Midwest City, Oklahoma

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Midwest City, Oklahoma
Motto: "Where The Spirit Flies High"
Location in Oklahoma County and the state of Oklahoma.
Location in Oklahoma County and the state of Oklahoma.
Midwest City, Oklahoma is located in USA
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Location in the United States
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Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Oklahoma
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Jay Dee Collins
 • Total 24.6 sq mi (63.7 km2)
 • Land 24.6 sq mi (63.7 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,253 ft (382 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 54,371
 • Estimate (2013)[2] 56,756
 • Density 2,324.9/sq mi (897.8/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 73100-73199
Area code(s) 405
FIPS code 40-48350[3]
GNIS feature ID 1095384[4]
Website midwestcityok.org

Midwest City is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 54,371, making it the eighth largest city in the state.

The city was developed in response to talk of an air field being located nearby and named for the Tinker Air Force Base's original designation as the Midwest Air Depot.[5] The city suffered damage during two tornadoes, the first in May 1999 and the second on May 8, 2003.[6][7]


W.P. "Bill" Atkinson bought land in the area that would become Midwest City after hearing speculation that an air field was going to be built nearby. The city, which was incorporated on March 11, 1943, was named for the air field's original designation as the Midwest Air Depot.[5] When Major General Clarence L. Tinker of Pawhuska, Oklahoma became the first American general killed in World War II (June 7, 1942) near Wake Island, the airfield was renamed in his honor.[8]

Seward Mott, the director of the Federal Housing Administration's Land Planning Division, helped design the city, gaining national print and broadcast attention, and it became a model for postwar community development.[5] The city incorporated the Mishak community of Czech and German immigrants that had formed in what now is the southeast part of the city.[9]

In 1947, returning veteran Nicholas Harroz opened Nick's Brett Drive Grocery, which later became Crest Discount Foods. Soon after its opening, Midwest City citizens opted for a charter-council-city manager form of government to better manage their rapid growth.[5]

Midwest City's regional hospital was dedicated October 6, 1962, built with the use of bond money. Voters also approved the creation of a junior college district in 1968. Oscar Rose Junior College opened its doors to students in 1970 and is now known as Rose State College.[5] The Heritage Park Mall opened in 1978 on North Air Depot and was a prime shopping area in the city for several decades.[10] The first Sam's Club was opened in Midwest City on April 7, 1983.

In the early 1970s, the Glenwood Addition subdivision, just north of the TAFB runway, was purchased from individual owners with funds raised in a county-wide bond election after plane crashes in the area killed several civilians and military crewmen. 835 homes were moved and an elementary school was closed down. The former subdivision is fenced off and used as storage and training exercises for TAFB personnel.[11]

Portions of Midwest City particularly northwest of Tinker Air Force Base sustained extreme damage from a violent tornado that swept through the southern and eastern areas of the Oklahoma City Metro on May 3, 1999. While it produced F5 damage in South Oklahoma City, damage in Midwest City was rated F4 with numerous destroyed homes and three fatalities. Another strong struck almost exactly the same area four years later on May 8, 2003.[6][7]

City officials worked to revitalize S.E. 29th Street in the early 21st century, leading to the development of a new Town Center Plaza shopping area that faces Interstate 40 and Tinker Air Force Base.[12] The Town Center Plaza development replaced an aging, largely deserted Atkinson Plaza shopping center. In 2003, the Reed Center, a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) convention center, was built. Meanwhile, the Heritage Park Mall has slowly dwindled, becoming an issue of contention in the 2010 mayoral race.[12]


Midwest City is located at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. (35.462244, -97.384292).[13] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.6 square miles (64 km2), all land. The city's elevation is 1,157 feet above sea level.[14]

The city is located in Oklahoma County and the area is known for low hills and two species of blackjack oak and post oak.[15] Midwest City also falls into an ecological region known as the Cross Timbers.[16]


Midwest City has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa).

Climate data for Midwest City, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 47
Average low °F (°C) 26
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.28
Source: NOAA (extremes 1890–present)[17]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 10,166
1960 36,058 254.7%
1970 48,114 33.4%
1980 49,559 3.0%
1990 52,267 5.5%
2000 54,088 3.5%
2010 54,371 0.5%
Est. 2014 57,039 [18] 4.9%

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 54,088 people, 22,161 households, and 14,759 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,199.3 people per square mile (849.3/km²). There were 23,853 housing units at an average density of 969.9 per square mile (374.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.46% White, 19.55% African American, 3.49% Native American, 1.65% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 1.54% from other races, and 4.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.05% of the population.

There were 22,161 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,027, and the median income for a family was $40,604. Males had a median income of $31,276 versus $22,543 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,220. About 11.2% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.1% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.


Midwest City's economic base is heavily dependent upon Federal tax dollars via Tinker Air Force Base, the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma.[21] Other large employers include the Midwest Regional Medical Center and aerospace industry businesses affiliated with the base. The General Motors Oklahoma City Assembly plant was another major employer from its opening in 1979 until its closure in February 2006. GM closed the plant as part as a cost-savings measure. The property was later acquired by Oklahoma County and leased to Tinker Air Force Base for $1/year. Tinker renamed the facility the Tinker Aerospace Complex.[22]

During World War II, the Midwest City Douglas Aircraft Company Plant constructed more than half of the 10,000 C-47 Skytrain U.S. Army cargo planes.[23] The plant cost $24 million and rolled out its first C-47s in March 1943.[23] Some 38,000 Oklahomans labored at the plant, the majority of them women.[23] The plant closed on August 17, 1945, and was redesignated Building 3001 and transferred to the Oklahoma City Air Technical Service Command on November 1, 1945 and is now the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center.[23]

Arts and culture

Midwest City is home to a four-star 18-hole municipal golf course, a 9-hole municipal golf course, a swimming pool, splash park, and several urban parks. The nearby base hosts an annual Star-Spangled Salute each summer. Rose State College hosts Global Oklahoma each year on the first Saturday in October.[24]

When Midwest City's founder and developer, W. P. "Bill" Atkinson, died in 1999, he left his 1955 mansion in trust for the community's enjoyment and historical appreciation. Today, the Atkinson Heritage Center at N.E.10th and Midwest Blvd. is owned by the Rose State College Foundation and maintained by the college. The 8,000 sq. ft. historic home, preserved as it was originally designed and built when Atkinson anticipated running for governor, is available for free tours by appointment. To serve the community and help financially support the historic property, the house conference room as well as the 1951 pony barn are available for rental for events.


Schools in Midwest City are part of the Mid-Del School District and include Midwest City High School, Carl Albert High School, Jarman Middle School, Monroney Middle School, Carl Albert Middle School and numerous elementary schools. The district also includes a post-secondary school, the Mid-Del Technology Center. Rose State College, a two-year community college, is also located in the city.

The school district was initially housed in prefabricated hutments and began with a high school and two grade schools that were precursors to the Sooner and Soldier Creek elementary schools.[25]

Points of interest

Notable people


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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Reise, Jack, Chief Historian, Tinker Air Force Base: A Pictorial History, Office of History, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, 1983, pg. 3. Hedglen, Thomas L. "Midwest City," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. (accessed January 13, 2010).
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  9. 1999 "Reconnaissance Level Survey of the Original Mile" at Oklahoma Historical Society (accessed May 10, 2010).
  10. Chambers, Kelley. "Doors get ready to close at Heritage Park Mall", EastWord, February 10, 2010.
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  12. 12.0 12.1 Chambers, Kelley. "Candidates face off in Midwest City mayoral election", EastWord, February 23, 2010.
  13. US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990,” United States Census Bureau. (accessed January 31, 2008).
  14. "Midwest City, Oklahoma" at Sperling's Best Places Website (accessed March 22, 2010)
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  16. Ecoregions of Oklahoma Environmental Protection Agency Data (accessed September 24, 2008).
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  22. http://newsok.com/tinker-can-begin-work-at-gm-plantbrspan-classhl2estimates-say-move-could-bring-3000-jobs-area-economic-growth.span/article/3302519
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Fugate, Tally D., "Midwest City Douglas Aircraft Company Plant," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed May 26, 2010).
  24. "http://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.13614/type.event Global Oklahoma]," Travelok.com (accessed May 10, 2010).
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  31. Angela Lindvall, Actress, Internet Movie Database. (accessed August 1, 2013)
  32. Brian Tallet Stats, Baseball Almanac. (accessed August 1, 2013)

External links

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