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Donley County, Texas facts for kids

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Donley County
Renovated Donley County Courthouse in Clarendon
Renovated Donley County Courthouse in Clarendon
Map of Texas highlighting Donley 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 1882
Seat Clarendon
Largest city Clarendon
 • Total 933 sq mi (2,420 km2)
 • Land 927 sq mi (2,400 km2)
 • Water 6.2 sq mi (16 km2)  0.7%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 4.0/sq mi (1.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 13th

Donley County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,677. Its county seat is Clarendon. The county was created in 1876 and later organized in 1882.


Donley County was established in 1876 from land given by the Bexar District. It is named for Stockton P. Donley, justice of the state supreme court.

There are several historical sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Donley County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 933 square miles (2,420 km2), of which 927 square miles (2,400 km2) is land and 5.6 square miles (15 km2) (0.7%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 287.svg U.S. Highway 287
  • Texas 70.svg State Highway 70
  • Texas 273.svg State Highway 273

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 160
1890 1,056 560.0%
1900 2,756 161.0%
1910 5,284 91.7%
1920 8,035 52.1%
1930 10,262 27.7%
1940 7,487 −27.0%
1950 6,216 −17.0%
1960 4,449 −28.4%
1970 3,641 −18.2%
1980 4,075 11.9%
1990 3,696 −9.3%
2000 3,828 3.6%
2010 3,677 −3.9%
Est. 2015 3,499 −4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,828 people, 1,578 households, and 1,057 families residing in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (2/km²). There were 2,378 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.41% White, 3.94% Black or African American, 0.89% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 2.72% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. 6.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,578 households out of which 24.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.00% were non-families. 31.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.40% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 20.60% from 25 to 44, 25.50% from 45 to 64, and 21.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 94.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,006, and the median income for a family was $37,287. Males had a median income of $24,375 versus $18,882 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,958. About 10.50% of families and 15.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.90% of those under age 18 and 15.90% of those age 65 or over.


The Saints' Roost Museum in Clarendon is dedicated to the American West.

The Harold Dow Bugbee Ranch, formerly owned by the Western artist and his second wife, Olive Vandruff Bugbee, also an artist, is located in Donley County.

The legendary cattle baron Charles Goodnight spent his later years in Donley County. It was also the home of historian Harley True Burton, author of A History of the JA Ranch, which Goodnight formerly co-owned. Burton was president of Clarendon College and the mayor of Clarendon from 1955-1963. The JA Ranch is located in the counties of Donley, Hall, Briscoe, and Armstrong.

On U.S. Highway 287, which runs through the county, there is a modern rest area but no longer offers wi-fi. The rest area also offers sanctuary from weather offering a tornado shelter in the main building.


Veterans Memorial at Donley County, TX, Courthouse Picture 2162
Veterans Memorial at Donley County Courthouse


Unincorporated community

  • Lelia Lake
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