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Grand Saline, Texas
"The Salt City"
Location of Grand Saline, Texas
Location of Grand Saline, Texas
Country United States
State Texas
County Van Zandt
 • Total 2.0 sq mi (5.2 km2)
 • Land 2.0 sq mi (5.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
400 ft (122 m)
 • Total 3,136
 • Density 1,522.2/sq mi (587.7/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 903
FIPS code 48-30476
GNIS feature ID 1336803

Grand Saline is a city in Van Zandt County, Texas, United States, located in East Texas. The population is 3,266. Grand Saline is the third largest city in Van Zandt County and is located roughly 75 miles (120 km) east of Dallas and 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Tyler, the two nearest metropolitan areas, and is part of the greater Tyler/Longview area. The town derives its name from the large salt deposits located southeast of the city, and a large salt mine, the second largest in the world according to sources, which Morton Salt company owns and mines just south of the city.


Grand Saline's first settlers were the ancient Caddo Indians and Cherokee Indians tribes who discovered and made use of a large salt prairie south of the town's present day location. The Native Americans used evaporated salt from the brine stream that flows over the flats as a commodity they traded for other needed goods. By the mid-nineteenth century, the tribes had been forced out of the area by Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas and by general anti-Indian sentiment and moved further southeast. Only a few short years after the Indians left the salt prairie behind, a new group of settlers arrived. A settler named John Jordan and other settlers brought their families and set up a primitive salt works. Just as the Caddo and Cherokee had done before, they used the brine stream they could see to boil and evaporate the water and harvest the salt left behind. The first community named Jordan’s Saline quickly became the center of Van Zandt County and was, for a while the county seat.

During the American Civil War, the salt works at Jordan’s Saline were considered indispensable to the Confederate war effort. Following the war, the Texas and Pacific Railroad was extended from Marshall to Dallas. A parcel of land was donated to the railroad and a depot was built and the stop was named Grand Saline. The City of Grand Saline was officially incorporated in 1895 and the community of Jordan’s Saline faded into history as its residents moved north to the now bustling new city.

At one time there were numerous salt companies in Grand Saline, including the Richardson Salt works, which had drilled the first salt well; the Lone Star Salt Company, Kleer Salt Works, the first steam powered salt plant; and the Grand Saline Salt Company which later became the Morton Salt Company. In 1920, Morton Salt acquired all of the salt companies in Grand Saline and by 1931 was producing as much as 500 tons of salt per day. Salt mining is not the only industry Grand Saline has ever known. During the late 1920s, the discovery of the nearby Van, Texas oil field brought companies that provided needed supplies. In the 1930s Grand Saline had twelve petroleum supply companies and five lumber companies. In the Depression years, local sewing rooms made garments for the poor. During World War II, a worker’s strike at Morton Salt led the town to form the Grand Saline Industrial Foundation to attract new business to town. Their efforts produced clothing manufacturers, sulfur processing and meat packing companies. Grand Saline was also known for its Lone Star Hotel which was, for a brief time, the home of Hollywood starlet Louise Fazenda, the wife of Warner Brothers executive Hal Wallis. Agriculture, farming and ranching have long been a major part of the economic life in Grand Saline as well. Over the years Grand Saline has produced crops such as sweet potatoes and other “truck crops.” A cotton gin built south of town in 1890 marked the beginning of many years of cotton production. Poultry, livestock, dairy products, lumber and an Ice House all played a role in the formation and history of the town.


Grand Saline is located at 32°40′40″N 95°42′41″W / 32.67778°N 95.71139°W / 32.67778; -95.71139 (32.677662, -95.711521), in the northeastern area of Van Zandt County, at the intersection of Texas State Highway 110 and U.S. Route 80 in western East Texas. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²), of which 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²) is land and 0.50% is water.


Grand Saline is located in the East Central Texas forests ecoregion. Grand Saline's rural scenery is a mix of rolling hills and open pastures. The area around it is home to numerous creeks, streams, and areas of hardwood timber. The town is located in the Sabine River valley as the river flows just north of the city and then bends south flowing under U.S. Highway 80 east of Grand Saline.


Grand Saline is served by the following roadways-

  • Texas State Highway 110- Grand Saline serves as the northern end to the highway, 110 is the main and preferred route from the Van/Grand Saline area into Tyler, Texas. In the city, the highway bears the name Chris Tomlin Boulevard, in honor musician Chris Tomlin, who is a Grand Saline native.
  • U.S. Highway 80- Marked as Garland Street in the City, Runs east towards the Longview/Marshall area and to the Louisiana state line and West to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex
  • FM 17- Runs south to Canton, Texas and North to Lake Fork.
  • FM 857-Grand Saline serves as the northern end, and runs south into Smith County.

Grand Saline is also roughly 15 minutes north of Interstate 20.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,065
1920 1,528 43.5%
1930 1,799 17.7%
1940 1,641 −8.8%
1950 1,810 10.3%
1960 2,006 10.8%
1970 2,257 12.5%
1980 2,709 20.0%
1990 2,630 −2.9%
2000 3,028 15.1%
2010 3,136 3.6%
Est. 2015 3,131 −0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,028 people, 1,096 households, and 723 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,522.2 people per square mile (587.5/km²). There were 1,203 housing units at an average density of 604.8 per square mile (233.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.94% White, 0.59% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.55% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.13% of the population.

There were 1,096 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 20.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,875, and the median income for a family was $34,167. Males had a median income of $28,274 versus $16,915 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,678. About 13.5% of families and 19.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.2% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.

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