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Purcell, Oklahoma
—  City  —
Nickname(s): The Heart of Oklahoma
Location of Purcell, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°1′3″N 97°22′10″W / 35.0175°N 97.36944°W / 35.0175; -97.36944Coordinates: 35°1′3″N 97°22′10″W / 35.0175°N 97.36944°W / 35.0175; -97.36944
Country United States
State Oklahoma
Counties Cleveland, McClain
 - Total 10.4 sq mi (26.9 km2)
 - Land 9.9 sq mi (25.8 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation 1,099 ft (335 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 5,571
 Density 560.1/sq mi (216.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 73080
Area code(s) 405
FIPS code 40-61150[1]
GNIS feature ID 1096963[2]

Purcell an outer suburb of Oklahoma City, is often called "Quarterhorse Capital of the World" and is a city in and the county seat of McClain County (pop.37,500), Oklahoma, United States;[3] it also extends a small distance into Cleveland County. The population was 5,571 at the 2000 census and 10,880 residents in the zipcode ( Located along the I-35 Corridor in the central part of the state, on a bluff overlooking the Canadian River valley, within the Interior Plains region. Purcell is the hub for a micropolitan retail trade area of 34,600 ( at the southern edge of the 7 county central Oklahoma/Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area with close economic ties to its neighbor to the north Norman and the University of Oklahoma. The official motto and registered trademark for Purcell is "Heart of Oklahoma"



Purcell is located at 35°1′3″N 97°22′10″W / 35.0175°N 97.36944°W / 35.0175; -97.36944 (35.017465, -97.369537)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.4 square miles (26.9 km²), of which, 9.9 square miles (25.8 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (4.24%) is water.

The central core of Purcell is located at the intersection of US-77 and OK-74/OK-39. Access to I-35 is at the north and south ends of the town.


Purcell was founded as a railroad town in 1887, with the coming of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. The town is named in honor of ATSF railroad director Edward Benton (E.B.) Purcell, of Manhattan, Kansas.

Pop Culture

Tom Lester notable television actor from of 1960's and 70's portrayal of farmhand "Eb Dawson" in Green Acres, an absurdist television comedy program was a school teacher here in the local school district, prior to pursuing his acting career.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 5,571 people, 2,120 households, and 1,500 families residing in the city. The population density was 560.1 people per square mile (216.2/km²). There were 2,789 housing units at an average density of 233.3/sq mi (90.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.60% White, 2.21% African American, 6.53% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 4.51% from other races, and 4.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.09% of the population.

There were 2,120 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,283, and the median income for a family was $36,128. Males had a median income of $25,494 versus $18,919 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,261. About 12.5% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.9% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.


Purcell and its surrounding communities are both suburban and agricultural, with much employment in agriculture and other non-farm major employers in the area including Tinker Air Force Base, strong ties to nearby Norman and The University of Oklahoma, State Department of Corrections facilities, assessment center and votech center in Lexington, Mid America Career Tech Center in nearby Wayne, and area businesses and retail merchants.

The area is well known for many large multimillion dollar horse farms which have many employees.

The Purcell Area Chamber of Commerce changed its name to "Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce" in 2006 to reflect this emerging micropolitan area. The US census bureau defines micropolitan areas as a city with approximate population near 10,000 or more area residents with surrounding towns having strong economic ties and population under 50,000. Purcell is the hub of the retail trade area including Purcell, Dibble, Wayne, Washington, Rosedale, Byars, Cole and Goldsby in McClain County, Lexington and Slaughterville in southern Cleveland County, Wanette in southern Pottawatomie County, Paoli in northern Garvin county, with a total trade area of 45,600 for these community zip codes. (2008

The FDIC reports three local banks and branches of financial institutions with deposits totalling $210 million.

A Wal-Mart Supercenter was constructed in Purcell in 2006, replacing the older Wal-Mart facility on the north side of town. As a result, commercial activity, both in retail and service sectors has been greatly accelerated with increased sales tax collections for municipal government.

Local landmarks

Purcell's downtown business district and its many historic buildings underwent major improvements and revitalization at a cost of over $1 million in the 1990s via the "U.S. Main Street" program. The improvements included new sidewalks, Victorian lamp posts, storefront restorations, and landscape islands in the downtown area. Purcell has three listings on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Hotel Love. A three-story Victorian brick building that currently houses an antique store, a bed and breakfast inn, and retail offices/storefronts.
  • McClain County Courthouse. This building is an original turn-of-the-century three-story brick building. The Courthouse underwent a $2 million restoration in 1995.
  • James C. Nance Memorial Bridge spans the South Canadian River, connecting Purcell to Lexington. The bridge, among the longest in Oklahoma is named for business and civic leader James C. Nance, a community newspaper chain publisher and legislative leader in Oklahoma and U.S. Uniform Law Commissioner. Nance was also publisher of a chain of community newspapers in Oklahoma,and publisher of Purcell Register.

Local Facilities and places

  • Stephen Shephard Memorial/Purcell Airport. Renamed from Purcell Municipal Airport in 2005 to honor a Purcell High School alumnus who became a U.S. pilot and flight instructor and lost his life in the Iraq War.
  • Brent Bruehl Memorial Golf Course. Named to honor a popular and talented young Purcell High School golf player whose life was ended by cancer in the mid-1970s. The golf course is located with the municipal pool on a rolling area near Purcell Lake.
  • Downtown Veterans Memorial. Recent granite memorial constructed by the City of Purcell workers in cooperation with the local American Legion, is across from City Hall on Main Street.
  • New $14 million dollar public high school was constructed in 2007-2008 and presently in use. The former high school complex is now the junior high school.
  • Purcell has two private health club facilities for use by residents.[citation needed]

2 Medical Facilities

Purcell has 2 local medical facilities, Purcell Municipal Hospital, a 50 bed full service hospital owned by the City of Purcell;and the Chickasaw Nation Indian Health Clinic. The Chickasaw facility is operated by The Chickasaw Nation, but through a contract with the U.S. Government serves members of all 530 recognized Native American Tribes with healthcare and prescriptions free of charge. The Chickasaw facility includes a drive though pharmacy.


Purcell's Amtrak station is located at the lower level of the hill at east Main Street, and has daily rail service to Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Norman and Ardmore. Interstate 35 runs north–south on the west edge of Purcell. The town is also served by U.S. Highway 77, State Highway 39, and State Highway 74.[5] In addition, ODOT maintains State Highway 77C in downtown Purcell, a route which is not marked.[6]


  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. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Official State Map [map], 2008 edition.
  6. ^ Oklahoma Department of Transportation. 2008 Control Section Maps [map]. p. McClain 44.

External links



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