Color photograph of Turner Falls waterfall near Davis, Oklahoma during fall.

Davis, Oklahoma

Davis is a small city situated in Garvin and Murray counties in the south-central portion of the US State of Oklahoma. Placed close to the Lake of the Arbuckles at the heart of the Arbuckle Mountains, Davis offers amazing mountain views and a spectacular waterfall that attracts thousands of tourists all year round.

Geography And Climate Of Davis

Vintage rustic tour buses without the glass windows at a parking lot in Davis, Oklahoma
Vintage rustic tour buses without the glass windows at a parking lot in Davis, Oklahoma. Editorial credit: RaksyBH /

Davis covers a total area of 24.03 sq. km, of which 23.98 sq. km is occupied by land, and 0.05 sq. km is covered by water. The limits of the city are somewhat peculiar. Despite being a few miles from the main town, the city has owned the Turner Falls region for about a century. The result is that the city's boundaries include a sizable area southwest of the I-35/US-77 interchange, a smaller area near the meeting point of U.S. Highway 77 and Oklahoma State Highway 7. East of Davis, the State Highway 7 leads to the SH-7 Spur, which joins at the Chickasaw Turnpike’s western end.

Davis experiences hot and humid summers and short, extremely cold winters. July is the year’s hottest month, and the average high temperature during this time ranges between 94°F and 73°F. January is the year’s coldest month, and the average low temperature during this time ranges between 33°F and 53°F. On average, Davis receives 40 inches of rainfall and 4 inches of snow per year.

History Of Davis

The Santa Fe Depot in Davis, Oklahoma
The Santa Fe Depot in Davis, Oklahoma. Image Credit: Matthew Zisi, via Wikimedia Commons

The present-day town of Davis was named after Samuel H. Davis, who, in 1887, relocated to Washita in what was then the Indian Territory. At that time, the community was located in Chickasaw Nation’s Pickens County. Mr. Davis owned a dry goods store about four miles south of the present-day town of Davis. He put forward a petition calling for the construction of a Santa Fe depot next to his shop. He also successfully petitioned for the construction of a post office in 1890. Nelson Chigley, a Chickasaw Indian who owned the land on which the town was to be established, was meant to be honored with a post office bearing his name.

However, since Chigley was already an Indian Territory name, the town was therefore named after Samuel H. Davis. On November 16, 1898, the town was established about 23 miles south of Pauls Valley and 23 miles north of Ardmore. Davis had two banks, fifty-seven enterprises, ten physicians, three dentists, and three attorneys by the year 1900. Being one of Oklahoma's greatest cotton-producing regions, cotton cultivation was a widespread vocation in Davis. In later years, the United States Interstate 35 was built about two miles to the west of Davis.

Population And Economy Of Davis

As per the latest US Census, Davis has a population of 2,853 inhabitants with a median age of 36. The top ethnic groups in Davis include White (Non-Hispanic) at 65.5%, Two+ (Non-Hispanic) at 12.4%, American Indian & Alaska Native (Non-Hispanic) at 9.32%, Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) at 5.43% and other races (Hispanic) at 2.07%.

Davis has a median household income of $45,536 and a median property value of $99,800. The economy of Davis employs 1,180 people. The biggest industries in Davis include Retail Trade, Accommodation & Food Services, and Health Care & Social Assistance.

Attractions In And Around Davis

Aerial view of the breathtaking Turner Falls on a bright summer sunny day in Davis, Oklahoma
Aerial view of the breathtaking Turner Falls on a bright summer sunny day in Davis, Oklahoma. 

Every year, thousands of tourists visit Davis solely to jump off Turner Falls, one of Oklahoma's biggest waterfalls. What height is it? Look down from the top and you will discover that it plunges 77 feet into a large freshwater pool. You must climb the adjacent Arbuckle Mountains, an antique mountain range with rocks that are roughly 1.4 billion years old, to reach the falls.

Sunny view of the Little Niagara Falls of Chickasaw National Recreation Area at Oklahoma
Sunny view of the Little Niagara Falls of Chickasaw National Recreation Area at Oklahoma.

Historic automobile enthusiasts visit Davis just to see the Forgotten Wheels Museum. Old trucks, ancient cars, and vintage motorcycles are all displayed inside the museum. For instance, there are 29 genuine Harley-Davidson Hummers produced between 1948 and 1966. If you have children with you, take them to the gift store where they can purchase some lovely toys while you browse the postcards and memorabilia in the museum. On the other side, if you are looking for a thrilling outdoor adventure, check out Wild Horse Creek Hunting, where you can hunt for wild hogs and whitetail deer for three entire days with the hunting company. The neighboring Pecan Valley Inn Bed & Breakfast, a Victorian structure built in 1898, accepts reservations for three nights. In addition, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is situated about 9 miles east of Davis. 

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