Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA, a State in the South Central Division of the North American Union; bounded by Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado; admitted to statehood Nov. 16, 1907; capital, Oklahoma City; counties, 76; area, 70,057 square miles; pop. (1890) 258,657; (1900) 790,391; (1910) 1,657,155; (1920) 2,028,283.

Topography.—Oklahoma is in general an upland prairie rising gradually toward the N. and W. The principal elevations are the Wichita Mountains in the S. The principal rivers are the Arkansas, fed by the Canadian, the Cimarron, which waters the N. and central portions of the State, while the Red River forms a part of the S. boundary, and with its two forks, drains the S. W. portion of the State.

Banking.—On Sept. 1, 1919, there were reported 346 National banks in operation, having $19,273,000 in capital, $10,474,000 in outstanding circulation, and $42,271,000 in United States bonds. There were also 582 State banks, with $12,048,000 capital and $2,330,000 surplus.

Agriculture.—The acreage, production and value of the leading crops of 1919 was as follows: corn, 3,100,000 acres, production 74,400,000 bu., value $94,488,000; oats, 1,500,000 acres, production 49,500,000 bushels, value $34,650,000; wheat, 3,760,000 acres, production 52,642,000 bushels, value $107,912,000; hay, 700,000 acres, production, 1,540,000 tons, value $23,254,000; potatoes, 44,000 acres, production 3,525,000 bushels, value, $7,316,000; cotton, 2,341,000 acres, production 930,000 bales, value $163,680,000; sorghums, 1,440,000 acres, production 33,120,000 bushels, value $49,680,000.

Manufactures.—There were in 1914 2,518 manufacturing establishments in the State, employing 17,443 wage earners. The capital invested amounted to $65,478,000; the wages paid to $11,011,000; the value of the materials used to $70,970,000; and the value of the finished product to $102,006,000.

Mineral Production.—Oklahoma within recent years has become one of the most important of the mineral producing States, due chiefly to the great development of the petroleum fields which were discovered in 1904. The production increased from 1,400,000 barrels in 1904, to 97,915,243 barrels in 1915, 107,507,471 barrels in 1917, and 103,347,070 in 1918. The value of the production in the latter year was $231,136,205. Coal is also produced in important quantities. In 1919 the production was 3,200,000 tons. Oklahoma ranks second among the States in the production of natural gas. In 1918 there were 124,317,179 million cubic feet, valued at $15,805,135. Other important minerals produced are lead and zinc.

Education.—The State school system embraces elementary and public high, schools, normal schools and colleges for higher education. Separate schools are provided for negroes and whites. In 1919 there were about 520,000 white pupils and about 45,000 negro pupils in the public schools. There were over 600 public high schools, with an attendance of over 35,000. In the 7 normal schools there were nearly 5,000 students. The total expenditure for education in 1919 was about $14,000,000. The institutions for higher education include the University of Oklahoma at Norman, the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Stillwater, and the Agricultural and Normal University for Colored Students at Langston.

Railways.—The railway mileage in 1919 was 6,532. Of this about 100 miles were laid during the year. The principal lines were the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fé, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf, the St. Louis and San Francisco, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, and the Santa Fé and Pacific.

Finances.—The receipts for the fiscal year 1918 were $8,209,656, and the disbursements were $6,845,898. There was a balance at the beginning of July 1, 1917, of $2,375,690, and at the beginning of July 1, 1918, the balance was $4,450,378. The State debt on July 1, 1918, was $6,296,000. The assessed valuation of real and personal property was $1,335,220,527.

Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Regular Baptist; Christian; Roman Catholic; Protestant Episcopal; Methodist Episcopal, South; Salvation Army; Presbyterian; Congregational; and Methodist Episcopal.

State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of four years. Legislative sessions are held biennially and are limited to 60 days each. The Legislature has 44 members in the Senate, and 99 in the House. There are 8 Representatives in Congress.

History.—Oklahoma is a part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and of the tract set apart for Indian tribes by Act of Congress, June 30, 1834. On April 22, 1889, a proclamation was issued by the President opening up 1,900,000 acres of land for settlement. There was a great rush of settlers and speculators, the city of Guthrie coming into existence in one day with a population of 10,000. Other lands have been opened from time to time. The first Territorial governor was appointed in 1890. In September, 1891, the Iowa, Sac, Fox, and Pottawatomie lands of 1,000,000 acres were opened; in April, 1892, the Cheyenne and Arapahoe lands of 3,000,000 acres; on Sept. 16, 1893, the Cherokee Strip of 6,000,000 acres; on May 23, 1895, a small section known as the Kickapoo lands; and on Aug. 6, 1901, the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, and Wichita reservations, representing over 3,000,000 acres. In June. 1890, the country known as No Man's Land was attached to Oklahoma by Act of Congress, being created into Beaver county. In 1896 Greer county, in the extreme S. W. portion of the Territory, was given to Oklahoma by decision of the Supreme Court. In 1907, with Indian Territory, it was admitted to statehood.

Collier's 1921 Oklahoma.jpg
 Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921