Broken Arrow


The name Broken Arrow comes from an old Creek community in Alabama. Members of that community were expelled from Alabama by the United States government, along the Trail of Tears in the 1830s. The Creek founded a new community in the Indian Territory, and named it after their old settlement in Alabama.

In 1902 the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad planned a railroad through the area and was granted town site privileges along the route. They sold three of the as-yet-unnamed sites to the Arkansas Valley Town Site Company. William S. Fears, secretary of that company, was allowed to choose and name one of the locations. He selected a site about 18 miles southeast of Tulsa and about five miles north of the thlee-Kawtch-kuh settlement and named the new town site Broken Arrow, after the Indian settlement. The MKT railroad, which was completed in 1903, ran through the middle of the city. It still exists today and is now owned by Union Pacific which currently uses it for freight.

For the first decades of Broken Arrow’s history, the town’s economy was based mainly on agriculture. The coal industry also played an important role, with several strip coal mines located near the city in the early 201th century. Broken Arrow’s first school was built in 1904. During this time, the city did not grow much. Its main commercial center was along Main Street.

In the 1960s, Broken Arrow began to grow from a small town into a suburban city. The Broken Arrow Expressway was constructed in the mid-1960s and connected the city with downtown Tulsa, fueling growth in Broken Arrow. The population swelled from a little above 11,000 in 1970 to more than 50,000 in 1990 and then more than 74,000 by the year 2000. During this time, the city was more of a bedroom community. In recent years, city leaders have pushed for more economic development to help keep more Broken Arrowans working, shopping, and relaxing in town rather than going to other cities.

Geography and Climate

Broken Arrow is located in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma. The city is part of the state’s Green Country region known for its green vegetation, hills, and lakes. Green Country is the most topographically diverse portion of the state with seven of Oklahoma’s 11 eco-regions.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.6 square miles, of which 45.0 sq mi is land and 0.6 sq mi is water.

Broken Arrow has the typical eastern and central Oklahoma humid subtropical climate with uncomfortably hot summers and highly variable winters that can range from very warm to very cold depending on whether the air mass comes from warmed air over the Rocky Mountains or very cold polar anticyclones from Canada.


Education in Broken Arrow (link is provided by Broken Arrow Public Schools. The district operates 25 schools with 15 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, and 5 secondary schools. A portion of Broken Arrow is also served by Union Public Schools.

Higher education in Broken Arrow is provided by Northeastern State University (Broken Arrow campus). The campus opened in 2001 and has an upperclassmen and graduate student population of 3,000. The city is also served by Tulsa Technology Center. Established in 1983, it has an enrollment of about 3,500 full-and part-time secondary and adult student. Broken Arrow is also home to Rhema Bible Training Center, established in 1974 by Kenneth E. Hagin; located on 110 acres it has graduated over 40,000 alumni and has seven ministry concentrations.

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