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Overview

Introduction to Wichita Falls, Texas

Wichita Falls is a city located in north-central Texas, about 15 miles south of the Oklahoma border and 120 miles northwest of Dallas. Home to Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls is serviced by Interstate I-44 and U.S. Routes 277, 281, 287, and 82. Texas State Highways 79 and 240 also run through the city. Wichita Falls serves as the county seat of Wichita County and is considered the primary population center of North Texas.

First settled in the mid-1800s, Wichita Falls experienced a boom in the sale of town lots concurrent with the arrival of the first train in 1882. Soon thereafter a lumberyard and mill took root, followed by a general merchandise store. Incorporated in 1889, the city continued to see its economy stimulated by the arrival of more railroads, establishing Wichita Falls as a transportation and supply center for Northwest Texas and southern Oklahoma. By the early 1900s, the city's economic focus shifted to oil and by 1913 the North Texas fields were producing 46 percent of the state's oil supply. The oil boom ushered in a building boom which was later slowed, but not stopped, by the Great Depression. In 1941 the economy was further bolstered by the opening of Sheppard Field, an Army Air Corps training facility which would later become Sheppard Air Force Base. Wichita Falls was devastated on April 10, 1979, by one of the largest tornadoes in recorded history which swept through the southern part of the city, destroying a large percentage of town dwellings and damaging numerous business establishments. The city made a rapid recovery, repairing most of the damage within a few short years.

Arts and Culture in Wichita Falls

Wichita Falls has a wide variety of attractions and places of interest for visitors and residents alike. The Wichita Falls Museum and Arts Center sponsors a variety of arts programs and features hands-on science displays and traditional art exhibitions throughout the year. The Wichita Falls Railroad Museum, which opened in 1980, is a must-see for visiting train buffs. On display are old steam engines and other train-related memorabilia. The Kell House Museum is housed in a beautiful Neo-classical home built in 1909 and previously owned by one of the city's founders, Frank Kell. The Heritage Center, located on Sheppard Air Force Base, boasts a unique collection of artifacts which chronicle the growth of the base and its close ties to the city. For performing arts, Wichita Falls has the Backdoor Theater, the Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre, and the Wichita Falls Symphony.

Sports fans can root for the Wichita Falls Wildcats, a professional ice hockey team which competes in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Also in town are the Wichita Falls Drillers, a semi-Pro football team which has won a Minor League Football national championship.

People

Total Population 104,926
Male Share of the Population 52.5%
Female Share of the Population 47.5%
Senior Citizens 12.6%
Employed Population 16+ 47,658
Age of the Population 33

Families

% of people married 41.9%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 23%
Median Earnings25+ $31,624
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $18,655
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,268

Wealth

Median Family Income $55,791
% Above Poverty Level 80.2%
% Below Poverty Level 19.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 14 minutes
% Working from Home 3.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 8.6%
% Using Public Transportation 0.7%

Housing

People Living Alone 32.2%
Median Gross Rent $732
Median House Value $92,600

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 42.7%
US/American 0.1%
English 6.3%
Irish 9.9%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Wichita Falls Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 106 miles NW of Fort Worth, Texas
County Wichita
Metro Area Wichita Falls
Standard Zip Codes 76301, 76302, 76305, 76306, 76308, 76309, 76310, 76311
P.O. Box Zip Codes 76307
Phone Area Codes 940
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 33.913
Longitude -98.493

Wichita Falls Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station WICHITA FALLS SHEPPRD AP
Distance 4.8 miles
Jan Temp 29 to 52 F
Apr Temp 49 to 76 F
Jul Temp 72 to 97 F
Oct Temp 52 to 77 F
Annual Precip 28.8 inches
Station WALTERS
Distance 33.2 miles
Jan Temp 25 to 51 F
Apr Temp 47 to 74 F
Jul Temp 70 to 97 F
Oct Temp 50 to 77 F
Annual Precip 34 inches
Station CHATTANOOGA 3 NE
Distance 37.8 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 51 F
Apr Temp 45 to 74 F
Jul Temp 69 to 99 F
Oct Temp 49 to 78 F
Annual Precip 31.1 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Burkburnett 10,960 $63,580
Henrietta 3,047 $59,107
Holliday 1,614 $76,212
Iowa Park 6,386 $53,905

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Wichita Falls Public Libraries

Library
Wichita Falls Public Library
600 11TH ST
Wichita Falls, Texas
(940) 767-0868
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Wichita Falls Hospitals

UNITED REGIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
1600 8TH STREET
(940) 764-7000
Emergency Service: Yes

KELL WEST REGIONAL HOSPITAL
(Proprietary)
5402 KELL WEST BOULEVARD
(940) 692-5888
Emergency Service: Yes

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Wichita Falls High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

RIDER H S
4611 CYPRESS AVE
940-720-3000
Serves 1,616 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.5

WICHITA FALLS H S
2149 AVE H
940-720-3177
A Title I School.
Serves 1,524 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.1

HIRSCHI HS
3106 BORTON ST
940-716-2800
A Title I School.
Serves 901 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.8

CUNNINGHAM SCHOOL
4107 PHILLIPS DR
940-720-3042
A Title I School.
Serves 447 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.4

CITY VIEW JUNIOR/SENIOR HIGH
1600 CITY VIEW DR
940-855-7511
A Title I School.
Serves 417 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.2

BRIGHT IDEAS CHARTER
2507 CENTRAL FREEWAY E
940-767-1561
A Charter School.
A Title I School.
Serves 175 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.7

HARRELL ACCELERATED LEARNING CENTE
3115 FIFTH ST
940-720-3144
A Non-traditional School
Serves 99 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7.9

WICHITA FALLS SP ED CTR
4100 POOL ST
940-720-3055
A Special Education School
Serves 47 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.8

WICHITA COUNTY JUVENILE JUSTICE AE
1001 CALHOUN ST
940-322-7414
A Non-traditional School
Serves 17 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 4.3

DENVER CTR
5TH & DENVER
940-720-3385
A Non-traditional School

CARRIGAN CTR
1609 BLONDE
940-720-3132

Wichita Falls Colleges

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