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Duval County, Texas facts for kids

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Duval County
The Duval County Courthouse in San Diego
The Duval County Courthouse in San Diego
Map of Texas highlighting Duval 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 1876
Named for Burr H. Duval
Seat San Diego
Largest city San Diego
 • Total 1,796 sq mi (4,650 km2)
 • Land 1,793 sq mi (4,640 km2)
 • Water 2.1 sq mi (5 km2)  0.1%%
 • Total 11,782
 • Density 6.6/sq mi (2.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 15th

Duval County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 11,782. The county seat is San Diego. The county was founded in 1858 and later organized in 1876. It is named for Burr H. Duval, a soldier in the Texas Revolution who died in the Goliad Massacre.


Even though Duval County lies in the United States, it has long been Mexican in character. A Mexican first surveyed it in 1804, Jose Contrerras, surveyor general of San Luis Potosi. Luis Muniz was born there in 1828, the county's first recorded birth. The important colonists came from Mier, Tamaulipas - and Anglos later respected their descendants as the old Mexican families.

The Texas Legislature established Duval County February 1, 1858. The Texas Almanac of 1867 reported that Duval and nearby Dimmit County had only four stock raisers and their population was unlikely to grow much absent the discovery of mineral wealth. Not long after, a wave of Anglo immigrants entered the county to raise sheep. Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Irishmen, and Scots came. During this boom, the county seat enjoyed formal balls and haute cuisine. The Hotel Martinet's Sunday feast drew patrons from Corpus Christi, 50 miles (80 km) to the East. Prosperity in the 1880s eased ethnic animosities. After the Texas-Mexican Railway was built in 1881, its San Diego station was important for hides, wool, and cotton. But in 1886 the sheep began to die, and the boom died.

The corrupt Parr family political machine dominated Duval and nearby Jim Wells counties during the twentieth century, and were instrumental in the 1948 election of Lyndon Johnson to the US Senate, and to some extent the 1960 presidential election which threw Texas to John F Kennedy.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,796 square miles (4,650 km2), of which 1,793 square miles (4,640 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.1%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 59.svg U.S. Highway 59
    • I-69W.svg The future route of Interstate 69W is planned to follow the current route of U.S. 59 in most places.
  • Texas 16.svg State Highway 16
  • Texas 44.svg State Highway 44
  • Texas 285.svg State Highway 285
  • Texas 339.svg State Highway 339
  • Texas 359.svg State Highway 359
  • Texas FM 716.svg Farm to Market Road 716
  • Texas FM 1329.svg Farm to Market Road 1329
  • Texas FM 2295.svg Farm to Market Road 2295
  • Texas FM 3196.svg Farm to Market Road 3196

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,083
1880 5,732 429.3%
1890 7,598 32.6%
1900 8,483 11.6%
1910 8,964 5.7%
1920 8,251 −8.0%
1930 12,191 47.8%
1940 20,565 68.7%
1950 15,643 −23.9%
1960 13,398 −14.4%
1970 11,722 −12.5%
1980 12,517 6.8%
1990 12,918 3.2%
2000 13,120 1.6%
2010 11,782 −10.2%
Est. 2015 11,388 −3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,782 people residing in the county. 87.0% were White, 0.9% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 9.8% of some other race and 1.7% of two or more races. 88.5% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census of 2000, there were 13,120 people, 4,350 households, and 3,266 families residing in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 5,543 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.22% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 15.46% from other races, and 3.11% from two or more races. 87.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,350 households out of which 36.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.20% were married couples living together, 16.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.90% were non-families. 22.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.40.

In the county, the population was spread out with 29.50% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 26.40% from 25 to 44, 20.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 100.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $22,416, and the median income for a family was $26,014. Males had a median income of $25,601 versus $16,250 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,324. About 23.00% of families and 27.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.90% of those under age 18 and 25.30% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost Towns

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