Electra is a city in Wichita County, United States. It is part of the Wichita Falls metropolitan statistical area; the population was 2,791 at the 2010 census. Down from 3,168 in 2000. Electra claims the title of Pump Jack Capital of Texas, a title made official by the state in 2001, has celebrated an annual Pump Jack Festival since 2002, it was named in honor of an heiress to the Waggoner Ranch. Daniel Waggoner started a ranch in present-day Electra in 1852. Around 30 years the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway was built, its railroad tracks ran through the area. In 1885, Waggoner's son, William Thomas Waggoner lobbied railroad executives to build a railroad station at the site. By this time, the Waggoner ranch covered a half-million acres; until this time, the town was called Waggoner, but following the building of the station and a post office in 1889, it was dubbed Beaver Switch, after the nearby Beaver Creek. The opening of 56,000-acre of land north of the railroad station brought more farmers to the area.
The town was renamed again in this time after Waggoner's daughter, Electra Waggoner. Water can be scarce in this region of Texas, so Waggoner started drilling for water for the town's new residents. Most of these drilling sites were befouled by crude oil. Three years a developer from Fort Worth named Solomon Williams bought the land from Waggoner. Sooner thereafter, he annexed nearby land, subdivided the land, placed advertisements in national media trying to increase the population, his efforts were successful, the town grew from a population of 500 to 1,000 between 1907 and 1910. The Waggoner family, still today, owns much of the same land they did in the beginning and still drill for oil in those parts. In 1911, the Electra Independent School District was created. On April 1, 1911, the Clayco gusher brought in an oil strike. Word spread and the population increased four-fold over a period of months; some infrastructure was built in the town to handle the new residents. Jasper "Jake" Smith, III of Vivian, worked in the summer of 1954 in the oil field of Electra.
In his autobiography, Dinner with Mobutu: A Chronicle of My Life and Times, he recalls his experience:... We were integrated into the community of young men of Electra. I discovered that Texans were welcoming to newcomers, I soon felt right at home. Anyone who has seen the movie The Last Picture Show or read the book might recognize Texas; the Larry McMurtry novel was set in this approximate locale at this particular time – 1954. The residents were pretty portrayed in the novel; the main pastime for my cohort group was fighting. Some of the local toughs liked to travel to Wichita Falls to pick fights with airmen from the local Air Force base. I tried to avoid these fisticuffs. Electra was dusty with hardly any big trees; the fields were covered with mesquite six to eight feet tall covered with two-inch thorns. People outside Texas had not yet discovered that mesquite is a powerful aromatic wood for smoking meat; the main assignment for us college boys working in the Electra oil field that year was to cut down mesquite bushes which crowded in on the oil fields....
We would start whacking away at the mesquite bushes. By the end of the day, most of us were covered with bloody punctures from the sharp thorns. After a few days, these injuries became infected, causing one or more of the young roustabouts to visit the company doctor. About midway through the summer, the company decided that this mesquite project was getting to be too risky. In 1936, Electra had well over 6,000 residents, but by the 1960s, the population had decreased to just over 5,000; the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex was growing, many people moved away. By 2000, Electra's population had fallen to about 3,000. Electra is located at 34°1′51″N 98°55′2″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of all of it land; as of the census of 2000, 3,168 people, 1,279 households, 860 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,299.0 people per square mile. The 1,529 housing units averaged 626.9 per mi2. The racial makeup of the city was 87.66% White, 4.58% African American, 1.10% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 4.29% from other races, 2.30% from two or more races.
Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 8.68% of the population. Of the 1,279 households, 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.7% were not families. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.03. In the city, the population was distributed as 27.7% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $24,022, for a family was $30,116. Males had a median income of $25,610 versus $17,292 for females; the per capita income for the city was $13,213. About 17.8% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.3% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over. The City of Electra is served by the Electra Indepe
Texas state highway system
Texas state highways are a network of highways owned and maintained by the U. S. state of Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation is the state agency responsible for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the system. Texas has the largest state highway system, followed by North Carolina's state highway system. In addition to the nationally numbered Interstate Highways and U. S. Highways, the highway system consists of a main network of state highways, loops and beltways that provide local access to the other highways; the system includes a large network of farm to market roads that connect rural areas of the state with urban areas and the rest of the state highway system. The state owns and maintains some park and recreational roads located near and within state and national parks, as well as recreational areas. All state highways, regardless of classification, are paved roads; the Old San Antonio Road known as the El Camino Real, is the oldest highway in the United States, first being blazed in 1691.
The length of the highways varies from US 83's 893.4 miles inside the state borders to Spur 200 at just 0.05 miles long. The Texas State Highway System can trace its roots to the establishment of the Texas Highway Department on April 4, 1917. Administrative control of the department was given to a three-member commission appointed by the governor for two-year terms. On June 21, 1917, the commission conducted its first public hearing to solicit input on potential highway routes; the committee divided the state into six divisions to be headquartered in Amarillo, Fort Worth, San Angelo, San Antonio. That year, the commission designated 26 state highways covering 8,865 miles which were to be accessible to 89% of the state's population. In 1921, Congress amended the Federal Aid to Roads Act of 1916 to require the states to take control of road design and maintenance of state highways by 1925; as a result, on January 1, 1924, the Texas Highway Department took full control of maintaining the state highways from the counties within which they resided.
In 1925, the state legislature granted the highway department the responsibility of surveying and building highways, the authorization to acquire new highway rights-of-way by purchasing, or condemning through eminent domain, land required for highway construction. By 1927, the highway system covered 17,960 miles, of which 96 miles were concrete, 1,060 miles were asphalt, 5,000 miles were gravel, shell or stone, 10,000 miles were clay or soil. In 1951, a 50-mile section of the Gulf Freeway opened. In 1957, the state began receiving federal funding for the construction of the Interstate Highway System; the first section of Interstate Highway from county line to county line to open in the state was a 43-mile section of I-35 in Bexar County. By 1967, the highway system controlled 66,000 miles of highway. In 1984, US 66 was replaced by I-40 and the US 66 designation was removed from the state highway system the following year. In 1992, the 3,200 miles of Interstate Highway System in Texas was completed with the opening of a six-mile section of I-27.
In 1997, the Texas Turnpike Authority was merged with TxDOT and independently, the North Texas Turnpike Authority became responsible for toll projects in Collin, Dallas and Tarrant counties. The Interstate Highway System in Texas covers 3,233.4 miles and consists of ten primary highways, seven auxiliary highways, the splitting of both Interstate 35 and Interstate 69 into multiple letter-suffixed branches. The Interstate Highway with the longest segment in Texas is I-10 at 880.6 miles. The shortest in the state is I-110 at 0.9 miles. The construction of the Interstate Highway System in Texas began well before these routes were designated as Interstate Highways. A 50-mile stretch of the Gulf Freeway between Galveston and Houston was opened in 1951, eight years before it was designated I-45, it was the first urban expressway in Texas. In 1962, 43 miles of I-35 opened in Bexar County, the first section of Interstate Highway to open from county line to county line in a large metropolitan area. Portions of I-10 west of San Antonio took much longer to complete due to the vast open spaces and lack of nearby labor.
The majority of the construction of this section of I-10 occurred in the 1970s and 1980s and was complete by the early 1990s. The section east of San Antonio was completed 20 years earlier in 1972; the opening of a 6-mile section of I-27 in 1992 completed the Interstate Highway System in Texas. Construction is ongoing for an extension of I-69 southward from its original terminus in Indiana through Texas to the Mexican border; when built, I-69 will extend about 650 miles across Texas, from the Louisiana state line in the Texarkana–Shreveport area to South Texas. Similar to I-35, I-69 splits into three letter-suffixed branches, I-69E, I-69C, I-69W; the United States Numbered Highways are a nationwide grid of highways, but unlike the Interstate Highway System, there is no minimum design standard for these highways. This is evident as some stretches of the U. S. Highways in Texas are nothing more than a two-lane rural road. Although the U. S. Highways have been replaced for the most part by Interstate Highways for through traffic, the U.
S. Highways still serve as important regional connectors. Several notable examples of U. S. Highways that are built to freeway standards include US 75 and US 80 in Dallas, US 59 and US 290 in Houston, US 90 and US 281 in
The city of Lawton is the county seat of Comanche County, in the State of Oklahoma. Located in southwestern Oklahoma, about 87 mi southwest of Oklahoma City, it is the principal city of the Lawton, Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the 2010 census, Lawton's population was 96,867, making it the fifth-largest city in the state. Built on former reservation lands of Kiowa and Apache Indians, Lawton was founded on 6 August 1901, was named after Major General Henry Ware Lawton, a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient killed in action in the Philippine–American War. Lawton's landscape is typical of the Great Plains, with flat topography and rolling hills, while the area north of the city is marked by the Wichita Mountains; the city's proximity to Fort Sill Military Reservation gave Lawton economic and population stability throughout the 20th century. Although Lawton's economy is still dependent on Fort Sill, it has grown to encompass manufacturing, higher education, health care, retail.
The city's government is run by a council-manager government consisting of a city manager and a city council headed by a mayor. Interstate 44 and three major United States highways serve the city, while Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport connects Lawton by air. Recreation can be found at the city's many parks, lakes and festivals. Notable residents of the city include many musical and literary artists, as well as several professional athletes; the land, present-day Oklahoma was first settled by prehistoric American Indians including the Clovis 11500 BCE, Folsom 10600 BCE and Plainview 10000 BCE cultures. Historic indigenous peoples who inhabited the region included the Caddo peoples. In the 16th century, Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado visited in 1541, beginning European contact. Around the 1700s, two tribes from the north, the Comanches and Kiowas, migrated to the Oklahoma and Texas region. For most of the 18th century, the Oklahoma region was under nominal French control as Louisiana.
The limited interaction between the peoples was based on fur trading. In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase by Thomas Jefferson brought the area under United States control. In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which removed American Indian tribes from the Southeast and relocated them to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River; the southern part of this territory was assigned to the Choctaw and Chickasaw. In 1867, the United States used the Medicine Lodge Treaty to allot the southwest portion of the Choctaw and Chickasaw’s lands to the Comanche and Apache tribes. Fort Sill was established in 1869 after the American Civil War by Major General Philip Sheridan, leading a campaign in the Indian Territory to stop raids into Texas by American Indian tribes. In 1874, the Red River War broke out in the region when the Comanche and Southern Cheyenne left their Indian Territory reservation. Attrition and skirmishes by the US Army forced the return of the tribes back to Indian Territory in June 1875.
In 1891, the United States Congress appointed a commission to meet with the tribal leaders and come to an agreement allowing white settlement. Years of controversy and legal maneuvering ensued before President William McKinley issued a proclamation on 4 July 1901, that gave the federal government control over 2,000,000 acres of surplus Indian land. Under other legislation, the United States through the Dawes Commission allotted communal lands as plots to individual households of tribal members, selling off what remained as "surplus"; these actions extinguished the tribal claims to communal lands, a condition needed for the admission of Oklahoma as a state in 1907. After these changes, the legislature of the new state began to organize counties. Three 320-acre sites in Kiowa and Comanche counties were selected for county seats, with Lawton designated as the Comanche County seat; the town was named for Major General Henry W. Lawton, a quartermaster at Fort Sill, who had taken part in the pursuit and capture of Geronimo.
The city was opened to settlement through an auction of town lots beginning on 6 August 1901, completed 60 days later. By 25 September 1901, the Rock Island Railroad expanded to Lawton and was soon joined by the Frisco Line; the first city elections were held 24 October 1901. The United States' entry into World War I accelerated growth at Fort Lawton; the availability of 5 million US gallons of water from Lake Lawtonka, just north of Fort Sill, was a catalyst for the War Department to establish a major cantonment named Camp Doniphan, active until 1922. Following World War II, Lawton enjoyed steady population growth, with the population increasing from 18,055 to 34,757 from 1940 to 1950. By the 1960s, it had reached 61,697. In the postwar period, Lawton underwent tremendous growth during the late 1940s and 1950s, leading city officials to seek additional water sources to supplement existing water from Lake Lawtonka. In the late 1950s, the city purchased large parcels of land along East Cache Creek in northern Comanche County for the construction of a man-made lake with a dam built in 1959 on the creek just north of U.
S. 277 west of Elgin. Lake Ellsworth, named for a former Lawton mayor, soft-drink bottler C. R. Ellsworth, was dedicated in the early 1960s, it offered additional water resources, but recreational opportunities and flood control along Cache Creek. In 1966, the Lawton City Council annexed several miles of land on the city's east, northeast and northwest borders, expanding east beyond the East Cache Creek area and west to 82nd Street. On 1 March 1964, the north section of the H. E. Bailey Turnpike was completed, connecting Lawton directly to Oklahoma City, the capital; the south section of the tur
Henrietta is a city in and the county seat of Clay County, United States. It is part of the Wichita Falls metropolitan statistical area; the population was 3,141 at the 2010 census, a decline of 123 from the 2000 tabulation of 3,264. Henrietta is one of the oldest settled towns in north central Texas, it sits at the crossroads of U. S. Highway 287, U. S. Highway 82, State Highway 148, Farm to Market Road 1197 in north central Clay County. Clay and Montague counties were separated in 1857 from Cooke County to the east, Henrietta was named as the county seat; the naming of the town remains a mystery. Regardless of the origin of its name, Henrietta became the center of gravity for the fledgling county. In 1860, as the only town in the county, it had 109 residents, 10 houses, a general store, it sat at the far western edge of Anglo expansion in north-central Texas, but Native Americans remained a viable threat to current and future settlers. In 1862, Henrietta opened its post office. In the early 1860s, there were continuous attacks from local tribes.
By late 1862, Henrietta was abandoned, white settlers returned east to Cooke and Montague counties. Remaining structures were burned. Anglos continued to attempt resettlement, in 1865 after the Civil War, a group attempting resettlement was massacred. A number of Quakers attempted to reoccupy the former townsite, but its members were either killed or fled. In 1870, fifty soldiers and Kiowa Indians fought a battle in the ruins of Henrietta. After the battle, white settlers returned to Henrietta, this time permanently. In 1874, the post office reopened, Henrietta became the economic hub of north-central Texas. In 1882, the Fort Worth and Denver Railway reached Henrietta on its southern side, in 1887, Henrietta became the westernmost terminus for the Gainesville and Western Railway. In 1895, the Wichita Falls Railway, one of the properties of Joseph A. Kemp and Frank Kell, linked Henrietta with Wichita Falls; this particular track was abandoned in 1970. MK&T built in Wichita Falls a station, offices, a roundhouse, three switching tracks.
After heavy lobbying by businessmen, Henrietta became a logistical supply point for various operations in north-central Texas, including mining in Foard and Archer counties. The Southwestern Railway Company in 1910 completed a rail linking Henrietta with Archer City. Though it had been settled earlier, Henrietta did not incorporate until 1881; the Clay County courthouse is still in use. By 1890, the population had reached 2,100, the town boasted a 400-seat opera house, five churches, a new jailhouse, a school. From 1893 to 1895, it had a college - Henrietta Normal College - for the training of teachers, it remained the economic hub of the county at the turn of the 20th century. The St. Elmo Hotel, established about 1895 in Henrietta, had among its guests Quanah Parker, who married two of his wives there, U. S. President Theodore Roosevelt, when he toured the North Texas area; when the top floors of the hotel burned, the facility closed and never reopened. A portion of the lower floor now houses an antiques store.
The growth of Henrietta waned in the 20th century as Wichita Falls grew into the most prosperous economic center in the area. The Southwestern Railway line was abandoned in 1920, the Gainesville and Western Railway line closed in 1969. By 1990, the population remained under 3,000. In 2000, it topped 3,000 for the first time since the 1970 census. In many ways, Henrietta is a "bedroom community" for Wichita Falls but is still the largest city in Clay County; the play Texas presented during summers at the Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo is loosely based on the history of Henrietta. The 1995 film, The Stars Fell on Henrietta, produced by Clint Eastwood and David Valdez, starring Robert Duvall, Brian Dennehy and Billy Bob Thornton, depicts the Texas oil rush of the 1930s and is set in Henrietta. Henrietta is located near the center of Clay County at 33°49′N 98°12′W, it is 20 miles southeast of Wichita Falls, 28 miles northwest of Bowie, 95 miles northwest of Fort Worth. According to the United States Census Bureau, Henrietta has a total area of 5.2 square miles, of which 5.1 square miles is land and 0.1 square miles, or 1.98%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,264 people, 1,308 households, 893 families residing in the city. The population density was 694.8 people per square mile. There were 1,460 housing units at an average density of 310.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 95.89% White, 0.89% African American, 1.04% Native American, 0.98% from other races, 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.94% of the population. There were 1,308 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.7% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.01. In the city, the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $32,835, the median income for a family was $40,797. Ma
U.S. Route 277
U. S. Route 277 is a north–south United States Highway, it is a spur of U. S. Route 77, it runs for 633 miles across Texas. US 277's northern terminus is in Newcastle, Oklahoma at Interstate 44, the northern terminus of the H. E. Bailey Turnpike, its southern terminus is in Carrizo Springs, Texas at U. S. Route 83, it passes through the states of Texas. Most of U. S. 277's route through the two states overlaps other U. S. highways. Those include U. S. 62 from Newcastle to Chickasha, Oklahoma, U. S. 62 and U. S. 281 from five miles west of Elgin, Oklahoma, to Lawton, U. S. 281 from Lawton to Wichita Falls, Texas, U. S. 82 from Wichita Falls to Seymour, U. S. 83 from Anson, Texas to Abilene, Texas. Through the Lawton area and again from Randlett, Oklahoma, to near downtown Wichita Falls, U. S. 277 is co-signed with I-44. The highway begins at an intersection with US 83 in Carrizo Springs, about 60 miles northwest of Laredo; the highway runs until reaching Eagle Pass. From here to Del Rio, the highway parallels the Rio Grande River at the U.
S.-Mexico border. The highway overlaps US 377 for about 26 miles, with the highways passing the Amistad National Recreation Area. US 277 crosses I-10 near Sonora, before traveling to Eldorado and San Angelo; the highway overlaps US 87 in the city. In Abilene, the highway overlaps with the latter leaving shortly after. US 83 leaves in Anson. In Seymour, US 82 begins an overlap with US 277; the two highways enter the city of Wichita Falls, with US 82 leaving the highway at US 281/US 287. US 277 joins US 281/287 and the three highways travel into the downtown area of the city, where I-44 begins. US 287 leaves the freeway, while I-44/US 277/US 281 travel to Burkburnett, before crossing the Red River into Oklahoma. From its present terminus at Interstate 44 near Newcastle, U. S. 277 runs concurrent with U. S. 62 through Blanchard into downtown Chickasha, where U. S. 277 joins U. S. 81 for several miles to an intersection south of Chickasha near Ninnekah, where U. S. 277 turns west/southwest through the cities of Cement, Cyril and Elgin - crossing over I-44/H.
E. Bailey east of Cement, under the interstate south of Fletcher and under the interstate/turnpike on the west side of Elgin. About five miles west of Elgin, U. S. 277 rejoins U. S. 62 for the next 10 miles with the triplex 62-277-281 route joining Interstate 44 at the starting/ending point of the H. E. Bailey Turnpike north section near Medicine Park south through Fort Sill to I-44 Exit 40A, where U. S. 62 diverts from the interstate. U. S. 277 and 281 continue their concurrent route with I-44 through the Lawton-Fort Sill area to a point six miles south of Lawton where I-44 becomes the H. E. Bailey Turnpike south to Randlett. At this interchange which includes Oklahoma 36 west/southwest to Chattanooga and Grandfield, U. S. 277-281 diverts east and curve south to parallel the interstate past Geronimo, OK and 10 miles joins Oklahoma 5 about 5 miles west of Walters for three miles west crossing over I-44/H. E. Bailey Turnpike at the Walters exit and toll plaza. West of I-44, U. S. 277-281 turns south from Oklahoma 5 and continues south, crossing under I-44 south of Cookietown and joins U.
S. 70 at Randlett, from where the triplex U. S. 70-277-281 continues 3 miles west to an interchange with I-44 at the beginning/ending points of the H. E. Bailey Turnpike. At this interchange, U. S. 277-281 joins I-44 for the last 6 miles in Oklahoma before crossing the Red River into Texas. From Newcastle to the Red River north of Wichita Falls, Texas, U. S. 277 serves as an alternate free route to the two sections of the H. E. Bailey Turnpike between Oklahoma City and the Red River from Newcastle southwest of Oklahoma to near Medicine Park north of Lawton and from near Geronimo south of Lawton to Randlett just north of the Red River near Burkburnett, Texas; the former route of U. S. 277 through the City of Lawton via 2nd Street and 11th Street has been designated as U. S. 281 Business since the completion of Lawton's Pioneer Expressway in 1964 from present I-44 Exit 39-B to Exit 33. Present U. S. 281 Business and former U. S. 277-281 follows 2nd Street south of I-44 into the downtown area and south of Lee Boulevard, curves into the diagonal route to 11th Street and still locally designated by the City of Lawton as Highway 277 though it is designated as U.
S. 281 Business. From the end of the diagonal route at 11th and Tennessee Avenue south past the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport to Exit 33 of Interstate 44, the former U. S. 277-281 and current U. S. Business 281 route follows 11th Street. South of this point, U. S. 281 Business ends/begins and current U. S. 277-281 continues to run concurrent with I-44 for another 3 miles to Exit 30, bypassing 3 miles of the former U. S. 277-281 concurrency that followed 11th Street south of Lawton until the completion of the present I-44 route south of Lawton in 1964, when the former highway reverted to local jurisdiction. At Exit 31, Oklahoma 36 begins its route to Chattanooga and Grandfield west of I-44 while U. S. 277-281 uses the same route east of the interstate for a half-mile and tur
Wichita Falls, Texas
Wichita Falls is a city in and the county seat of Wichita County, United States. It is the principal city of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Archer and Wichita Counties. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 104,553, making it the 38th-most populous city in Texas. In addition, its central business district is 5 miles from Sheppard Air Force Base, home to the Air Force's largest technical training wing and the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, the world's only multinationally staffed and managed flying training program chartered to produce combat pilots for both USAF and NATO; the city is home to the Newby-McMahon Building, constructed downtown in 1919 and featured in Robert Ripley's Ripley's Believe It or Not!. The Choctaw Native Americans settled the area in the early 19th century from their native Mississippi area once Americans negotiated to relocate them after the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. American settlers arrived in the 1860s to form cattle ranches.
The city was titled Wichita Falls on September 27, 1872. On that day, a sale of town lots was held at what is now the corner of Seventh and Ohio Streets – the birthplace of the city; the Fort Worth & Denver City Railway arrived in September 1882, the same year the city became the county seat of Wichita County. The city grew westwards from the original FW&DC train depot, located at the northwest corner of Seventh Street and the FW&DC; this area is now referred to as the Depot Square Historic District, declared a Texas Historic Landmark. The early history of Wichita Falls well into the 20th century rests on the work of two entrepreneurs, Joseph A. Kemp and his brother-in-law, Frank Kell. Kemp and Kell were pioneers in food processing and retailing, flour milling, cattle and oil. A flood in 1886 destroyed. After nearly 100 years of visitors wanting to visit the nonexistent falls, the city built an artificial waterfall beside the river in Lucy Park; the recreated falls are recirculate at 3,500 gallons per minute.
They are visible to south-bound traffic on Interstate 44. The city is seeking funding to rebuild and restore the downtown area. Downtown Wichita Falls was the city's main shopping area for many years, but lost ground to the creation of new shopping centers throughout the city beginning with Parker Square in 1953 and other similar developments during the 1960s and 1970s, culminating with the opening of Sikes Senter Mall in 1974. Wichita Falls was once home to offices of several oil companies and related industries, along with oil refineries operated by the Continental Oil Company until 1952 and Panhandle Oil Company American Petrofina) until 1965. Both firms continued to use a portion of their former refineries as gasoline/oil terminal facilities for many years. A devastating tornado hit the north and northwest portions of Wichita Falls along with Sheppard Air Force Base during the afternoon of April 3, 1964; as the first violent tornado on record to hit the Wichita Falls area, it left seven dead and more than 100 injured.
Additionally, the tornado caused $15 million in property damage with about 225 homes destroyed and another 250 damaged. It was rated as an F5, the highest rating on the Fujita scale, but it is overshadowed by the 1979 tornado. An F4 tornado struck the populated southern sections of Wichita Falls in the late afternoon on Tuesday, April 10, 1979, it was part of an outbreak. Despite having nearly an hour's advance warning that severe weather was imminent, 42 people were killed and 1,800 were injured because it arrived just in time for many people to be driving home from work, it left 20,000 people homeless and caused $400 million in damage, a U. S. record not topped by an individual tornado until the F5 Moore-Oklahoma City tornado of May 3, 1999. Wichita Falls is about 15 miles south of the border with Oklahoma, 115 mi northwest of Fort Worth, 140 mi southwest of Oklahoma City. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 70.71 square miles, of which 70.69 square miles are land and 0.02 square miles is covered by water.
Wichita Falls experiences a humid subtropical climate, featuring long hot and humid summers, cool winters. The city has some of the highest summer daily maximum temperatures in the entire U. S. outside of the Desert Southwest. Temperatures have hit 100 °F as early as March 27 and as late as October 17, but more reach that level on 28 days annually, with 102 days of 90 °F or higher annually. However, 59 to 60 nights of freezing lows occur, an average of 4.8 days where the high does not rise above freezing. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 42.0 °F in January to 84.4 °F in July. Extremes in temperature have ranged from −12 °F on January 4, 1947, to 117 °F on June 28, 1980. Snowfall is sporadic and averages 4.1 in per season, while rainfall is greatest in early summer. In September 2011, Wichita Falls became the first Texas city to have 100 days of 100 °F in one year. During the 2015 Texas–Oklahoma floods, Wichita Falls broke its all-time record for the wettest month, with 17.00 inches of rain recorded in May 2015.
Wichita Falls is no longer experiencing drought conditions. During a three-week period in May 2015, 17 inches of rain
Sheppard Air Force Base
Sheppard Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located five miles north of the central business district of Wichita Falls, in Wichita County, United States. It is most diversified in Air Education and Training Command; the base is named in honor of Texas Senator John Morris Sheppard, a supporter of military preparations before World War II. The host unit at Sheppard is the 82d Training Wing, which provides specialized technical training and field training for officers and civilians of all branches of the military, other DoD agencies and foreign nationals; the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard, conducts the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, a multi-nationally manned and managed flying training program chartered to produce combat pilots for both USAF and NATO. This internationally managed flying training program is the only one in the world; as of March 2017, Brigadier General Ronald E. Jolly is the commander of the 82d Training Wing and he concurrently serves as the installation commander of Sheppard AFB.
Colonel Russell Driggers is the commander of the 80th Flying Training Wing. Sheppard AFB shares one runway with Wichita Falls Municipal Airport under a joint civil-military arrangement. Sheppard Air Force Base is named in honor of Senator John Morris Sheppard of Texas, chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee from 1933 until his death on 9 April 1941. Senator Sheppard helped lead the fight for military preparedness before the attack on Pearl Harbor; the base began as Sheppard Field on 300 acres just south of Kell Field, named for the businessman Frank Kell. A Texas cattleman and philanthropist, Joseph Sterling Bridwell, sold the land to the U. S. Army for one dollar, it was opened as a United States Army Air Corps training center on 17 October 1941, following the arrival of the first military members on 14 June. As the Army Air Corps became the Army Air Forces, facilities were completed sufficiently to allow the first class of 22 aviation mechanics to enter training that October. During World War II, then-Sheppard Field conducted basic training, it trained glider mechanics and flying training instructors and B-29 Superfortress flight engineers.
In addition to the basic flying training, the base provided advanced pilot training. Sheppard Field reached its peak strength of 46,340 people while serving as a separation center for troops being discharged following World War II from September through November 1945. Sheppard Field declared surplus to the War Department's needs, it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers 30 April 1947. Over the next two years the Texas National Guard used the base. Control and accountability for Sheppard Field was transferred to the Department of the Air Force 1 August 1948 and was reactivated 15 August 1948 to supplement Lackland AFB, Texas, as a basic training center renamed as Sheppard AFB. Basic training was discontinued in June 1949, but was resumed from July 1950 to May 1952. Over the next three decades, three training schools were stationed at the base training students in aircraft maintenance, communication, civil engineering, aircrew life support and field training.
The aircraft mechanics school was transferred to Sheppard from Keesler AFB, Mississippi in April 1949 to make room for expansion of electronic training at that base. The school was renamed the Department of Aircraft Maintenance Training within the 3750th Technical School. During the Korean War several airmen from such places as Greece and Turkey were trained as mechanics. Comptroller and intelligence training moved to Sheppard from Lowry AFB, Colorado, in the fall of 1954. Communications, air conditioning, power production operator and repairman training were transferred here from F. E. Warren AFB, Wyoming in 1959. Intelligence training returned to Lowry in February 1962. Training in certain missile systems began at Sheppard in 1957 and was conducted there through September 1985 when Titan II training operations were terminated following that weapon system's retirement; the 3950th Technical Training Wing was designated the Sheppard Technical Training Center 1 January 1959. It is now the 82d Training Wing.
Helicopter pilot training was transferred from Stead AFB, Nevada in October 1965, with H-19, H-43, Bell TH-1F, CH-3C and HH-3E helicopters used for training. Additional training in airborne firefighting was conducted, given the role of the USAF HH-43 aircraft as a local rescue and aircraft firefighting asset at selected air force bases in the United States and at air bases overseas; the 3630th Flying Training Wing was activated in 1965, it assumed the helicopter training program. It began providing undergraduate pilot training in the T-37 and Northrop T-38 Talon for the then-West German Air Force in August 1966. Helicopter training was discontinued in 1971 when the U. S. Army assumed responsibility for training Air Force helicopter pilots at Alabama; the 3630th Flying Training Wing provided undergraduate pilot training for pilots of the Republic of Vietnam Air Force from 1971 to 1975. The Wing designation was changed to the 80th Flying Training Wing on 1 January 1973; the 80th Flying Training Wing began conducting the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program in 1981.
This one-of-a-kind program includes 13-NATO countries. They are: Belgium, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Approval to conduct the program was extend