Harrison County, Texas facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Harrison County Courthouse in Marshall
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Jonas Harrison|
|• Total||916 sq mi (2,370 km2)|
|• Land||900 sq mi (2,000 km2)|
|• Water||16 sq mi (40 km2) 1.7%%|
|• Density||73/sq mi (28/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
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.
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 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.
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.
- Marion County (north)
- Caddo Parish, Louisiana (east)
- Panola County (south)
- Rusk County (southwest)
- Gregg County (west)
- Upshur County (northwest)
- Interstate 20
- U.S. Highway 59
- U.S. Highway 80
- State Highway 43
- State Highway 49
- State Highway 154
- Farm to Market Road 134
- 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
|U.S. Decennial Census
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%
Harrison County, Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.