Blackwell is a city in Kay County, Oklahoma, United States, located at the intersection ofU.S. Highway 177 and State Highway 11 along Interstate 35. The population was 7,092 at the 2010 census. Blackwell was established following the September 16, 1893 Cherokee Outlet land run by A. J. Blackwell. Blackwell has an agricultural and fossil fuel based economy.
Looking east along West Doolin Avenue
Location of Blackwell in Oklahoma.
Blackwell came into existence during the Cherokee Outlet Opening on September 16, 1893 in the run known as the Cherokee Strip Land Run. The town is named for A. J. Blackwell, who was the dominant force in its founding. A post office was established on December 1, 1893. Due to a struggle for regional prominence between Blackwell and nearby Parker, the post office was named Parker from April 2, 1894, to February 4, 1895. After the latter date, the name reverted to Blackwell.
Andrew Blackwell had settled in the area in 1882, having married the former Rosa Vaught who was of Cherokee descent, he was eligible to found the city. Blackwell served as Justice of the Peace and Mayor of Blackwell.
Blackwell's first school opened in September 1893 in a small, frame building with fifty-two students in attendance. A gradual enrollment increase created a need for ten teachers by 1899.
Blackwell has a well-established reputation as a sundown town, having kept out African Americans through violent expulsion and the display of a sign warning them to leave town by sunset. Blackwell's expulsion of its African American residents around 1893 is described in the 1967 book From Slavery to Freedom by John Hope Franklin.
Blackwell is located at Chikaskia River and to the east of Interstate 35. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14 km2), of which, 5.4 square miles (14 km2) of it is land and 0.18% is water. (36.801764, -97.289856), along the
Blackwell Public Schools has four schools, including an early childhood center, an elementary school, a middle school and a high school. For the 2011-2012 school year, there were approximately 1500 students enrolled.
Arts and culture
Parks, museums, and cultural events
The Top of Oklahoma Historical Society Museum is located in the Electric Park Pavilion and displays artifacts from the land run, antiques, and local history. Blackwell hosts the Kay County Free Fair in September, and the Tulips Abloom Festival in the springtime. Blackwell is served by 5 major parks including Riverside, Bagby, Rogers, Memorial, and Legion parks. Blackwell has 1 major and 2 minor public pools. Blackwell is also home to a brick WPA armory which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.