Altus is located in the state of Oklahoma and has a lot of culture to offer as well as great sights and interesting destinations. So if you’re planning a trip to Altus, you’ve come to the right place!
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Vacation in Altus
Whether you’re looking for an adventurous escape or a relaxing retreat, Altus has the perfect vacation option for you. Situated in southwestern Oklahoma, this charming city offers a variety of activities and attractions to suit every taste.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the area’s natural beauty. The Quartz Mountain State Park & Resort is a great place to start, with its 5,900 acres of hiking trails, fishing lakes, and scenic vistas. Or take a drive down the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area, a 105mile stretch of forest Service roads that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s wildlife, head to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. This 59,000acre refuge is home to bison, elk, deer, and other animals, as well as over 400 species of birds. You can even camp overnight in one of the refuge’s five designated primitive camping areas.
For a more urban adventure, Altus also has a vibrant downtown area with shops, restaurants, and a number of historical buildings. Be sure to check out the Altus City Museum, which chronicles the city’s history, or the Altus Air Force Base Heritage Museum, which highlights the military history of the area.
No matter what type of vacation you’re looking for, Altus is sure to have something to offer. So come and explore all that this charming city has to offer.
Sights in Altus
Altus is a city in and the county seat of Jackson County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 19,813 at the 2010 census, a loss of 7.7 percent from the 21,454 reported in 2000. Altus is home to Altus Air Force Base, the United States Air Force’s primary training base for pilots of the C17 Globemaster III.
Altus is located in southwestern Oklahoma near the OklahomaTexas border, approximately 30mi east of Childress, Texas and 90mi west of Ardmore, Oklahoma.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.1sqmi, with all land.
Altus has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with frequent hot, humid summers and cool, wet winters. However, temperatures as low as −13 °F (−25 °C) have been recorded, and 100 °F (38 °C) as early as February and as late as October. On average, Altus sees 57 days per year with highs at or above 90 °F (32 °C), and 10 moderation days with highs at or below freezing.
The town began on April 19, 1886, when a land auction was held for the proposed townsite of Altus. This was the first time that a town had been established in what is now Jackson County. The town was named for the Latin word for “high”, a reference to the town’s location at the top of the Wichita Mountains.
The city was originally designed by local dentist and Civil War veteran Dr. W. A. Chapman and laid out by surveyor George W. ships. The city was incorporated in Oklahoma Territory on May 2, 1901. The first mayor was C.E. Harrison, who served two terms from 1901 until 1903. In 1907, a secondstory additions was made to the Jackson County courthouse, which was built in 1902.
During World War II, Altus became the site of Altus Army Airfield. The airfield was used as a training facility for transport and fighter pilots. The flight training continued until 1945, when the base was inactivated.
The base was reactivated in 1953 as Altus Air Force Base. The base has been used for training C130 Hercules crews since the 1950s. It is now the primary training base for C17 Globemaster III pilots.
As of the census of 2010, there were 19,813 people, 5,770 households, and 3,614 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,413.4 people per square mile (545.3/km^2). There were 6,626 housing units at an average density of 470.2 per square mile (181.4/km^2). The racial makeup of the city was 62.5% White, 15.5% African American, 1.2% Native American, 2.8% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 16.0% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31% of the population.
There were 5,770 households, out of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.5% were nonfamilies. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.3% under the age of 18, 29.1% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 10% from 45 to 64, and 8.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 107.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,015, and the median income for a family was $41,271. Males had a median income of $26,735 versus $20,528 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,712. About 12.5% of families and 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.
History of Altus
Altus is a city in Jackson County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 19,813 at the 2010 census, a loss of 7.7 percent since the 2000 census figure of 21,454.
Altus is home to Altus Air Force Base, the headquarters of the Oklahoma National Guard and the state’s only Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) unit.
The town began as a community known as “Knapp’s Switch”, named after its first postmaster, Marion Knapp. The U.S. Post Office changed the name to Altus on April 13, 1891. The name is Latin for “high place”.
In 1893, the Altus land office was established, and in 1894 the town was incorporated. That same year, the first public school was built.
The early years were marked by growth and prosperity, fueled by the nearby cattle industry. In 1901 the Washington School was built for grades 111, and in 1910 the first high school graduation took place.
The sense of community was strong in those early days, with several fraternal organizations such as the Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, and Woodmen of the World meeting in Altus. Churches were also an important part of life, with Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, and Christians all organizing in the late 1800s.
In 1908, the Altus Chamber of Commerce was formed, and in 1909 the first city hall was built. That same year, a waterworks project was completed, making Altus one of the first Oklahoma towns to have a centralized water system.
In 1925, Altus became the first city in Oklahoma to have a aviation school, which would eventually become Altus Air Force Base.
The Great Depression took its toll on the city, but Altus managed to weather the hard times better than most. The altus Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided many jobs during the 1930s, and in 1935 the Western Oklahoma Exposition building was constructed.
World War II brought more changes to Altus, as the aviation school expanded into a training facility for bomber crews. The population grew rapidly, reaching over 10,000 by 1950.
After the war,Altus experienced a boom in the cattle industry, as the city became a major shipping point for livestock. In the late 1950s, the first Altus AFB air show was held, which has become an annual event.
The 1960s saw more changes, as the city continued to grow. A new hospital, library, and shopping center were all built during this decade.
The 1970s brought even more growth, and by 1980 the population had reached 20,000. The oil industry also began to have an impact on the city, as Altus became a regional center for the industry.
The 1980s and 1990s saw a slowdown in growth, but the city continued to add new businesses and industries. In 1998, the Oklahoma National Guard moved its headquarters to Altus, further solidifying the city’s status as a military town.
Today, Altus is a vibrant community with a diverse economy. The military is still a major presence, but the city is also home to a variety of businesses and industries. The downtown area has been revitalized in recent years, and the city offers a variety of recreational and cultural activities.
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