Payne County, Oklahoma

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Payne County, Oklahoma
Payne County Courthouse.jpg
Payne County Courthouse
Seal of Payne County, Oklahoma
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Payne County
Location in the U.S. state of Oklahoma
Map of the United States highlighting Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location in the U.S.
Founded May 2, 1890
Named for Capt. David L. Payne
Seat Stillwater
Largest city Stillwater
 • Total 697 sq mi (1,805 km2)
 • Land 685 sq mi (1,774 km2)
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 79,066
 • Density 113/sq mi (44/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Payne County is a county in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 77,350.[1] Its county seat is Stillwater.[2] The county was created in 1890 as part of Oklahoma Territory and is named for Capt. David L. Payne, a leader of the "Boomers".[3]

Payne County comprises the Stillwater, OK Micropolitan Statistical Area. The county lies northeast of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area though many consider it an extension of the Oklahoma City metro area due to commuter patterns and other indicators.


This county was established and named as the Sixth County by the Oklahoma Organic Act of 1890. It included land settled during the Land Run of 1889. The Organic Act settled a dispute between the towns of Stillwater and Perkins over which should be the county seat.[4]

Eastern Oklahoma Railway built two lines in Payne County between 1900 and 1902, then immediately leased them to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

In 2010, the Keystone-Cushing Pipeline (Phase II) was constructed into Payne County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 697 square miles (1,810 km2), of which 685 square miles (1,770 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (1.8%) is water.[5]

Payne County is covered by rolling plains, mostly within the Sandstone Hills physiographic region, but with the western part of the county in the Red Bed plains. The county has two significant reservoirs: McMurtry Lake and Carl Blackwell Lake. The Cimarron River and Stillwater Creek drain most of the county.[4]

Major Highways


Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 7,215
1900 20,909 189.8%
1910 23,735 13.5%
1920 30,180 27.2%
1930 36,905 22.3%
1940 36,057 −2.3%
1950 46,430 28.8%
1960 44,231 −4.7%
1970 50,654 14.5%
1980 62,435 23.3%
1990 61,507 −1.5%
2000 68,190 10.9%
2010 77,350 13.4%
Est. 2014 80,264 [6] 3.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]
Age pyramid for Payne County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data.

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 68,190 people, 26,680 households, and 15,314 families residing in the county. The population density was 99 people per square mile (38/km²). There were 29,326 housing units at an average density of 43 per square mile (16/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.33% White, 3.63% Black or African American, 4.58% Native American, 3.00% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 3.64% from two or more races. 2.15% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 26,680 households out of which 25.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.60% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.60% were non-families. 30.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county, the population was spread out with 19.60% under the age of 18, 25.90% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 17.60% from 45 to 64, and 10.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 103.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,733, and the median income for a family was $40,823. Males had a median income of $31,132 versus $21,113 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,983. About 10.80% of families and 20.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.00% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.


Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of January 15, 2012[12]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
  Democratic 16,610 42.69%
  Republican 18,467 47.46%
  Unaffiliated 4,901 9.85%
Total 38,910 100%
Presidential election results[13]
Year Republican Democrat
2008 63.49% 18,435 36.51% 10,601
2004 65.95% 19,560 34.05% 10,101
2000 61.15% 15,256 37.36% 9,319


Agriculture was the basis of the county economy for more than fifty years. The primary crops were cotton, corn and wheat.[4]

World War II caused hundreds of students at Oklahoma A & M to leave school for military service. To offset this loss to the local economy, civic and college leaders, to lobby military leaders and Oklahoma Senator, Mike Monroney, to have the school designated as a war training center. This resulted in the establishment of twelve training programs for the Navy, with nearly 40,000 people.[4]

The wartime experience showed local political leaders that it would be essential to diversify the county's economic base. They formed an Industrial Foundation to attract manufacturing plants and industrial jobs. This effort succeeded and accelerated an increase in population.[4]


"Old Central", first building constructed for Oklahoma A&M College, ca. 1894

Educational entities located in Payne County include:




Unincorporated communities

NRHP sites

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

Other landmarks include:


  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. Chronicles of Oklahoma. "Origin of County Names in Oklahoma." v. 2, N, 1. March 1924. Retrieved May 26, 2013.[1]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Newsom, D. Earl. "Payne County," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Oklahoma Historical Society, 2009. Accessed April 4, 2015.
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "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>
  7. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2011-06-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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