Boise City, Oklahoma

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Boise City, Oklahoma
Cimarron County Courthouse (2011)
Location within Cimarron County and Oklahoma
Location within Cimarron County and Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36°43′48″N 102°30′41″W / 36.73000°N 102.51139°W / 36.73000; -102.51139Coordinates: 36°43′48″N 102°30′41″W / 36.73000°N 102.51139°W / 36.73000; -102.51139
CountryUnited States
StateOklahoma
CountyCimarron
Founded1908
Incorporated1925
Area
 • Total1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)
 • Land1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
4,167 ft (1,270 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total1,266
 • Estimate 
(2019)[2]
1,085
 • Density748.79/sq mi (289.03/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
73933
Area code(s)580
FIPS code40-07300[3]
GNIS ID1090365[4]

Boise City /ˈbɔɪs/ is a city in and the county seat of Cimarron County, in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, United States.[5] The population was 1,266 at the 2010 census, a decline of 14.6 percent from 1,483 in 2000.[6]

History[edit]

Area affected by the Dust Bowl between 1935 and 1938

Boise City was founded in 1908 by developers J. E. Stanley, A. J. Kline, and W. T. Douglas (all doing business as the Southwestern Immigration and Development Company of Guthrie, Oklahoma) who published and distributed brochures promoting the town as an elegant, tree-lined city with paved streets, numerous businesses, railroad service, and an artesian well.[a] They sold 3,000 lots to buyers who discovered, on their arrival, that none of the information in the brochure was true. In addition to using false publicity, the three men did not have title to the lots they sold.

Stanley and Kline were convicted of mail fraud and sent to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Stanley and Kline served two-year terms in the penitentiary. Douglas died of tuberculosis before beginning his sentence. The town nevertheless took shape and incorporated on July 20, 1925.[5]

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture says that the origin of the town name is unclear, but offers three possibilities: (1) a Captain Boice who was a hero in the Civil War, (2) the town of Boise, Idaho or (3) the Boise Cattle Company, which ran cattle in the area.[5] It was speculated in Ken Burns' documentary, The Dust Bowl, that the town name was chosen as part of the original land scam to evoke a false image of the town, as "boisé" is French for "wooded".

Boise City's prosperity in the 1930s, like that of Cimarron County generally, was severely affected by its location at the heart of the Dust Bowl region.[15][16]

Boise City was the location of an unusual event during World War II when it was mistakenly bombed by a friendly U.S. bomber crew during training. The bombing occurred on July 5, 1943, at approximately 12:30 a.m. by a B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber.[17] This occurred because pilots performing target practice became disoriented and mistook the four lights centered around the town's main square as their target. No one was killed in the attack and there was minimal damage, as only practice bombs with four pounds of dynamite and ninety pounds of sand were used and the square was deserted, but the pilots were embarrassed. For the 50th anniversary of the incident, the crew of the bomber was invited back to Boise City, but all members declined, some for health reasons and others because they did not want to draw more attention to their mishap. The B-17's former radio operator did, however, send an audio tape that was played at the celebration.[18][19]

Geography[edit]

Boise City is located at 36°43′48″N 102°30′41″W / 36.73000°N 102.51139°W / 36.73000; -102.51139 (36.730115, -102.511419).[20] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), all land.

Climate[edit]

Boise City, Oklahoma
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
0.5
 
 
52
20
 
 
0.4
 
 
56
23
 
 
1.1
 
 
64
30
 
 
1.4
 
 
72
38
 
 
1.8
 
 
80
47
 
 
2.3
 
 
90
58
 
 
3.1
 
 
94
63
 
 
3.2
 
 
91
62
 
 
1.8
 
 
85
54
 
 
1.5
 
 
74
40
 
 
0.6
 
 
61
29
 
 
0.7
 
 
51
22
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

Boise City experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with mild, dry winters and long, hot, wetter summers. There is a large degree of diurnal temperature variation year-round.

According to weather data tallied between July 1, 1985 and June 30, 2015 for every location in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's official climate database, Boise City, Oklahoma, is the snowiest place in the state of Oklahoma with an average of 30.8 inches of snow per year. [21]

Climate data for Boise City, OK (Data for 1991–2020 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 82
(28)
86
(30)
91
(33)
97
(36)
102
(39)
109
(43)
108
(42)
107
(42)
105
(41)
97
(36)
88
(31)
84
(29)
109
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 51.8
(11.0)
55.7
(13.2)
64.2
(17.9)
71.5
(21.9)
80.4
(26.9)
90.1
(32.3)
93.8
(34.3)
90.8
(32.7)
84.6
(29.2)
73.5
(23.1)
61.4
(16.3)
51.3
(10.7)
72.4
(22.4)
Average low °F (°C) 20.4
(−6.4)
22.6
(−5.2)
29.5
(−1.4)
37.6
(3.1)
47.3
(8.5)
57.9
(14.4)
62.8
(17.1)
61.5
(16.4)
53.8
(12.1)
40.4
(4.7)
29.3
(−1.5)
21.7
(−5.7)
40.4
(4.7)
Record low °F (°C) −24
(−31)
−18
(−28)
−12
(−24)
6
(−14)
19
(−7)
31
(−1)
39
(4)
36
(2)
25
(−4)
7
(−14)
−7
(−22)
−17
(−27)
−24
(−31)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.50
(13)
0.36
(9.1)
1.10
(28)
1.40
(36)
1.82
(46)
2.28
(58)
3.12
(79)
3.23
(82)
1.75
(44)
1.48
(38)
0.56
(14)
0.74
(19)
18.34
(466)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 7.3
(19)
2.5
(6.4)
7.2
(18)
2.3
(5.8)
0.2
(0.51)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.3
(3.3)
3.1
(7.9)
7.9
(20)
31.8
(81)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 3.1 3.4 4.9 4.7 7.0 7.0 7.1 6.3 4.6 3.4 3.2 2.8 57.5
Source: NOAA[22]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19301,256
19401,144−8.9%
19501,90266.3%
19601,9784.0%
19701,9930.8%
19801,761−11.6%
19901,509−14.3%
20001,483−1.7%
20101,266−14.6%
2019 (est.)1,085[2]−14.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,483 people, 610 households, and 400 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,180.6 people per square mile (454.4/km2). There were 752 housing units at an average density of 598.7 per square mile (230.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.7% White, 0.2% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 13.4% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.0% of the population.

There were 610 households, out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.1% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.2% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 21.7% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 21.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,071, and the median income for a family was $35,761. Males had a median income of $23,088 versus $17,679 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,821. About 14.7% of families and 19.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.0% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

The local economy is based on ranching, farming, and the production of oil and natural gas.[5]

The local paper, starting as the Cimarron News in 1898 in Kenton, Oklahoma, has been known as The Boise City News since 1930.[23] Calling itself The Official Newspaper of Cimarron County, it is available in both print and digital editions.[24]

Transportation[edit]

Main highway through Boise City, looking west (2011)

Highways include U.S. routes 56, 64, 287, 385, 412, and State Highway 325.[25]

The Boise City Airport, which serves all of the county, is located approximately six miles north of the town center.[26]

Commercial air transport is available out of Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport in Kansas[27] approximately 99 miles east-northeast of town,[28] or the larger Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Texas[29] about 127 miles south-southeast of town.[30]

Attractions[edit]

The Cimarron Heritage Center Museum includes exhibits and artifacts on dinosaurs, the Santa Fe Trail and other local historic sites.[31] The museum grounds showcase a restored Santa Fe Depot, a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, a windmill exhibit, buggies, and more.[31] The grounds are home to "Cimmy" the "Cimarronasaurus", a metal sculpture 65 ft. long and 35 ft. tall, said to be a life-sized Apatosaurus dinosaur cut-out calculated from the bones of a dinosaur that was actually excavated in western Cimarron County in the 1930s.[32][33]

The Cimarron County Chamber of Commerce is located in a red train caboose.[34] Out front of the caboose is featured the Boise City Bomb Memorial, commemorating the accidental 1943 aerial bombardment.[35]

Autograph Rock Historic District, containing rutted traces of the Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail, features Autograph Rock, inscribed with the names of travelers from the 1850-1865 era.[36] Access to the site can be granted at the Cimarron Heritage Center Museum.[31] The separate Cold Spring and Inscription Rock Historic District similarly features Inscription Rock with Santa Fe Trail travelers' names inscribed, but also has a former camp site with a stone building that served as a stagecoach station, and a stone spring house.[37]

The Cimarron County Courthouse was designed by M.C. Parker in the Classical Revival and Neoclassical styles and constructed in red brick. It opened in 1926 after the previous wood-frame courthouse burned down.[38]

Notable people[edit]

In Popular Culture[edit]

Boise City during the Dust Bowl was the main setting for the 99th episode of the horror podcast The Magnus Archives.[40]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ They had claimed that three railroads were coming through the town. In fact, no railroad came through town until the Elkhart and Santa Fe Railway (both leased to and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway),[7] did so in 1925.[5] The tracks of that line continued to Felt, Oklahoma, and were extended to Clayton, New Mexico in 1932; but, the whole segment from Boise City to Clayton was abandoned in 1942.[8][9] The remainder from Boise City northeast is now part of the Cimarron Valley Railroad.[10] In 1931, Santa Fe built a new line north from Amarillo through Boise City and beyond.[11] That line, terminating in Springfield, Colorado,[12] is now known as the Boise City Subdivision or the Boise City Sub, operated by BNSF Railway.[13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ a b c d e Young, Norma Gene. "Boise City," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Accessed June 17, 2015.
  6. ^ CensusViewer:Boise City, Oklahoma Population. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  7. ^ Railroads of Oklahoma, June 6, 1870 to April 1, 1978. State of Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Survey Division. April 1, 1978. p. 37.
  8. ^ "Cimarron County". Norma Gene Young, Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  9. ^ "Boise City, OK to Clayton, NM". AbandonedRails.com. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  10. ^ "Home". Cimarron Valley Railroad. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  11. ^ "Amarillo Area Towers". Texas Railroad History. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  12. ^ "Cimarron Valley Railroad (map)". Cimarron Valley Railroad. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  13. ^ "BNSF Subdivisions" (PDF). BNSF. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  14. ^ "Colorado trip for Private Car ride: Part 3, Pueblo to Amarillo via BNSF Boise City Sub, Sept. 23, 2010". CondrenRails.com. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  15. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q. "Survivor of Dust Bowl Now Battles a Fiercer Drought." New York Times. May 3, 2011. Accessed July 23, 2017.
  16. ^ Parker, Laura. "Parched: A New Dust Bowl Forms in the Heartland." National Geographic." May 17, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2017.
  17. ^ "War: The Bombing of Boise City". Time. July 19, 1943. Archived from the original on December 14, 2008.
  18. ^ Dary, David (10 March 2015). "Bombed-Out Boise City". This Land Press. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  19. ^ https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1993-07-01-1993182202-story.html
  20. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  21. ^ "The Snowiest Place in Each State". Retrieved 2015-01-24.
  22. ^ "NOAA NCEI U.S. Climate Normals Quick Access". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  23. ^ "About the Boise City news". Library of Congress. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  24. ^ "The Boise City News". Facebook. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  25. ^ "Boise City, OK". Google Maps. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  26. ^ "Boise City Airport to Boise, OK". Google Maps. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  27. ^ "Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport". City of Liberal. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  28. ^ "Liberal Airport to Guymon, Oklahoma". Google Maps. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  29. ^ "Welcome". Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  30. ^ "Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport to Boise City, Oklahoma". Google Maps. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  31. ^ a b c "Cimarron Heritage Center Museum". TravelOK.com. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  32. ^ "Boise City, Oklahoma: Life-Size Metal Dinosaur". RoadsideAmerica.com. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  33. ^ "Cimmy the Dinosaur". TravelOK.com. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  34. ^ "Cimarron County Chamber of Commerce". Facebook. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  35. ^ The Memorial may have been taken in, temporarily or permanently. "Boise City Bomb Memorial". Roadtrippers. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  36. ^ "Autograph Rock Historic District". Oklahoma. Archived from the original on 2010-06-22.
  37. ^ "Cold Spring and Inscription Rock Historic District". Oklahoma. Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  38. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Cimarron County Courthouse" (PDF). National Park Service. July 18, 1984. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  39. ^ Foley, Jr., Hugh W. "Vera Miles," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Oklahoma Historical Society; accessed May 5, 2015.
  40. ^ "MAG099 - Dust to Dust • The Magnus Archives Transcripts Archive Archive A (Extremely Unofficial)". snarp.github.io. Retrieved 2021-04-21.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]