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Dawson County, Texas facts for kids

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Dawson County
The Dawson County Courthouse in Lamesa
The Dawson County Courthouse in Lamesa
Map of Texas highlighting Dawson County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Texas
Founded 1905
Named for Nicholas Mosby Dawson
Seat Lamesa
Largest city Lamesa
 • Total 902 sq mi (2,340 km2)
 • Land 900 sq mi (2,000 km2)
 • Water 1.8 sq mi (5 km2)  0.2%
 • Total 12,456
 • Density 13.809/sq mi (5.332/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 11th

Dawson County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 12,456. The county seat is Lamesa. The county was created in 1876 and later organized in 1905. It is named for Nicholas Mosby Dawson, a soldier of the Texas Revolution. Dawson County comprises the Lamesa, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area (μSA), and it is the smallest Micropolitan Statistical Area in the United States.


A Dawson County was founded in 1856 from Kinney County, Maverick County and Uvalde County, but was divided in 1866 between Kinney County and Uvalde County. The current Dawson County was founded in 1876.

In 1943, the discovery well for the Spraberry Trend, the third-largest oil field in the United States by remaining reserves, was drilled in Dawson County on land owned by farmer Abner Spraberry, for whom the geological formation and associated field were named. While most of the oil fields are in the counties to the south, a small portion of the Spraberry Trend is in Dawson County. Production on the field did not begin until 1949, and by 1951, an oil boom was underway in the area, with Midland at its center.

Like all Texas counties as stipulated in the Texas Constitution of 1876, Dawson County has four commissioners chosen by single-member district and a countywide-elected county judge, the chief administrator of the county.

James Edward "J. E." Airhart, Sr. (1915-2007), served for 30 years from 1935 to 1985 on the Dawson County Commissioners Court, in which capacity he worked to obtain the county livestock and fair barn, the general aviation airport, and numerous highway improvements. He was instrumental in the successful negotiation of rights-of-way for U.S. Highway 87 north to O'Donnell and south to Ackerly. A farmer and rancher, Airhart also served on the Klondike Board of Education and as a Baptist deacon. J. E. "Jimmy" Airhart, Jr. (1935-2016), the oldest of Airhart's six children, was a farmer/rancher and educator, who was superintendent of the Dawson County Independent School District.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 902 square miles (2,340 km2), of which 900 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) (0.2%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 87.svg U.S. Highway 87
  • US 180.svg U.S. Highway 180
  • Texas 83.svg State Highway 83
  • Texas 137.svg State Highway 137

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 24
1890 29 20.8%
1900 37 27.6%
1910 2,320 6,170.3%
1920 4,309 85.7%
1930 13,573 215.0%
1940 15,367 13.2%
1950 19,113 24.4%
1960 19,185 0.4%
1970 16,604 −13.5%
1980 16,184 −2.5%
1990 14,349 −11.3%
2000 14,985 4.4%
2010 13,833 −7.7%
2020 12,456 −10.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010 2020

2020 census

Dawson County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 5,402 4,590 39.05% 36.85%
Black or African American alone (NH) 860 847 6.22% 6.80%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 28 23 0.20% 0.18%
Asian alone (NH) 46 56 0.33% 0.45%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 2 4 0.01% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 13 17 0.09% 0.14%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 95 152 0.69% 1.22%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 7,387 6,767 53.40% 54.33%
Total 13,833 12,456 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.


Medical Arts Hospital Lamesa Texas
Medical Arts Hospital in Lamesa serves Dawson County residents.


Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Dawson (Texas) para niños

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