Waurika, Oklahoma

Waurika, Oklahoma

Waurika, Oklahoma
Location of Waurika, Oklahoma
Location of Waurika, Oklahoma
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Jefferson
 • Total 11.8 sq mi (30.7 km2)
 • Land 11.8 sq mi (30.6 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 896 ft (273 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,064
 • Density 174.9/sq mi (67.5/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 73573
Area code(s) 580
FIPS code 40-79250[1]
GNIS feature ID 1099439[2]
Website waurika.us

Waurika is a city in and county seat of Jefferson County, Oklahoma, United States.[3] The population was 2,064 at the 2010 census, a 3.8 percent increase from 1,988 at the 2000 census.[4]


  • City name 1
  • History 2
  • Geography 3
  • Economy 4
  • Demographics 5
  • Government 6
  • Notable events 7
  • References 8

City name

The name is the anglicized version of the Comanche compound woarɨhka 'worm eater' from woa 'worm' + tɨhka 'eat' and presumably refers to a group of Comanche living in the area or to some early European settlers whose plowing may have humorously resembled digging for worms.[5] Such humorous names were common in Comanche culture, such as the word for 'rice', woarɨhkapɨh, literally 'worm food'.


Waurika was settled after the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Reservation was opened to non-Indians on August 6, 1901. The first sale of town lots was held on June 18, 1902. Nearly three thousand people attended the sale. Waurika was incorporated in May 1903.[6]

Waurika was formerly the northern terminus for the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad, one of the 20th century properties of Frank Kell and Joseph A. Kemp of Wichita Falls, Texas.[7]


Waurika is located at (34.170130, -98.001268).[9] It is about 106 miles (171 km) southwest of Oklahoma City.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.8 square miles (31 km2), of which, 11.8 square miles (31 km2) of it is land and 0.08% is water. Waurika Lake is about 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of the town.[6]

Waurika Lake is 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of the city.[6]


Waurika's economy has largely been based on cattle raising, agriculture and petroleum production since the founding of the city.[6]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,988 people, 741 households, and 500 families residing in the city. The population density was 168.0 people per square mile (64.9/km²). There were 929 housing units at an average density of 78.5 per square mile (30.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.41% White, 1.81% African American, 4.28% Native American, 3.37% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 2.36% from other races, and 2.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.00% of the population.

There were 741 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 107.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,800, and the median income for a family was $31,594. Males had a median income of $24,844 versus $16,286 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,496. About 6.4% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 17.4% of those age 65 or over.


Waurika has a home rule charter form of government.[6]

Notable events

The 1996 murder of Heather Rich brought brief notoriety to Waurika. Rich, a 16-year-old sophomore at the local high school, was murdered by two classmates and an acquaintance in a case that attracted national media coverage.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ CensusViewer:Waurika, Oklahoma Population. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  5. ^ William Bright. 2013. Native American Placenames of the Southwest (Univ. of Oklahoma Press)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and CultureSheridan B. Drowatzky, "Waurika," , 2009. Accessed March 27, 2015.
  7. ^ """H. Allen Anderson, "Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad. tshaonline.org. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".