Wister is located in central Leflore County and in the northern portion of the Ouachita National Forest near Lake Wister, US Highways 271 and 270 pass through the town. McAlester is located 55 miles almost due west, and the Oklahoma-Arkansas border lies 20 miles east of Wister. Wister has a population of around 1,100 people within city limits. Wister was named after Gutman G. Wister, an official of the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad and the father of noted writer Owen Wister. The Wister post office was established June 30, 1980.
Wister Public School offers PreK-12th grade for students with an average of 22 students per class. Citizens enjoy yearly Christmas Parades and Fourth of July parades sponsored by the Wister Volunteer Fire Department and Wister Pride. Wister Volunteer Fire Department has an average of 15 volunteers that devote their time to the community. Wister Pride is an organization made up of ladies that want to give back to the community. Wister Pride park was made possible with their hard work and dedication.
Lake Wister has a surface area of 7,300 acres and a shoreline of about 115 miles. This lake was created by the Poteau River and the Fourche Maline Creek. The area around the lake has been inhabited for thousands of years. There are numerous mounds in the area that were created by prehistoric Native Americans. Crappie, bass and catfish are the most frequently sought fish species in the lake. Along with fishing, Wister Lake offers a wide variety of tourist activities like camping, waterskiing, swimming, splash park and cabin rentals.