Harrah is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Located 25 miles (40 km) east of downtown Oklahoma City, Harrah had a population of 5,095 people as of 2012.
The first settler of the area, who was Potawatomi, arrived in the 1870s, but the town was not incorporated until 1908. The town was settled by Americans, Polish immigrants and other groups and had a cotton ginning center. The city is overseen by a city council and mayor and includes a police department and fire station
|Motto: "Heart of the Heartland"|
Location in Oklahoma County and the state of Oklahoma.
Harrah is a small city in Oklahoma with a total land area of 11.9 square miles (31 km2) and no water. The city's elevation is 925 feet (282 m) above sea level.It lies partly in the Great Plains near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states in the United States. It lies between the larger cities of Oklahoma City to the west and Shawnee, Oklahoma, to the east, in Oklahoma County.
The land that would become the town of Harrah had its first settler, Louis Navarre, in the 1870s. Navarre, was a member of thePotawatomi people who had signed an 1867 treaty to sell their Kansas lands in order to purchase lands in Indian Territory with the proceeds. They also became citizens of the United States and thus became known as the Citizen Potawatomi.
In 1890, Navarre and the Citizen Potawatomi participated, unwillingly, in the allotment process implemented through the Dawes Act of 1887. With this Act, the Citizen Potawatomi people were forced to accept individual allotments. In the Land Run of 1891, the remainder of the Potawatomi reservation in Oklahoma was opened up to non-Indian settlement, with about 450 square miles (1,200 km2) of the reservation given away by the government to settlers.
Frank Harrah, for whom the town is named, purchased 40 acres (160,000 m2) from Louis Navarre's allotement in April 1898 and early settlers included a large number of Polish immigrants.More than two million Poles entered American ports between 1897 and 1913, and the immigrants formed small communities around Choctaw Nation coal mines.
Originally named Sweeney, after E.W. Sweeney, who operated a ferry beginning in 1891, the town was renamed Harrah on December 22, 1898, and was incorporated in 1908. The town was almost renamed Clubb.
In the 1940s Harrah was a center of cotton ginning. Its population was 741 in 1950. By 1990 4,206 people lived in Harrah.
The city lies in the Harrah school district, with some western parts of the city in the Choctaw-Nicoma Park school district. Both districts offer primary and secondary school education. Harrah schools spend approximately $3,204 per student and have 16 students per teacher.
Although there are no higher education institutions in Harrah, two prominent universities in Shawnee, Oklahoma are less than 30 miles away.St. Gregory's University offers undergraduate programs in multiple areas of study and a graduate program in business. Oklahoma Baptist University is owned by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and is ranked as Oklahoma's top regional college in the U.S. Newsrankings for 18 consecutive years. According to The Princeton Review, the university is one of "America's Best Value Colleges."