El Reno, Oklahoma: Wikis


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El Reno, Oklahoma
—  City  —
Location of El Reno, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°31′49″N 97°57′27″W / 35.53028°N 97.9575°W / 35.53028; -97.9575Coordinates: 35°31′49″N 97°57′27″W / 35.53028°N 97.9575°W / 35.53028; -97.9575
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Canadian
 - Total 80.4 sq mi (208.3 km2)
 - Land 80.0 sq mi (207.1 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.2 km2)
Elevation 1,358 ft (414 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 16,212
 Density 202.7/sq mi (78.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 73036
Area code(s) 405
FIPS code 40-23700[1]
GNIS feature ID 1092512[2]

El Reno is a city in Canadian County, Oklahoma, United States, in the central part of the state. A part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area, El Reno is 25 miles (40 km) west of downtown Oklahoma City. The population was 16,212 at the 2000 census.



El Reno is a historic community with many historic buildings, is the county seat of Canadian County[3], and the only city in Oklahoma to have an streetcar in operation in the downtown area. At one time it possessed a terminal and repair facility for the CRI&P(Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, or "Rock Island") railroad, which employed a large number of people. The CRI&P went bankrupt in 1975.

El Reno is located at the interchange of I-40 and U.S. Route 81; Redlands Community College is located in El Reno as is Canadian Valley Technology Center, which opened in 1970 and is directly on famed Route 66 (about three miles (5 km) east of the city). El Reno is also home to a Federal Prison.

It was originally located about five miles (8 km) north of its present location, on the banks of the North Canadian river, bearing the name "Reno City," which caused its mail to get mixed up with mail for Reno, Nevada. After the second time the town was flooded, it was moved to its present location and changed its name to El Reno.

Panoramic map of El Reno, 1891.

Historic Fort Reno was built in 1874, and first commanded by General Phillip Sheridan. He named it in honor of his friend, Gen. Jesse L. Reno, who was killed in the Civil War. Today, the grounds of the old fort are home to a research laboratory for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The laboratory studies environmentally sustainable forage and livestock production, contributing to preservation of the great plains of North America.

During WWII, Fort Reno, about one mile (1.6 km) west of El Reno, was the site of a prisoner of war camp, and today contains a P.O.W. cemetery, with stones bearing the names of German and Italian prisoners who died there.

El Reno is a Main Street community. The Oklahoma Main Street Program is a downtown revitalization program and the El Reno Program won the Great American Main Street Award in 2006.

The town is noted for its annual Fried Onion Burger Day Festival, which is always the 1st Saturday in May. Burger Day is where you can witness the cooking of the world’s largest fried onion hamburger , weighing over 850 pounds. The giant burger contains all the important parts of the famous El Reno fried onion burgers which includes meat, fried onions, sliced pickles, and mustard all between two giant buns. Not only do festival goers get to watch the massive burger be built and cooked, but they are also allowed to help eat the monstrosity. Volunteers divide the giant burger into individual sized portions with burger-sized cookie cutters. Other volunteers shuttle back and forth from the burger to the crowd, delivering the free portions to anyone wanting a piece. In 2008, El Reno celebrated the 20th Annual Fried Onion Burger Day.


El Reno is located at 35°31′49″N 97°57′27″W / 35.53028°N 97.9575°W / 35.53028; -97.9575 (35.530261, -97.957529)[4]. At one time it sat on the boundary between Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, and sits about 20 miles (32 km) west of the old Chisholm Trail. Jesse Chisholm is buried nearby.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 80.4 square miles (208.3 km²), of which, 80.0 square miles (207.1 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (0.56%) is water.



El Reno has endured numerous weather- and climate-related incidents in recent years:

  • El Reno has weathered several ice storms in recent years, including the January 4–5, 2005 storm that left up to two inches of ice in the hardest-hit locations.
  • In 2006, El Reno experienced "exceptional" drought conditions as the entire state endured one of the driest summers on record.
  • On March 12, 2006, drought conditions allowed an area wildfire to grow to burn over a thousand acres. Winds carried the smoke into the Oklahoma City metro, spurring thousands of calls to emergency services by concerned residents.
  • On April 24, 2006, a rare anti-cyclonic tornado hit El Reno's municipal airport, causing damage to the hangars and small airplanes.
  • On the night of May 8, 2007, a tornado ripped through the south and east sides of the city. There was at least 1 injury when the tornado knocked over a semi on I-40.
  • Overnight on August 19, 2007, Tropical Storm Erin dumped over 10 inches (250 mm) of rain on El Reno and the surrounding area. This caused extensive flooding.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 16,212 people, 5,727 households, and 3,842 families residing in the city. The population density was 202.7 people per square mile (78.3/km²). There were 6,484 housing units at an average density of 81.1/sq mi (31.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.39% White, 9.83% Native American, 7.85% African American, 0.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.33% from other races, and 2.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.52% of the population.

There were 5,727 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 114.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 119.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,200, and the median income for a family was $39,106. Males had a median income of $29,521 versus $20,107 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,570. About 11.4% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.6% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.


Canadian Valley Technology Center
Redlands Community College

Notable residents

National Register of Historic Places

  • Avant’s Cities Service Station
  • Canadian County Jail
  • Carnegie Library
  • El Reno High School
  • El Reno Hotel
  • El Reno Municipal Swimming Pool Bath House
  • William I. and Magdalen M. Goff House
  • Jackson Conoco Service Station
  • Red Cross Canteen
  • Rock Island Depot
  • Southern Hotel
  • Darlington Agency Site
  • Fort Reno
  • Mennoville Mennonite Church


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Further reading

  • Gaelyn Whitley Keith, The Father of Hollywood: The True Story, ISBN 1419641948

External links


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