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Wichita Falls, Texas

City of Wichita Falls Nickname: The City that Faith Built Location within the state of TexasMap of Wichita Falls in 1890 Coordinates: 33°53′49″N 98°30′54″W / 33.89694, -98.515CountryUnited StatesStateTexasCountyWichitaGovernment  - MayorLanham Lyne Area - City70.1 sq mi (183.1 km²)  - Land 70.66 sq mi (183.0 km²)  - Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km²) Elevation948 ft(289 m) Population (2000)  - City104,197  - Density1,474.1/sq mi (569.1/km²)  - Metro147,826 Time zoneCST(UTC-6)  - Summer (DST) CDT(UTC-6) Area code(s)940FIPS code48-79000[1]GNISfeature ID 1376776[2]Website: www.ci.wichita-falls.tx.us

Wichita Falls is a city in the state of Texas and the county seat of Wichita County, Texas, United States. As of the census[1] of 2000, it had a population of 104,197. Wichita Falls is the principal city of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Archer, Clay and Wichita counties.[3]

Sheppard Air Force Base, a United States Air Force base, is located in Wichita Falls.

Wichita Falls is sister city to Fürstenfeldbruck in Bavaria, Germany.

The city's main newspaper is the Times Record News. The weekly community newspaper is The News Mirror.

Contents

Geography and climate

Wichita Falls is located at 33°53′49″N, 98°30′54″W (33.897047, -98.514881).[4]

The city is about 15 miles south of the border with Oklahoma, 115 miles northwest of Fort Worth, and 140 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 70.7 square miles (183.1 km²), of which, 70.7 square miles (183.1 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.03%) is water.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Rec High °F 87 93 100 102 110 117 114 113 111 102 89 88 Norm High °F 52.1 58.1 67.2 75.5 83.5 91.7 97.2 95.8 87.5 77.1 63.7 54.5 Norm Low °F 28.9 33.4 41.1 49.3 59.3 67.8 72.4 71.3 63.7 52.4 40.1 31.3 Rec Low °F -5 -8 8 24 36 51 54 53 38 25 14 -7 Precip (in) 1.12 1.58 2.27 2.62 3.92 3.69 1.58 2.39 3.19 3.11 1.68 1.68 Source: USTravelWeather.com [1]

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 104,197 people, 37,970 households, and 24,984 families residing in the city. City-data.com reports the population has since declined to 99,354 in July 2006,[5] though the city disputes these numbers.[6] The population density was 1,474.1 people per square mile (569.1/km²). There were 41,916 housing units at an average density of 593.0/sq mi (228.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.11% White, 12.40% African American, 0.86% Native American, 2.20% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 6.39% from other races, and 2.95% from two or more races. Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin accounted for 13.98% of the population.

There were 37,970 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 15.2% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 106.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,554, and the median income for a family was $39,911. Males had a median income of $27,609 versus $21,877 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,761. About 10.8% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.7% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

Based on a July 1, 2006 estimate, the metropolitan statistical area has a population of 145,528, a decline of nearly 4% since 2000 (see Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas).[3]

History

The Choctaw Indians settled the area in the early 1700s[7]. White settlers arrived in the 1860s to form cattle ranches. The Fort Worth and Denver Railway arrived in 1882, the same year the city became the county seat of Wichita County, Texas.[8]

A flood in 1886 destroyed the original falls on the Wichita River for which the city was named. After nearly 100 years of visitors wanting to visit the non-existent falls, the city built an artificial waterfall beside the river in Lucy Park. The recreated falls are 54 feet high and recirculates at 3,500 gallons per minute. They are visible to south-bound traffic on Interstate 44.

The city is currently seeking funding to rebuild and restore the downtown area.[9]

Transportation

Highways

Wichita Falls is the western terminus for Interstate 44 (until Interstate 44 was extended to Wichita Falls in 1987, it had been the largest US city without an Interstate Highway). U.S. Highways leading to or through Wichita Falls include 287, 277, 281, and 82. State Highway 240 ends at Wichita Falls and State Highway 79 runs through it.

Air travel

The Wichita Falls Municipal Airport is served by American Eagle with six flights daily to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The Kickapoo Downtown Airpark and the Wichita Valley Airport serve smaller, private planes.

Van service

Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service from Wichita Falls to other locations served by Greyhound. Skylark Van Service shuttles passengers to and from DFW on several runs during the day all week long.

Education

Wichita Falls is home to Midwestern State University, an accredited 4-year college offering both bachelor's and master's degrees. A local branch of nearby Vernon College offers two-year degrees, certificate programs, and workforce development programs.

Public primary and secondary education is covered by the Wichita Falls Independent School District, the City View Independent School District, and the Bright Ideas Charter School. There are several parochial schools, the largest of which is Notre Dame Catholic school. Other private schools operate in the city, as does an active home-school community. Many of the local elementary schools participate in the Head Start program for preschool-aged children. The Wichita Falls ISD is one of only a handful of school districts in Texas that does not require its students to attend a particular school in the district based on their residency. Instead, all schools have magnet programs to attract students, such as the Washington Jackson Math & Science Center.

Four schools in the Wichita Falls Independent School District participate in the International Baccalaureate programmes. Hirschi High School offers the IB Diploma Programme. Three others are candidate schools: G.H. Kirby Junior High School for the Middle Years Programme; and Washington/Jackson Math/Science Center and Lamar Primary Center for the Primary Years Programme.

Other public high schools are Wichita Falls High School and S. H. Rider High School (Wichita Falls ISD) and City View High School (City View ISD).

Sports and recreation

Wichita Falls is the home of the annual Hotter'N Hell Hundred, the largest century bicycle ride in the US.

The city has been home to a number of semi-pro, development, and minor league sports teams, including the Wichita Falls Drillers, a semi-pro football team that has won numerous league titles and a national championship; Wichita Falls Razorbacks, another semi-pro football team; Wichita Falls Texans of the Continental Basketball Association; Wichita Falls Fever in the Lone Star Soccer Alliance (1989-92); the Wichita Falls Spudders baseball team in the Texas League; the Wichita Falls Wildcats (formerly the Wichita Falls Rustlers) of the North American Hockey League, an American "Junior A" Hockey league; and the Wichita Falls Roughnecks (formerly the Graham Roughnecks) of the Texas Collegiate League.

Lucy Park is a 170-acre park with a log cabin, duck pond, playground, a frisbee golf course, and picnic areas. It has multiple paved walkways suitable for walking, running, biking, or rollerskating, including a river walk that goes to the Falls. There are also unpaved trails for off-road biking and hiking.

Notable natives

1979 tornado

Main article: Red River Valley Tornado Outbreak

A large F4 tornado struck the heavily populated southern sections of Wichita Falls in the late afternoon on Tuesday, April 10, 1979 (still known locally as "Terrible Tuesday"). The storm was part of a record outbreak[10] that produced 30 tornadoes around the region. Despite having nearly an hour's advance warning that severe weather was imminent, 42 people were killed (25 in vehicles) and 1,800 were injured just in time for many people to be driving home from work. The tornado left 20,000 people homeless and did $400 million in damage in 1979 dollars, a U.S. record not topped by an individual tornado until the F5 Moore-Oklahoma City tornado of May 3, 1999.[11] A total of 54 people were killed, 52 that Tuesday and two within a week due to injuries.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ US Board on Geographic Names. United States Geological Survey (2007-10-25). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ a b Find a County. National Association of Counties. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990. United States Census Bureau (2005-05-03). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ Wichita Falls, Texas Detailed Profile. Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
  6. ^ City of Wichita Falls, TX - Official Website. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
  7. ^ Wichita Falls History
  8. ^ Wichita Falls History
  9. ^ Wichita Falls History
  10. ^ http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/storms/19790410/disaster.php
  11. ^ NWS Norman, Oklahoma - The Great Plains Tornado Outbreak of May 3-4, 1999

External links

Texas Portal


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