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Guthrie, Oklahoma
—  City  —
Downtown Guthrie
Location of Guthrie, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°51′23″N 97°26′9″W / 35.85639°N 97.43583°W / 35.85639; -97.43583
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Logan
 - Mayor Chuck Burtcher
 - Total 19.2 sq mi (49.8 km2)
 - Land 18.7 sq mi (48.4 km2)
 - Water 0.5 sq mi (1.4 km2)
Elevation 981 ft (299 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 9,925
 - Density 531.6/sq mi (205.3/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 73044
Area code(s) 405
FIPS code 40-31700[1]
GNIS feature ID 1093447[2]
Guthrie Historic District
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
Tent city on April 24, 1889, the second day after the opening. Two lower images are on May 10, 1889 and 1893 respectively.
Location: Guthrie, Oklahoma
Nearest city: Edmond, Oklahoma
Area: 405
Built/Founded: 1927-29
Added to NRHP: June 13, 1974 (NHL January 20, 1999)
NRHP Reference#: 74001664

Guthrie is a city in and the county seat of Logan County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City Metroplex. The population was 9,925 at the 2000 census.

Guthrie was the territorial and later the first state capital for Oklahoma. Guthrie is nationally significant because of its outstanding collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century commercial architecture. The Guthrie Historic District has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Victorian architecture provides a unique backdrop for Wild West and territorial-style entertainment, carriage tours, replica trolley cars, specialty shops, and art galleries. The Masonic Temple is the world's largest conservatory.



At noon on April 22, 1889, cannons resounded at a 2-million acre (8,000 km²) section of Indian Territory, launching president Benjamin Harrison's "Hoss Race" or Land Run of 1889. During the next six hours, about 10,000 people settled in what became the capital of the new Territory of Oklahoma: Guthrie. Within months, Guthrie became a modern brick and stone "Queen of the Prairie" with municipal water, electricity, a mass transit system, and underground parking garages for horses and carriages. Hobart Johnstone Whitley, also known as HJ and the Father of Hollywood, built the first brick block building in the territory for the National Loan & Trust Company. He was asked by the local people to be the first Governor of Oklahoma. Whitley traveled to Washington, D.C. where he persuaded the U.S. Congress to allow Guthrie to be the new capital of the state of Oklahoma. By 1907, when Guthrie became the capital, it looked like a well established Eastern city.

Statehood, however, meant that political control moved from the national level to state government. Without the protective arm of the federal government. three years later Guthrie fought and lost its battle to retain the capital. In the middle of the night, on June 11, 1910, the state seal was moved to Oklahoma City, and along with it, Guthrie's entire economic base. Guthrie soon slipped into an economic sleep lasting seventy years.

Guthrie prospered briefly as the administrative center of the territory, but was eclipsed in economic influence by Oklahoma City early in the 20th century. Oklahoma City had managed to become a major junction for several railroads and had attracted a major industry in the form of meat packing. A successful campaign was started by Oklahoma City business leaders after statehood to make Oklahoma City the new state capital, and it was moved in 1910. As a result of the sudden loss of its administrative function, Guthrie began to dwindle in size and soon lost its status as Oklahoma's second largest city, first to Muskogee, then later to Tulsa.

Guthrie was named for John Guthrie of Topeka, a Kansas jurist. Guthrie post office was established April 4, 1889.[3]

Guthrie was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 1999.

Guthrie today

The happy result of Guthrie's misfortune is that the city is a perfectly preserved Victorian enclave. While growth and poor urban planning caused other Oklahoma towns such as Oklahoma City to destroy much of their early downtown architecture, much of the entire central business and residential district of Guthrie is totally intact.

Guthrie is the largest urban Historic district in the United States, containing 2,169 buildings, 1,400 acres (6 km2) and 400 city blocks. Historical tourism has become the new industry for the town. Guthrie is home to several museums, including the Oklahoma Territorial Museum, as well as the National 4-String Banjo Hall of Fame and the Guthrie Scottish Rite Masonic Temple. Guthrie also claims to be the "Bed and Breakfast capital of Oklahoma".

Guthrie is a Certified City and has received a Community Development Block Grant to inventory infrastructure features for Capital Improvement Planning (CIP). Guthrie has two lakes south of it called Liberty Lake and Guthrie Lake.

The city hosts the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival, which draws 15,000 visitors annually.

Guthrie is also the home to Oklahoma's oldest year-round professional theatre company, the Pollard Theatre Company. With an emphasis on creative story-telling that illuminates the shared human experience, the Pollard produces six or more plays and musicals annually, enlisting the talents of skilled artists from all across the country. Through its season of diverse theatrical fare which includes A Territorial Christmas Carol, the annual holiday favorite, the Pollard Company continues to set the standard for theatrical production in the Sooner state.


Guthrie is located at 35°51′23″N 97°26′9″W / 35.85639°N 97.43583°W / 35.85639; -97.43583 (35.856336, -97.435894).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.2 square miles (49.8 km²).48.4 km² (18.7 m Iti²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.4 km²) of it (2.81%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 9,925 people, 3,854 households, and 2,474 families residing in the city. The population density was 531.6 people per square mile (205.3/km²). There were 4,308 housing units at an average density of 230.7/sq mi (89.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.84% White, 15.77% African American, 2.97% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.94% from other races, and 3.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.79% of the population.

There were 3,854 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 86.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,460, and the median income for a family was $38,732. Males had a median income of $27,948 versus $21,186 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,774. About 9.8% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 18.4% of those age 65 or over.

Guthrie in film

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ Shirk, George H. (1966). Oklahoma Place Names, p. 94. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

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