- Bixby, Oklahoma
official_name = Bixby, Oklahoma
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Bixby, Oklahoma
unit_pref = Imperial
area_total_km2 = 65.0
area_land_km2 = 62.3
area_water_km2 = 2.7
area_total_sq_mi = 25.1
area_land_sq_mi = 24.1
area_water_sq_mi = 1.0
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 13336
population_density_km2 = 214.1
population_density_sq_mi = 554.5
timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_m = 183
elevation_ft = 600
latd = 35 |latm = 57 |lats = 39 |latNS = N
longd = 95 |longm = 52 |longs = 42 |longEW = W
Bixby is a city in Tulsa and Wagoner counties in the
U.S. stateof Oklahoma, and is a suburb of Tulsa. The population was 13,336 at the 2000 census. It is nicknamed "The Garden Spot of Oklahoma" for its rich agrarian heritage. Though one of the fastest growing communities in Oklahoma, it remains a sod-growing center and a popular location for purchasing fresh vegetables.
Bixby is located at coor dms|35|57|39|N|95|52|42|W|city (35.960898, -95.878258)GR|1. According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.1 square miles (65.0 km²), of which, 24.0 square miles (62.3 km²) of it is land and 1.0 square miles (2.7 km²) of it (4.15%) is water. The average elevation is convert|750|ft|m|abbr=on above MSL. The town is bisected into north and south portions by the Arkansas River; the original town center is located south of the river.
Bixby became a government town site with a post office in 1899. Located in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation,
Indian Territory, Bixby was named in honor of Tams Bixby, a chairman of the Dawes Commission. The original 80 acre town site was approved in 1902. Many settlers were attracted to the area by the rich, though sometimes swampy river bottom land. In 1904 the Midland Valley Railroadlaid tracks and built a depot in Bixby. This created factions that briefly split Bixby into two towns. The new part of town was deliberately surveyed so that the new streets did not align with the existing ones. Bixby incorporated as an independent, self-governing town in 1906. The first mayor, recorder and five aldermen were elected in February, 1907. In 1911, a two-story brick schoolhouse was built on Main Street. Bixby Central Elementary is now near the original site. A traffic bridge was built over the Arkansas Riverin 1911, and for a time was said to be the longest bridge west of the Mississippi River.
Bixby was impacted and enriched by the discovery of nearby oil fields in 1913, but farming remained the backbone of the community well into the 20th Century. Early farmers focused on production of
cotton, wheatand alfalfain the rich river bottom. During the 1930s, truck farming of vegetablesslowly replaced those crops. In 1941 Bixby became an important regional center for shipping produce by railroad. It was at that time that Bixby was christened with it nick-name "The Garden Spot of Oklahoma," a designation still carried on the town seal and public vehicles. Cantaloupes, potatoes, radishes, squash, turnips, spinachand sweet cornwere shipped from Bixby all over the U.S. In time, the majority of the truck farms were converted to the production of sod, typically Bermuda grass, or developed for residential and other purposes. Only a small percentage of Bixby residents now work in agriculture, but the town continues to celebrate its earthy roots with the yearly " Green Corn Festival" in June.
Another point of history commemorated by Bixby is the 1832 visit to the area by the famous American writer
Washington Irving. Irving accompanied a U.S. Army exploration party on an excursion from Fort Gibsonwest onto the prairie and the lands occupied by the Osageand Pawneetribes. He described his adventure in his book "A Tour on the Prairies" (1835). In it, he relates camping in a grove of large trees on the banks of the Arkansas River in what is present day Bixby. The town has honored his visit by the creation of Washington Irving Park and Arboretumnear the location. The park contains an amphitheatrestage patterned after the front facade of Irving's home, Sunnyside, in Tarrytown, New York, as well as gates near the park entrance that are replicas of ones at Irving's estate. A bronze statue of Washington Irving sits near the stage. Bixby Middle School drama students present a popular retelling of Irving's " The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" in the park each October. The park is also the location of the heavily attended "Bixby BBQ & Blues Festival" each May and the Bixby "Deutschesfest" in September.
Bixby has been used as the setting for at least two popular works of
fiction. The best-selling novel "Tex" (1979) by S.E. Hintontells the story of its title character, a troubled teen in rural Bixby. The 1982 film adaption, starring Matt Dillon, was filmed on location and features the Bixby High School as well as various other locations around the town. Also, the "Midnighters" trilogy (begun in 2004) by Scott Westerfeldtells the supernatural story of a group of five Bixby High School students.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 13,336 people, 4,903 households, and 3,819 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 554.5 people per square mile (214.1/km²). There were 5,287 housing units at an average density of 219.8/sq mi (84.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.91% White, 0.94% African American, 5.74% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.96% from other races, and 3.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.97% of the population.
There were 4,903 households out of which 40.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.1% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $50,854, and the median income for a family was $58,104. Males had a median income of $39,941 versus $27,110 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $24,336. About 4.3% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.
Points of interest
Washington Irving Memorial Park and Arboretum
SpiritBank Event Center
* [http://www.bixbyps.org/schools/highsch/teacher/hsinfo/ Bixby High School]
* Bixby, Oklahoma is the setting of Scott Westerfeld's "
Midnighters Trilogy", in which the location of Bixby on an exact point along the 36th parallel creates a secret hour at midnight where everyone is frozen except for 5 teenagers born at the stroke of midnight.
* The majority of the movie
Texwas shot in Bixby. The characters attend Bixby High School, and drive through Bixby, as well as Tulsa.
* Bixby was also featured in a
Roy D. Mercerradio bit. In the comedic telephone exchange, Mercer calls "International Tours of Bixby," a travel agency, seeking a tour of Bixby, unaware that this is not the primary focus of the business.
* Notable former or current residents of Bixby include comedian
Rodney Carrington, hot rod artist Coop, and University of North Carolina football coach Butch Davis.
* [http://www.bixby.com City of Bixby]
* [http://www.bixbychamber.com Bixby Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.rootsweb.com/~okbhs/ Bixby Historical Society]
* [http://www.bixbyps.org Bixby Public Schools]
* [http://www.bixbyoptimist.com/green_corn_festival.php Bixby Green Corn Festival]
* [http://www.bixbyrotary.com/bixby/bbqfestival.asp Bixby BBQ'n Blues Festival]
* [http://www.bixbydeutschesfest.org/ Bixby Deutschesfest]
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