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Cleburne, Texas
Johnson County courthouse
Johnson County courthouse
"This is Texas"
Location in Johnson County and the state of Texas
Location in Johnson County and the state of Texas
Country United StatesUnited States
State TexasTexas
County Johnson
Established March 23, 1867
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Total 38.60 sq mi (99.97 km2)
 • Land 35.70 sq mi (92.46 km2)
 • Water 2.90 sq mi (7.52 km2)
764 ft (233 m)
 • Total 29,337
 • Estimate 
 • Density 876.66/sq mi (338.48/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
76031, 76033
Area code(s) 817
FIPS code 48-15364
GNIS feature ID 1332964

Cleburne is a city in and the county seat of Johnson County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 29,337. The city is named in honor of Patrick Cleburne, a Confederate general. Lake Pat Cleburne, the reservoir that provides water to the city and surrounding area, is also named after him.


Main Street, Cleburne, TX, 1910s cph.3b18657
Main Street in Cleburne in the 1910s

Cleburne is Johnson County's third county seat. It was formerly known as Camp Henderson, a temporary Civil War outpost from which Johnson County soldiers would depart for war (most of them would serve under General Cleburne). The city was formally incorporated in 1871.

In August 1886 the Texas Farmers' Alliance met at Lee's Academy and adopted a seventeen-point political resolution, commonly known as the Cleburne Demands, which was the first major document of the agrarian revolt occurring at the end of the late nineteenth century.

In 1900 Cleburne was the site of the founding convention of the Texas State Federation of Labor.

Cleburne was primarily an agricultural center and county seat until the Santa Fe Railroad opened a major facility there in 1898. During this time the population boomed, as it became a sizable city for the area with over 12,000 residents by 1920.

In 1985, the city was the petitioner in the U.S. Supreme Court case City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc. after being sued over a special-use permit.

Cleburne is on the fringe of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Growth in the area can be primarily attributed to suburbanization. It is the second most populous city in Johnson County (slightly less populous than Burleson).


On May 15, 2013, Cleburne was hit by a powerful tornado that cut a mile-wide path through part of the city and damaged about 600 homes and two schools. The weather service said it was an EF-3, which has winds between 136 and 165 mph. No deaths or severe injuries were reported.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.5 square miles (79 km2), of which 27.8 square miles (72 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (8.77%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 686
1880 1,855 170.4%
1890 3,278 76.7%
1900 7,493 128.6%
1910 10,364 38.3%
1920 12,820 23.7%
1930 11,539 −10.0%
1940 10,558 −8.5%
1950 12,905 22.2%
1960 15,381 19.2%
1970 16,015 4.1%
1980 19,218 20.0%
1990 22,205 15.5%
2000 26,005 17.1%
2010 29,337 12.8%
2019 (est.) 31,295 6.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

According to the US census, 29,337 people were residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 91.7% White, 3.71% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.5% Pacific Islander, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 28.8% of the population.

The 10,915 households averaged 2.65 persons each. Owner-occupied housing was at 61.3%, with the median value of owner-occupied housing at $103,900. Median gross rent from 2014-2018 was $898.

The median income for a household in the city from 2014–2018 was $50,253.


The City of Cleburne Parks and Recreation Department maintains Splash Station, a small water park for people of all ages.

Near Cleburne is Cleburne State Park, located 10 miles (16 km) from the city limits. It has fishing, camping, swimming, and hiking trails. For younger children there is the 96-acre (390,000 m2) Cleburne Sports Complex, containing seven baseball/softball fields, two football fields, and 20 soccer fields.

Plaza Theatre Company is a 158-seat theatre-in-the-round which operates year-round in Cleburne's historic downtown. The Company provides family friendly musicals and comedies and has been the recipient of numerous awards for theatrical excellence since opening in November 2006.

The Johnson County Chisholm Trail Museum is an outdoor museum located at the site of Wardville, the original county seat of Johnson County, established in 1854. The original courthouse is there and is the oldest log courthouse in Texas. There is a 1-room schoolhouse, a jail with the original iron doors from the Wardville jail, a black smith shop, an original mule barn, and a restored stagecoach from two early John Wayne movies. There is also the Big Bear Native American Museum. It was recently named as one of Texas' top 10 open-air museums.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Cleburne has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


The city is served by the Cleburne Independent School District, with Cleburne High School as the only high school. The district also maintains an alternative school, the Team School, and Phoenix, which is the disciplinary school. The district operates two middle schools for grades 6 though 8: A.D. Wheat Middle School and Lowell Smith Middle School. Elementary-level schools serving the Cleburne area are Adams, Coleman, Cooke, Gerard, Irving, Marti. and Santa Fe (kindergarten through grade 5). A private school (Cleburne Christian Academy) serving age 4 through grade 12 is also available.

Hill College's Johnson County Campus is in Cleburne.

Cleburne High School sports

Cleburne High School is in UIL district 8-5A. Cleburne's most notable sports stadium, the Yellow Jacket Stadium is nicknamed "the Rock". It is primarily made of stone and was constructed by the Public Works Administration workers in 1934. Football and soccer are played on this field.

Cleburne High School fields teams in the following sports:

  • Basketball, boys and girls
  • Football
  • Softball, girls
  • Volleyball, girls
  • Track, boys and girls
  • Cross country, boys and girls
  • Tennis, boys and girls
  • Power lifting
  • Soccer, boys and girls
  • Baseball
  • Swimming, boys and girls
  • Golf, boys and girls

Cleburne High School has these arts programs:

  • Marching band
  • Concert band
  • Jazz band
  • Choir
  • Drama
  • Dance

Notable people

  • William H. Bledsoe, a member of both houses of Texas legislature from Lubbock, 1915 to 1929; co-author of bill establishing Texas Tech University, was born in Cleburne in 1869
  • Johnny Carroll, a rockabilly singer, recorded for Sun Records, Decca Records, and Warner Bros
  • Pat Culpepper, All-American linebacker for the University of Texas at Austin, was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1994 and to the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2010, along with Drew Brees
  • Donnie Dacus, former guitarist for Chicago
  • Dillon Gee, pitcher for the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers
  • Joe Keeble, football player
  • David "Benedict" McWilliams, a former player and head football coach of the University of Texas at Austin and head coach at Texas Tech University, was raised in Cleburne
  • Spike Owen, a former Major League Baseball shortstop
  • Derrell Palmer, a 1950s Cleveland Browns lineman
  • Randy Rogers, singer and front man of Randy Rogers Band
  • Del Sharbutt, radio and television announcer, songwriter, and composer of a popular Campbell's Soup jingle, was born in Cleburne
  • Barbara Staff, co-chairman of 1976 Ronald Reagan Texas presidential primary campaign, was born in Cleburne in 1924
  • Anne Stratton, composer
  • Claude Porter White, composer

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