Idabel, Oklahoma

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Idabel is a city in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 7,158 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of McCurtain County[2]. The town is located in the tourist area Kiamichi Country.



Idabel was established in 1902. The city was first named Purnell, after Isaac Purnell, a railroad official. When postal officials rejected that designation, the name was changed to Mitchell, honoring another railroad company officer. That name was also rejected because another town of that name existed elsewhere in the territory. Railroad officials then chose the name Idabel, a compound of the names of Isaac Purnell's two daughters, Ida and Bell. In 1980, Idabel was the subject of a race riot when a large group of blacks became upset at the handling of the murder of Henry Lee Johnson, a 15 year old black male.


Idabel is located at 33°53′47″N 94°49′45″W / 33.89639°N 94.82917°W / 33.89639; -94.82917 (33.896299, -94.829238)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.9 square miles (41.3 km²), of which, 15.9 square miles (41.3 km²) of it is land and 0.06% is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 7,158 people, 2,735 households, and 1,785 families residing in the city. The population density was 436.3 people per square mile (168.5/km²). There were 3,129 housing units at an average density of 196.4/sq mi (75.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.99% White, 24.45% African American, 10.44% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.37% from other races, and 4.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.96% of the population.

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