Noble County, Oklahoma

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Noble County, Oklahoma
Noble County Courthouse
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Noble County
Location in the U.S. state of Oklahoma
Map of the United States highlighting Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location in the U.S.
Founded 1893
Seat Perry
Largest city Perry
 • Total 743 sq mi (1,924 km2)
 • Land 732 sq mi (1,896 km2)
 • Water 11 sq mi (28 km2), 1.4%
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 11,446
 • Density 16/sq mi (6/km²)
Congressional district 3rd

Noble County is located in the north central part of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,561.[1] Its county seat is Perry.[2] It was part of the Cherokee Outlet in Indian Territory until Oklahoma Territory was created in 1890, and the present county land was designated as County P. After the U. S. government opened the area to non-Indian settlement in 1893, it was renamed Noble County for John Willock Noble, then the Secretary of the Interior.[3]

Timothy McVeigh was arrested in Noble County in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing. The act killed 168 people. Subsequently, McVeigh was tried, convicted and executed for the crime. The arresting officer was later elected sheriff of Noble County.


During the 18th and 19th centuries, the area now occupied by Noble County was used as a hunting ground by the Osage Indians. In 1835, a treaty with the Cherokees made it part of the so-called Cherokee Outlet. During the time of Cherokee ownership, white cattlemen who belonged to the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association leased grazing land from the tribe. Later, reservations were created in the northeastern part of the county for the Otoe and Ponca tribes. These reservations existed until 1904, when the lands were allotted and added to Noble County.[3]

The Cherokee Outlet became part of Oklahoma Territory at the time of the Oklahoma Organic Act, and was divided into counties. After the 1893 opening of the Cherokee Outlet for settlement by non-Indians, the land was divided into counties. One county, originally designated as County P, was renamed in honor of John W. Noble, interior secretary in 1893. The town of Perry was laid out in August 1893 as the county seat and land-office town [3]

Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was arrested in Noble County April 19, 1995 heading north bound on Interstate 35. McVeigh was stopped for not having a car tag on his car. He was minutes from being released when the Noble County Sheriff's Department was notified to hold McVeigh. McVeigh was tried and convicted for the bombing attack that killed 168 persons and injured many more. He was executed in 2001. McVeigh's arresting officer, Charlie Hanger, was elected Noble County Sheriff in 2004.[4][5]

In 2010, the Keystone-Cushing Pipeline (Phase II) was constructed north to south through Noble County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 743 square miles (1,920 km2), of which 732 square miles (1,900 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (1.4%) is water.[6] The Arkansas River forms part of the county's northeastern boundary. Two of its tributaries, Red Rock Creek in the north and by Black Bear Creek in the south, drain the county before emptying into the Arkansas River.[3]

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 11,798
1910 14,945 26.7%
1920 13,560 −9.3%
1930 15,139 11.6%
1940 14,826 −2.1%
1950 12,156 −18.0%
1960 10,376 −14.6%
1970 10,043 −3.2%
1980 11,573 15.2%
1990 11,045 −4.6%
2000 11,411 3.3%
2010 11,561 1.3%
Est. 2014 11,494 [7] −0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 11,411 people, 4,504 households, and 3,211 families residing in the county. The population density was 6/km² (16/mi²). There were 5,082 housing units at an average density of 3/km² (7/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.44% White, 1.58% Black or African American, 7.57% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 3.40% from two or more races. 1.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,504 households out of which 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.00% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 25.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.50% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 23.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,968, and the median income for a family was $40,180. Males had a median income of $32,224 versus $21,235 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,022. About 9.60% of families and 12.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.40% of those under age 18 and 11.00% of those age 65 or over.


Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of January 15, 2012[13]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
  Democratic 2,542 40.12%
  Republican 3,243 51.18%
  Unaffiliated 551 8.70%
Total 6,336 100%
Presidential election results[14]
Year Republican Democrat
2008 76.78% 3,881 23.22% 1,174
2004 74.94% 3,993 25.06% 1,335
2000 68.77% 3,230 30.15% 1,416


The county economy has largely been based on agriculture and cattle. Wheat was the major crop, although alfalfa, oats, corn, and barley have also been important. The county lies in the Mid-Continent oil and gas region. Natural gas wells began producing in 1915-1919. Oil production began in the 1920s.[3]

Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works company, is headquartered in Perry, the county seat.


NRHP sites

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


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 12, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Dianna Everett, "Noble County." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  6. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  10. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2011-06-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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