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Corsicana, Texas facts for kids

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Corsicana, Texas
The State National Bank building in Corsicana (built 1926)
The State National Bank building in Corsicana (built 1926)
"Big Ugly"
"Live, work, play!"
Location within Navarro County and Texas
Location within Navarro County and Texas
Country United States
State Texas
County Navarro
 • Type Council–manager
 • Total 24.00 sq mi (62.17 km2)
 • Land 22.98 sq mi (59.53 km2)
 • Water 1.02 sq mi (2.64 km2)
443 ft (135 m)
 • Total 23,770
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,040.07/sq mi (401.57/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
75109, 75110, 75151
Area code(s) 903/430
FIPS code 48-17060
GNIS feature ID 1333395

Corsicana is a city in Navarro County, Texas, United States. It is located on Interstate 45, some 58 mi (89 km) south of downtown Dallas. The population was 23,770 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Navarro County.


Pioneer Village in Corsicana, TX IMG 0644
Pioneer Village in Beauford H. Jester Park in Corsicana.

Founded in 1848, Corsicana was named by José Antonio Navarro after the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the birthplace of his father, who died when Navarro and his many siblings were young. The first school opened shortly afterwards in 1849.

Women's groups have had a strong role throughout the history of the city, with one of the earliest efforts being the establishment of the Corsicana Female Literary Institute, a school which operated from 1857 through 1870. The first public library in Corsicana opened in 1901 by effort of the women's clubs of the city. A 1905 library gift by Andrew Carnegie gave the library a permanent home and its first full-time, professionally trained librarian. The library today is housed in a dedicated building downtown and boasts more than 52,283 books, 6,306 audio materials, 783 video materials, and 122 serial subscriptions.

The Corsicana Jewish community dates from 1871; while there are few Jewish residents of Corsicana today, the Historical Society has restored the 1898 Moorish Revival Temple Beth-El, Corsicana, now used as a community center.

The Corsicana YMCA was founded in 1884, and has grown with patron funding facilitated by local community leaders over 125 years, including in its earliest days George Taylor Jester (1847–1922), a wealthy dry goods and cotton distributor, banker, lieutenant governor of Texas (1895–1899), and the father of a later governor of Texas, Beauford H. Jester (1947–1949).

The Corsicana oil field was accidentally discovered in 1894 by water prospectors hired by the Corsicana Water Development authority. It was the first commercially significant oilfield find in Texas. An even larger oil field, the Powell oil field, was discovered in 1923 a few miles east of Corsicana. Another significant area oil and gas find occurred in 1956. Each oil and gas discovery brought a renewed development boom to the city.

During World War II, an airman flying school called Corsicana Air Field trained thousands of pilots.


Corsicana is located at 32°5′33″N 96°28′10″W / 32.09250°N 96.46944°W / 32.09250; -96.46944 (32.092480, −96.469407).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.7 square miles (56 km2), of which 20.7 square miles (54 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) is water.

Corsicana is home to the Lake Halbert dam and recreational park, and is less than fifteen miles (24 km) from Richland Chambers Reservoir, with recreational fishing, public boat ramps, and 330 miles (530 km) of treed and green shorelines. Richland Chambers Reservoir is the third-largest lake by surface area and the eighth-largest reservoir by water volume in Texas.


Corsicana has a moderate humid subtropical climate. The range of low-high average temperatures in January, April, July, and October is 34/55, 53/75, 73/95, and 55/79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Corsicana rainfall averages 39.5 inches (1,000 mm) per year. Leafy oak, pecan, magnolia, and walnut trees are common, and grasses grow tall and green. Rain is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with small wetter peaks in May and October.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 80
1880 3,373 4,116.3%
1890 6,285 86.3%
1900 9,313 48.2%
1910 9,749 4.7%
1920 11,356 16.5%
1930 15,202 33.9%
1940 15,232 0.2%
1950 19,211 26.1%
1960 20,344 5.9%
1970 19,972 −1.8%
1980 21,712 8.7%
1990 22,911 5.5%
2000 24,485 6.9%
2010 23,770 −2.9%
2019 (est.) 23,906 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, 23,770 people, 8,490 households, and 5,966 families were residing in the city. The population density was 1,048.3 people per square mile (404.8/km2). The 9,491 housing units averaged 460.5 per square mile (177.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 58.1% White, 20.9% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.3% Pacific Islander, 16% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 31.1% of the population.

Of the 8,490 households, 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them in 2010, 48.6% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were not families. About 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city, the population was distributed as 27.3% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,203, and for a family was $33,078. Males had a median income of $27,516 versus $19,844 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,001. About 17.4% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.4% of those under age 18 and 15.1% of those age 65 or over.

The housing stock in 2007 consisted of 12,313 houses and condominiums. About two-thirds were owner-occupied, and one-third rented. The median price asked for vacant for-sale houses and condos in 2007 was $87,955. The median amount of real estate property taxes paid for housing units in 2007 was $912.

Arts and entertainment

Cook Center, Navarro College, Corsicana, TX IMG 0658
Cook Center on Navarro College campus.

Today's downtown supports an active performing arts community, with year-round live theater, art exhibits, and music performances in a corner of downtown anchored by the Warehouse Living Arts Center and the Palace Theater.

Downtown also features the historic State National Bank building (built in 1926), several coffeeshops and eateries, an art gallery and several bric-à-brac outlets, and many brick-faced storefronts of historical interest.

There is also a popular green park a short walk from the county courthouse downtown, with meandering creeks, walking, jogging and bike trails, lighted tennis courts, a children's play area with a retired fire truck, spray park, and designated skate area. At one end of the community park is the town YMCA, with a year-round indoor pool, basketball courts, cardio- and free-weight equipment, and instructor-led fitness workshops.

The town also has several museums: Pioneer Village, located by Jester Park, offers reconstructed buildings and artifacts from the early historical period of the area, as well as a museum to Lefty Frizzell, a Nashville singer born in town during the late 1920s.

The Cook Education Center, located on the Navarro College campus, is a multi-facted venue offering event space, gift shop, a planetarium, Civil War museum, and Western Art gallery. The planetarium is among the largest in Texas featuring a 60-foot (18 m) dome and 200 seats. The planetarium offers narrated astronomical shows and 70 mm film for nominal admission. The center is also home to the Pearce Collections Museum which boasts a collection of Civil War memorabilia and a Western Art gallery featuring a number of renowned western artists. The Cook Education Center hosts the annual Navarro College Foundation fundraiser Elegance which benefits scholarship programs for Navarro College students.

Cinergy Cinemas near the intersection of highways 287 and 45 contains 8 theaters, mini bowling, go kart track, and arcade/gaming room.

The Navarro College Performing Arts Department stages several musical recitals and two staged plays a year at the Dawson Auditorium on the west side of town.

The Navarro County Exposition Center on West State Highway 22 hosts many horse shows year-round.


Oil City Iron Works, Inc., today a ductile and gray iron foundry, was started in 1866 to make parts for the owner's cotton gin. Wolf Brand Chili, a national brand named for the owner's pet wolf, Kaiser Bill, started in 1895 as a downtown by-the-bowl lunch wagon. Wolf Brand Chili was made in Corsicana until 1986. Corsicana is best known as the home of the Collin Street Bakery, which has been making fruitcakes since 1896.

Today's economy no longer relies on oil and gas. Major employers include Russell Stover Candies and Collin Street Bakery, Guardian Industries (glass), Corsicana Bedding, and Kohl's distribution centers, Navarro Regional hospital (160+ beds), Trinity/Mother Francis Health System, and the Texas State Home. There are several 24/7 pharmacies, grocery stores and chain department stores scattered about the town. College Park Mall is an enclosed shopping mall which primarily houses a Beall's clothing store. Additionally, a Wal-Mart Supercenter is located on the southwestern edge of the town.

Corsicana was the home of Tradewest, a coin-arcade and video game company founded in 1986. Tradewest was known for such Nintendo Entertainment System classics as "Double Dragon" and "Battletoads". Tradewest later became Williams Entertainment (known for the Mortal Kombat series) in 1994, then Midway Home Entertainment after an acquisition from WMS Industries. The Corsicana offices were closed by Midway in late 2002.

Notable people

Maceo Demond Baston
  • James B. Adams, lawyer, Texas legislator, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Monica Aldama, cheerleading coach
  • Aaron Allston, science fiction novelist
  • Maceo Demond Baston, professional basketball player
  • Mary Brian, silent film era movie star (1906–2002)
  • Danny Colbert, football player
  • Byron Cook, Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from Corsicana
  • Cottrell Laurence Dellums, organizer and official of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (1900–1989)
  • Lefty Frizzell, Country Music Hall of Fame singer and songwriter (1928–1975)
  • Tyree Glenn, trombone player, (1912–1974)
  • Allyn Gordon, watercolor artist (1909–1978)
  • John Hardee, jazz saxophonist (1918–1984)
  • George W. Hardy, Jr., mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana, from 1932 to 1934 and judge of the Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeal from 1943 to 1967; born in Corsicana in 1900
  • Julie Haus, a.k.a. Julie Ann Hoeinghaus, fashion designer
  • Skip Hicks, former NFL running back for the Washington Redskins
  • Omarius Hines, NFL wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens
  • V. E. Howard, Church of Christ clergyman, founder of radio International Gospel Hour; married in Corsicana in 1931
  • Herschel Ray Jacobs (American Football), NFL Denver Broncos & Miami Dolphins 1963-1969
  • Beauford Jester, governor of Texas 1947–1949, (1893–1949)
  • Wesley Johnson, basketball player in the NBA.
  • John Larry Kelly, Jr., scientist and mathematician (1923–1965)
  • Danzell Lee, football player
  • Danieal Manning, NFL defensive back for the Houston Texans
  • Roger Q. Mills, U.S. Senator (1892-99), U.S. Congressional Representative (1873-92), and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (1887-89)
  • James C. Neill, politician, soldier in the Texas revolution, Alamo commander
  • David "Fathead" Newman, jazz saxophonist (1933–2009)
  • Shirlene Pearson, Little Women: Atlanta star
  • Billy Joe Shaver, Texas Country Music Hall of Fame singer and songwriter
  • Martha Simkins, painter
  • Spice 1, rapper
  • Louis Vasquez, NFL OL Denver Broncos
  • Herold J. Weiler (1886–1945), United States Army officer who served as Chief of the National Guard Bureau 1935-36

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