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Henderson, Texas
Another look at downtown Henderson, TX IMG 2975.JPG
Rusk County Henderson.svg
Henderson, Texas is located in Texas
Henderson, Texas
Henderson, Texas
Location in Texas
Henderson, Texas is located in the United States
Henderson, Texas
Henderson, Texas
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Texas
County Rusk
 • Type Council-manager
 • Total 12.04 sq mi (31.19 km2)
 • Land 11.95 sq mi (30.95 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
512 ft (156 m)
 • Total 13,712
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,100.66/sq mi (424.97/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 903/430
FIPS code 48-33212
GNIS feature ID 1337593

Henderson is a city and the county seat of Rusk County, Texas, in Northeast Texas. Its population was 13,712 at the 2010 census. Henderson is named for James Pinckney Henderson, the first governor of Texas.

The city has functioned as a major crossroads in Northeast Texas over the last two centuries. Several major highways pass through the business district of the town, including U.S. Route 259, Texas State Highway 64, U.S. Route 79, Texas State Highway 43, Texas State Highway 42, and Texas State Highway 64.

Annual events in the city of Henderson include the Heritage Syrup Festival in November, celebrating the East Texas tradition of syrup making, and the East Texas Sacred Harp Convention in August featuring shape note music.

The city has a vibrant downtown historic district, with many buildings dating to before the American Civil War. The city has 19 historical markers, including homes dating from the 1880s, churches, and colleges. Downtown Henderson is one of the most dramatic and charming downtowns in the East Texas area. Colorful, canvas awnings highlight the ornate buildings that house Henderson's downtown merchants, and offer shade to downtown shoppers visiting the various antiques stores, clothing stores, and restaurants lining the main streets.


Revised Henderson, TX sign IMG 2345
Henderson welcome sign on U.S. Highway 79
Another look at downtown Henderson
Henderson, TX, City Hall IMG 2972
Henderson City Hall
Henderson, TX, Municipal Court MG 2974
Henderson Municipal Court
Central Fire Station in Henderson, TX IMG 2973
Central Fire Station in Henderson
Bank of America in Henderson, TX IMG 2977
Former Bank of America Building in Henderson
Picture of Calvary Baptist Church Henderson TX
First Baptist Church, Henderson, TX IMG 2971
First Baptist Church of Henderson
South Main Church of Christ, Henderson, TX IMG 2976
South Main Street Church of Christ in Henderson

The city of Henderson was established by European Americans before the State of Texas was founded. It was developed on land donated by W.B. Ochiltree and James Smith; it became the county seat of Rusk County when an act of legislature created Rusk County on January 16, 1843. The First Methodist and First Baptist churches were established in 1842 and 1845, respectively. The first courthouse, made of wood, was completed in 1849. After the Civil War, the International and Great Northern Railroad crossed through Rusk County but bypassed Henderson. In 1874, the Henderson and Overton Branch Railroad Company built a stretch of railroad connecting Henderson to the tracks running through Overton. This stretch of railroad was later sold to the Missouri Pacific Railroad (now Union Pacific) and remains in use to this day.

In 1878, a small fire destroyed the courthouse, and a brick courthouse was built in its place. This encouraged the construction of several other brick buildings, including the Howard Dickinson House, now a historical site.

In 1930, C. M. "Dad" Joiner brought in the Daisy Bradford #3 Discovery Well six miles northwest of Henderson. The discovery of oil in October 1930 created a booming economy in the area, with the population of Henderson increasing from 2,000 to over 10,000 in a few months. The oil fields in and surrounding Henderson, part of the hugely producing five-county East Texas Oil Field, continue to provide a large part of the wealth of the town, county and region.

1860 Henderson fire

On August 5, 1860, a fire broke out and burned most of the booming town of Henderson. Forty-three buildings, including two hotels, were destroyed in the fire, for a loss of $220,000.

According to the Depot Museum, a man named John Crow recalled the fire as follows:

"I was about eight years old when Henderson burned. I went to town with my father the day after the fire. It burned every house as well as I recollect, except the Flanagan Brick Building. I remember I was barefooted and careful not to burn my feet. My father said at the time they thought a fellow named Green Herndon, a union man, had hired a negro woman to burn Henderson. Herndon was a northerner and was a pronounced opponent of secession. On the negro woman's testimony, a mob gathered, threw a loop around his neck, tied it to a saddle horse which went around the public square dragging Herndon to death. Then they hung the body to a tree and shot it full of holes…War was in preparation and people were in fits of anger. When the war broke out, the men got all the files they could find and went to the blacksmith shops and made knives and swords. There was much laughter and I remember they said, "We'll whip those damn Yankees with axes and butcher knives. Everyone was anxious to go."

First Christian Church of Henderson, Texas.


Henderson is located at 32°9′14″N 94°48′10″W / 32.15389°N 94.80278°W / 32.15389; -94.80278 (32.153938, −94.802732).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.0 square miles (31 km2), of which, 11.9 square miles (31 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.92%) is water.

Major highways

  • Texas 64.svg State Highway 64
  • Texas 42.svg State Highway 42
  • Texas 43.svg State Highway 43
  • US 259.svg Highway 259
  • US 79.svg Highway 79


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 918
1880 1,656 80.4%
1890 1,536 −7.2%
1920 2,273
1930 2,932 29.0%
1940 6,437 119.5%
1950 6,833 6.2%
1960 9,666 41.5%
1970 10,187 5.4%
1980 11,473 12.6%
1990 11,139 −2.9%
2000 11,273 1.2%
2010 13,712 21.6%
2019 (est.) 13,154 −4.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, 11,273 people, 4,350 households, and 2,971 families were residing in the city. The population density was 947.6 people/sq mi (365.8/km2). The 4,831 housing units averaged 406.1/sq mi (156.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 68.98% White, 22.34% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 6.81% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 11.80% of the population.

Of the 4,350 households, 32.6% had children under 18 living with them, 51.3% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were not families. About 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52, and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city, the age distribution was 26.9% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,766, and for a family was $38,095. Males had a median income of $31,285 versus $19,473 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,491.

In popular culture

The 1970 science-fiction film, Colossus: The Forbin Project, mentions Henderson as the site of the fictitious Henderson Air Force Base, the target of a retaliatory ICBM fired by Colossus' Soviet counterpart, the defense supercomputer "Guardian".


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Henderson has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


VeraBank headquarters and branch at 201 W. Main Street in downtown Henderson

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The Henderson Independent School District includes five campuses, Wylie Primary School, Wylie Elementary School, Northside Intermediate School, Henderson Middle School, and Henderson High School. The school mascot of Henderson is a lion, and the school colors are red and blue. School sports are an important part of Henderson's culture. A 3-A school, the Henderson Lions football team beat Chapel Hill, Texas, to become state champions in 2010. Many students are members of one or more athletic organizations.

A very small portion of the City of Henderson falls within the West Rusk ISD.

Private schools

The City of Henderson is also served by Full Armor Christian Academy, a nondenominational private school.


Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary in Henderson IMG 2981
Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary at 1300 Longview Avenue in Henderson

Henderson is the home of the Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary, a Missionary Baptist institution of the American Baptist Association.



The Rusk County Airport is a county-owned, public-use airport located 3 miles west of downtown Henderson.

Major highways

  • Texas 64.svg State Highway 64
  • Texas 42.svg State Highway 42
  • Texas 43.svg State Highway 43
  • US 259.svg Highway 259
  • US 79.svg Highway 79

Notable people

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Henderson (Texas) para niños

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