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DeWitt County
The DeWitt County Courthouse located in Cuero. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 6, 1971.
The DeWitt County Courthouse located in Cuero. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 6, 1971.
Map of Texas highlighting DeWitt 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 1846
Named for Green DeWitt
Seat Cuero
Largest city Cuero
 • Total 910 sq mi (2,400 km2)
 • Land 909 sq mi (2,350 km2)
 • Water 1.5 sq mi (4 km2)  0.2%%
 • Total 19,824
 • Density 21.78/sq mi (8.41/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 34th

DeWitt County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 19,824. The county seat is Cuero. The county was founded in 1846 and is named for Green DeWitt, who founded an early colony in Texas.


Native Americans

Archeological digs indicate early habitation from the Paleo-Indians Hunter-gatherers period. Later, Tonkawa, Aranamas, Tamiques, Karankawa. Tawakoni, Lipan Apache and Comanche lived and hunted in the county.


The first European visitors to the county are thought to have been Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, Andrés Dorantes de Carranza, and his slave Estevanico of the ill-fated 1528 Narváez expedition. French explorer René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle is believed to have crossed the county on his way westward from Victoria County; and while La Bahia was a common route, no evidence of any settlements exist before the Anglo homesteaders.

County established and growth

In 1825, empresario Green DeWitt received a grant from the Coahuila y Tejas legislature to settle 400 families. Between 1826 and 1831 settlers arrived from Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and other Southern states.

A temporary county government was set up in 1846, with the county seat being Daniel Boone Friar's store at the junction of the La Bahía Road and the Gonzales-Victoria road. On November 28, 1850, Clinton became the county seat until Cuero became county seat in 1876.

Dewitt County voted in favor of secession from the Union, and sent several military units to serve. During Reconstruction, the county was occupied by the Fourth Corps, based at Victoria.

From April 1866 until December 1868 a subassistant commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau served at Clinton. The community of Hopkinsville was established in 1872 by Henry Hopkins, freedman former slave of Judge Henry Clay Pleasants, the judge credited for ending the Sutton-Taylor Feud. Residents began a school that was active until 1956, and established the Antioch Baptist Church.

The notorious Sutton–Taylor feud began as a Reconstruction era county law enforcement issue between the Taylor family and lawman William E. Sutton. It eventually involved both the Taylor and Sutton families, the Texas State Police, the Texas Rangers and John Wesley Hardin. The feud, which lasted a decade and cost 35 lives, has been called the longest and bloodiest in Texas history.

April 1, 1866 marked the first cattle drive on the Chisholm Trail, which originated at Cardwell's Flat, near the present Cuero. The coming of the railroads eliminated the need for the Chisholm Trail. Dewitt's first rail line, the Gulf, Western Texas and Pacific, extended to San Antonio. The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway, was the second line in the county. In 1907 the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway came through Dewitt. In 1925, the three lines came under the control of the Southern Pacific lines and operated as the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. Passenger service continued until November 1950.

The United States Army Air Corps opened Cuero Field, serving 290 cadets, at Cuero Municipal Airport as a pilot flight school in 1941. The school was deactivated in 1944.

Cuero and its large turkey growing industry bills itself as the "Turkey Capital of the World". The turkey industry in Cuero began large scale operations in 1908. Much like ranchers had cattle drives, Cuero poultry growers drove their turkeys down Main Street to the local packing plant. Each year the crowds grew to watch the sight and sound of upwards of 20,000 turkeys going through town. The first annual Cuero Turkey Trot celebration began in 1912, complete with the "Turkey Trot" dance music of the era. By the 1970s, the event had become a 3-day typical Texas celebration with parades, live entertainment, food booths and street dances.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 910 square miles (2,400 km2), of which 909 square miles (2,350 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (0.2%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 87.svg U.S. Highway 87
  • Alternate plate.svg
    US 77.svgUS 183.svg U.S. Highway 77 Alternate/U.S. Highway 183
  • Texas 72.svg State Highway 72
  • Texas 119.svg State Highway 119

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,716
1860 5,108 197.7%
1870 6,443 26.1%
1880 10,082 56.5%
1890 14,307 41.9%
1900 21,311 49.0%
1910 23,501 10.3%
1920 27,971 19.0%
1930 27,441 −1.9%
1940 24,935 −9.1%
1950 22,973 −7.9%
1960 20,683 −10.0%
1970 18,660 −9.8%
1980 18,903 1.3%
1990 18,840 −0.3%
2000 20,013 6.2%
2010 20,097 0.4%
2020 19,824 −1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2020

2020 census

DeWitt County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 11,482 10,854 57.13% 54.75%
Black or African American alone (NH) 1,781 1,557 8.86% 7.85%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 43 32 0.21% 0.16%
Asian alone (NH) 44 70 0.22% 0.35%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 2 0.00% 0.01%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 96 35 0.48% 0.18%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 149 384 0.74% 1.94%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 6,502 6,890 32.35% 34.76%
Total 20,097 19,824 100.00% 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.



Unincorporated communities

Ghost Town


Dewitt County is served by:

  • Cuero Independent School District
  • Meyersville Independent School District
  • Nordheim Independent School District
  • Westhoff Independent School District
  • Yorktown Independent School District

Of the five school districts, only three have high schools. Meyersville ISD and Westhoff ISD students transfer to one of the other high schools in the county. Those high schools are:

  • Cuero High School
  • Yorktown High School (Texas)
  • Nordheim High School

Notable residents

  • James Dahlman, eight-term Omaha mayor from 1906 to 1930, was born in DeWitt County.
  • Harlon Block, one of the Marines pictured in Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, was born in Yorktown.
  • Roy Benavidez, Medal of Honor recipient of the Studies and Observations Group of the United States Army, was born in Lindenau.

See also

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

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