About This Place
Burkburnett is a city in Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Wichita Falls, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,927 at the 2000 census. The community's newspaper is the Burkburnett Informer/Star. It publishes each Thursday.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Burkburnett has a total area of 9.5 square miles (24.6 km²), all of it land.
Originally settled by ranchers as early as 1856, this community was known by some locals as Nesterville. By 1880 the town had a small store with a population of 132. From 1882 until 1903, a post office operated there under the designation Gilbert, named after the north Texas pioneer Mabel Gilbert. In 1906, a nearby wealthy rancher named Samuel Burk Burnett sold over 16,000 acres (65 km²) of his land in northern Wichita County to a group of investors who were seeking to extend the Wichita Falls and Northwestern Railway north through Oklahoma and Kansas. Within Burnett’s former land near the railroad, lots were auctioned off the following year and a post office was established. The town was named Burkburnett by President Theodore Roosevelt, who visited the area for a wolf hunt that was hosted by the wealthy rancher Burnett. In 1912, oil was discovered west of the town attracting thousands to the area and by 1918, an approximate twenty-thousand people had settled around the oilfield. This part of the town's history was chronicled in the movie Boom Town with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. The Great Depression would have a negative impact on the town’s population, which would be boosted again in 1941 as Sheppard Air Force Base would be established nearby.