Opened to settlement in the Land Run of April 22, 1889, Cleveland was one of the seven counties organized as the Oklahoma Territory in 1890. Its first citizens named it for President Grover Cleveland.
Osage Indians had fought the Plains Tribes here where settlers built cities and broke the sod for farms. Explorers pushing westward had marveled at the Cross Timbers in the eastern part of the county and the vast prairies beyond. Colonel A. P. Chouteau established a trading post near Lexington, and Jesse Chisholm ran one of his cattle trails through the county. Washington Irving killed a buffalo in the vicinity of present-day Moore and wrote about it in A Tour on the Prairies.
Cleveland County is the home of the state’s largest comprehensive university, the University of Oklahoma in Norman. While other cities were battling to become the capital, Norman’s mayor skillfully directed a bill through the Territorial Legislature designating Norman as the site for the first institution of higher learning.
Although Cleveland County is the eighth smallest Oklahoma county in area, it has the third largest population and two of the state’s nine largest cities, Norman and Moore. Farming, oil production and horse breeding are important industries. For more information, call the county clerk’s office at 405/366–0240.
County Seat—Norman (Pop. 101,719) 2005 Estimate
Area (Land & Water)—558.34 square miles
Per Capita Income (2004)—$28,181 (Ranks 6th of 77 counties)
Population Stats (2000) Fem.–103,589, Male–104,427
Ethnicity—Wh.–169,533; Bl.–7,299; Am. Ind.–8,833; As.–5,880; Other–184; Pacific Is.– 90; Two or more races–7,801; Hisp.–8,396
Births (2004)—2,691 • Deaths (2004)—1,418
Marriages (2006)—1,335 • Divorces (2006)—1,301
Unemployment Rate (2005)—3.6%
Labor Force (2003)—120,510
Establishments (2002)—4,486 • Manufacturers (2002)—140
Vehicle Registration (2005) Automobiles–151,861; Farm Trucks–1,902; Comm., Trucks, Tractors, Trailers–8,087; Motor Homes and Travel Trailers–3,551; Motorcycles–4,704; Manufactured Homes–216; Tax Exempt Licenses–300; Boats–8,060
Institutions of Higher Learning—University of Oklahoma, Norman
Farms (2002)—1,294 • Land in Farms (2002)—165,483
Recreation Areas—Little River State Park
Major Lakes—Draper and Thunderbird
Population (2005 Estimate)—224,898
Museums or Historic Sites Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art, Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, University of Oklahoma; Norman and Cleveland County Historical Museum, Firehouse Art Center, Norman
Minerals—Oil and Natural Gas
History and Statistics Provided by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries