Pocola is a town in northeastern Le Flore County, Oklahoma, United States. It is part of theFort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,056 at the 2010 census, a gain of 1.55 percent from 3,994 at the 2000.It is approximately 10 miles (16 km) from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Pocola is a Choctaw word meaning "ten."
Location of Pocola, Oklahoma
The Battle of Devil's Backbone Mountain occurred nearby on September 1, 1863. It was a victory for the Union Army.
The first post office was established in 1884. Will Hartshorne began operating a small coal mine in this area during the 1880s. By 1895, he employed six men, and sold the mine to the Fort Smith and Western Coal and Railway in the following year. The population of Pocola was estimated at 200 in 1900, but the number declined to about 75 in 1918. The post office closed in 1916.
The community did not incorporate until 1963, allowing it to gain water rights along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System and to ensure that the area was not annexed by other Le Flore County communities. The town began annexing land, enlarging itself to about 30 square miles. By 1970, the population had grown to 1,840. In 1980, the census recorded 3,268 residents. A post office was reestablished in 1986.
Pocola is located at (35.257983, -94.473959).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 30.5 square miles (79 km2), of which, 30.3 square miles (78 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.69%) is water.