Harrison County, Texas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Harrison County, Texas
Map
Map of Texas highlighting Harrison County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the USA highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1842
Seat Marshall
Largest City Marshall
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

916 sq mi (2,372 km²)
900 sq mi (2,331 km²)
16 sq mi (41 km²), 1.7%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

65,631
73/sq mi (28/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website: harrisoncountytexas.org
Named for: Jonas Harrison

Harrison County is a county on the eastern border of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 65,631. The county seat is Marshall. The county was created in 1839 and organized in 1842. It is named for Jonas Harrison, a lawyer and Texas revolutionary.

Harrison County comprises the Marshall, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Longview–Marshall, TX Combined Statistical Area. It is located in the Ark-La-Tex region.

Harrison County, formerly a Democratic party stronghold, is represented in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Chris Paddie, a former Marshall mayor.

History

MarshallCourthouse
Old Harrison County Courthouse in Marshall lit at Christmas

Early history

Settlement by United States citizens began in present-day Harrison County during the 1830s. In 1835, the Mexican authorities granted a dozen land grants to immigrants from the United States. After the Texas Revolution, the Congress of the Texas Republic established Harrison County in 1839, formed from Shelby County. Harrison County was named for Texas Revolutionary Jonas Harrison. The county was organized in 1842.

The county's area was reduced in 1846, following the establishment of Panola and Upshur counties. Marshall was established in 1841, and became the county seat in 1842.

The area was settled predominately by planters from the Southern United States, who developed this area for cotton plantations and brought African-American slaves with them for labor, or purchased them in the area. The planters repeated much of their culture and society here. By 1850, landowners in this county held more slaves than in any other county in Texas until the end of the Civil War. The census of 1860 counted 8,746 slaves in Harrison County, 59% of the county's total population.

In 1861, the county's voters (who were exclusively white and mostly upper class) overwhelmingly supported secession. Defeat at the end of the war brought Reconstruction. The white minority in the county bitterly resented federal authority and giving the franchise to freedmen, who elected a county government dominated by Republican Party officeholders. Republican dominance continued in the county after 1874, when the Democratic Party gained control of the state government. In 1878, the Citizen's Party of Harrison County, amid charges of fraud and coercion, gained control of elected positions in the county government after winning on a technicality, which involved placement of a key ballot box. In 1951, Harrison County's Jim Crow laws were struck down with the Perry v. Cyphers decision.

From 1880 to 1930, Harrison County remained primarily agricultural and rural, with a black majority, many of whom were tenant farmers and sharecroppers. In the 1870s the county's non-agricultural sector increased when the Texas and Pacific Railway located its headquarters and shops in Marshall. In 1928, oil was discovered in the county, and made a significant contribution to the economy.

The Great Depression of the 1930s hit the county hard, decimating the agricultural sector. World War II brought an end to the depression, but resulted in a significant emigration of blacks from the county. They moved to the West Coast in the Great Migration, as the defense industry was expanding so that many jobs were available. The population of the county declined until 1980, when the trend reversed. White population increases due to migration from other areas has resulted in a majority-white population. White conservative voters have become overwhelmingly Republican in the realignment of parties in the South since the late 20th century.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 916 square miles (2,370 km2), of which 900 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (1.7%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • I-20.svg Interstate 20
  • US 59.svg U.S. Highway 59
    • I-369.svg The future route of Interstate 369 is planned to follow the current route of U.S. 59 in most places.
  • US 80.svg U.S. Highway 80
  • Texas 43.svg State Highway 43
  • Texas 49.svg State Highway 49
  • Texas 154.svg State Highway 154
  • Texas FM 134.svg Farm to Market Road 134
  • Texas FM 2208.svg Farm to Market Road 2208

The TTC-69 component (recommended preferred) of the planned Trans-Texas Corridor goes through Harrison County.

National protected area

  • Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 11,822
1860 15,001 26.9%
1870 13,241 −11.7%
1880 25,177 90.1%
1890 26,721 6.1%
1900 31,878 19.3%
1910 37,243 16.8%
1920 43,565 17.0%
1930 48,937 12.3%
1940 50,900 4.0%
1950 47,745 −6.2%
1960 45,594 −4.5%
1970 44,841 −1.7%
1980 52,265 16.6%
1990 57,483 10.0%
2000 62,110 8.0%
2010 65,631 5.7%
Est. 2015 66,746 1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, there were 62,110 people, 23,087 households, and 16,945 families residing in the county. The population density was 69 people per square mile (27/km²). There were 26,271 housing units at an average density of 29 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 71.35% White, 24.03% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.86% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 5.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 23,087 households out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.00% were married couples living together, 13.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.60% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,520, and the median income for a family was $41,112. Males had a median income of $32,451 versus $20,913 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,702. 16.70% of the population and 12.90% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.80% of those under the age of 18 and 14.60% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

The largest ancestry groups in Harrison County are:

  • English - 41%
  • Black or African American - 24%
  • Irish - 8%
  • German - 3%
  • Scotch-Irish - 3%
  • Scottish - 2%
  • Dutch - 1%
  • Italian - 1%
  • French or French Canadian (except Basque) - 1%
  • Mexican - 1%
  • Polish - 1%

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated communities


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