Open main menu

Sapulpa is a city in Creek and Tulsa counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 20,544 at the 2010 United States census, compared to 19,166 at the 2000 census.[4] As of 2013 the estimated population was 20,836.[5] It is the county seat of Creek County.[6]

Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Creek County Courthouse, 2014
Creek County Courthouse, 2014
"Oklahoma's Most Connected City"
Location within Creek County and Oklahoma
Location within Creek County and Oklahoma
Sapulpa, Oklahoma is located in the United States
Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 36°0′13″N 96°6′17″W / 36.00361°N 96.10472°W / 36.00361; -96.10472Coordinates: 36°0′13″N 96°6′17″W / 36.00361°N 96.10472°W / 36.00361; -96.10472
CountryUnited States
CountiesCreek, Tulsa[1]
 • Total25.1 sq mi (65.1 km2)
 • Land24.3 sq mi (63.0 km2)
 • Water0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)
715 ft (218 m)
 • Total20,544
 • Density856/sq mi (330.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)539/918
FIPS code40-65400[2]
GNIS feature ID1097835[3]


Early historyEdit

The town was named after the area's first permanent settler, a full-blood Lower Creek Indian named Sapulpa, of the Kasihta Tribe, from Osocheetown, Alabama.[7] About 1850, he established a trading post near the meeting of Polecat and Rock creeks (about one mile (1.6 km) southeast of present-day downtown Sapulpa). When the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (later known as the Frisco) built a spur to this area in 1886, it was known as Sapulpa Station. The Sapulpa post office was chartered July 1, 1889. The town was incorporated March 31, 1898.[8][9]

Controversy over Creek County Seat locationEdit

After Oklahoma became a state, each county held an election to determine the location of the county seat. Sapulpa competed with Bristow for county seat of Creek County. After five years of contested elections and court suits, the question was settled by the Oklahoma Supreme Court on August 1, 1913. Sapulpa was ruled the winner. The county courthouse was completed in 1914, replacing an earlier structure built in 1902.[7]

Economic developmentEdit

The area around Sapulpa mainly produced walnuts when the town was founded. In 1898, the Sapulpa Pressed Brick was established, followed in a few years by the Sapulpa Brick Company. This began the clay products industry. The founding of Premium Glass Company in 1912 marked Sapulpa's entry to glass manufacturing. Premium Glass was absorbed into Liberty Glass Company in 1918. Other glass producers in the city were Bartlett-Collins Glass Company, Schram Glass Company, and Sunflower Glass Company. According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History, Sapulpa became known as "The Crystal City of the Southwest".[10] Sapulpa is also the home of Frankoma Pottery.

Rail TransportationEdit

In 1889 the Frisco route between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, passing through Sapulpa, was opened.[11] The Frisco built a railyard in Sapulpa and by 1900 designated Sapulpa as the location of an overhaul base for its rolling stock.[7] Also in 1900, construction of the line from Sapulpa to Denison, Texas was started and rushed to completion by March 1901.[11] With changes in ownership over the years, the portion of the old Frisco line between Sapulpa and Del City, Oklahoma, near Oklahoma City ended up owned by the State of Oklahoma.[12] In 1998, the line was leased to Stillwater Central Railroad, and in 2014 was sold to that company.[12] The sale contract reportedly included a requirement to start a six-month daily passenger service trial run before August 2019, with a financial penalty for not meeting the deadline set at $2.8 million. [13] In June of 2018, the Stillwater Central, being only a freight operator, issued a request for proposal to begin the process of securing another private rail carrier to provide the passenger service, such service known locally as the Eastern Flyer. The terms include an initial period of 10 years, and involves only the route between Sapulpa and Del City, but with the expectation of working with city officials to expand service to the downtowns of both Tulsa and Oklahoma City.[13] On August 5, 2019, the Stillwater Central opted to default under the contract and pay the $2.8 million penalty for not establishing the service.[14]

Separately, Sapulpa in the early days was on the route of the Sapulpa & Interurban Railway (“S&I”) streetcar/interurban line connecting to Tulsa in one direction, and Kiefer, Glenpool, and Mounds in the other. S&I subsequently went through a series of mergers and name changes, with only the Tulsa-to-Sapulpa portion continuing as the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway.[15] [16]


Sapulpa is located in the northeast corner of Creek County at 36°0′13″N 96°6′17″W / 36.00361°N 96.10472°W / 36.00361; -96.10472 (36.003536, -96.104822).[17] A small portion of the city extends north into Tulsa County and was annexed into the city in 2004. Downtown Tulsa is 14 miles (23 km) to the northeast via Interstate 44. The Creek Turnpike (State Highway 364) branches east from I-44 in northeastern Sapulpa and provides a southern and eastern bypass of Tulsa.

In January 2018, the Sapulpa City Council voted to approve the annexation of approximately 300 acres of land in West Tulsa. The land is bordered to the north by 51st street, to the south by Southwest Blvd, and to the west by 65th West Avenue. Originally, this annexation included the future site of the interchange of the Gilcrease Expressway and I-44. However, the city has now planned to de-annex this area back to the city of Tulsa.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Sapulpa has a total area of 25.1 square miles (65.1 km2), of which 24.3 square miles (63.0 km2) is land and 0.81 square miles (2.1 km2), or 3.21%, is water.[18]


Census Pop.
Est. 201820,802[19]1.3%

As of the 2010 census, there were 20,544 people, 8,015 households, and 5,497 families residing in the city. The population density was 844.3 people per square mile. There were 8,903 housing units at an average density of 435.4 per square mile (168.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.5% White, 3.0% African American, 10.9% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.5% from other races, and 6.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.[22]

There were 7,430 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% 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 3.00.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,372 and the median income for a family was $52,639. Males had a median income of $30,524 versus $21,609 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,275. About 11.5% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 17.4% of those age 65 or over.[23]

Culture and educationEdit

Sisters Maxine Wildcat Barnett (left) and Josephine Wildcat Bigler; two of the final surviving elderly speakers of Yuchi, visiting their grandmother's grave in a cemetery behind Pickett Chapel in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. According to the sisters, their grandmother had insisted that Yuchi be their native language.

In 2013, the Sapulpa Creek Community Center graduated a class of 14 from its Muscogee Creek language class.[24]

Newspaper controversyEdit

The Sapulpa Daily Herald gained national media attention in early November 2008 for not reporting the election of Barack Obama as president, reporting only that John McCain had won among the voters of Creek County. Critics charged that the omission related to racism, as Obama's victory as the first African American elected president was an historic event. The newspaper maintains that it only covers local news events. The newspaper had covered every single presidential victory prior to the Obama victory.[25]

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "Zoning Index" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 17, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "MuniNet Guide: Sapulpa, Oklahoma". Archived from the original on 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2011-05-30. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013 (PEPANNRES): Incorporated Places, Oklahoma". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. ^ a b c "Sand Springs | The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture".
  8. ^ Sapulpa Historical Society. "Area History."
  9. ^ "City of Sapulpa, "Connect to Sapulpa's Heritage."". Archived from the original on September 6, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Dianna Everett, "Glass Manufacturing." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  11. ^ a b "A Condensed History of the Frisco Railroad". Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Sooner Sub railroad sale finalized". Curtis Killman, Tulsa World, August 5, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Passenger rail between Tulsa and OKC? Company seeks another Eastern Flyer operator". Kyle Hinchey, Tulsa World, June 22, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  14. ^ "OKC-to-Tulsa passenger rail service falls through". Randy Ellis, Tulsa World, August 6, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  15. ^ "Tulsa streetcar and interurban lines in Google Maps". Michael Bates. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  16. ^ "Tulsa Sapulpa Union Railway". Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  17. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  18. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Sapulpa city, Oklahoma". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  19. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  20. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Oklahoma" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Oklahoma: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  22. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results".
  23. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results".
  24. ^ Brock, John (2013-08-17). "Creek language class graduates 14". Sapulpa Herald Online. Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Archived from the original on 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2013-08-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  25. ^ "Video News". CNN.
  26. ^ "Dan Douglas' Biography". Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  27. ^ "Encyclopedia Of Country, Western, & Gospel Music P0305".
  28. ^ Paul Lindemeyer, "Joe Haymes: Lost Motion." IAJRC Journal, summer, 1993.
  29. ^ "Progress Report: My Brightest Diamond". October 19, 2011.

External linksEdit