Quality of Living
Payne County is located in central Oklahoma, just 60 minutes northeast of downtown Oklahoma City. With a population of nearly 80,000, it is the 7th fastest growing county in the state.
Encompassing 683 square miles, Payne County is bordered on the south by Lincoln County and southwest by Logan County .The largest city and county seat is Stillwater (pop. ) Other major communities include Cushing, Drumrigt, Glencoe, Perkins, Ripley and Yale. Cushing is the most significant trading hub for crude oil in North America and is known as the "Pipeline Crossroads of the World".
Payne County offers a diverse mix of industry, including agribusiness (farming and ranching), manufacturing and distribution, significant research and development and retail trade/tourism.
The county is laced with good highways. Most important perhaps, is Interstate 35, which extends along the county's edge as it winds from the Kansas border into Texas. Travelers from State Highways 33 and 51 can access I-35 to reach southward into Oklahoma City or Texas. The Cimarron Turnpike (U.S. Highway 412) provides a quick route to Tulsa or to Enid.
The county is home to some of the region's finest education and training institutions, including Oklahoma State University (enrollment 20,000), Northern Oklahoma College (Blackwell) and some of the nation's top rated public school systems.
The Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater and Central Tech in Drumright both offer the nation’s premier business and industry training program.
The county has many towns that provide a business friendly atmosphere designed to encourage economic development.
Payne County is named after David Payne, an American soldier and pioneer. Payne is considered by some to be the "Father of Oklahoma" for his work in opening the state to settlement.
The county was opened to settlement in the Oklahoma land run of 1889, and the land was populated overnight. Businesses sprang up, schools and churches were built, and farmers planted crops. In December of 1890, the state's land-grant university, Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University), was established at Stillwater, the county seat. The formation of Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory followed, and Oklahoma became a state in 1907. Other notable figures in Payne County history include Jim Thorpe, a Sac and Fox Indian called the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century.