson counties.


As of the census of 2000, there were 19,799 people, 7,356 households, and 5,002 families residing in the county. The population density was 22 people per square mile (8/km²). There were 8,796 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.05% White, 5.55% Black or African American, 2.58% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.24% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. 5.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,356 households out of which 32.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.00% were non-families. 28.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.10% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 29.60% from 25 to 44, 21.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 109.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,402, and the median income for a family was $34,315. Males had a median income of $26,387 versus $18,945 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,488. About 14.30% of families and 18.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.80% of those under age 18 and 9.10% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

NRHP sites

The following sites in Beckham County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Beckham County Courthouse, Sayre
  • Sayre Champlin Service Station, Sayre
  • Sayre City Park, Sayre
  • J. S. Danner House, Sayre
  • Sayre Downtown Historic District, Sayre
  • Sayre Rock Island Depot, Sayre
  • Magnolia Service Station, Texola
  • Trivia

    Beckham County, Oklahoma had a short lived counterpart, Beckham County, Kentucky, which was also named for J. C. W. Beckham, who served as Governor of Kentucky and as the first popularly elected member of the United States Senate from Kentucky.


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