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Houston County, Texas facts for kids

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Houston County
The Houston County Courthouse in Crockett is located at the intersections of Texas State Highway 21 and U.S. Highway 287.
The Houston County Courthouse in Crockett is located at the intersections of Texas State Highway 21 and U.S. Highway 287.
Map of Texas highlighting Houston 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 1837
Named for Sam Houston
Seat Crockett
Largest city Crockett
 • Total 1,237 sq mi (3,200 km2)
 • Land 1,231 sq mi (3,190 km2)
 • Water 5.7 sq mi (15 km2)  0.5%
 • Total 22,066
 • Density 17.838/sq mi (6.8874/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 8th

Houston County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 22,066. Its county seat is Crockett. Houston County was one of 46 entirely dry counties in the state of Texas, until voters in a November 2007 special election legalized the sale of alcohol in the county.

Houston County was the first new county created under the 9-year Republic of Texas on June 12, 1837. The original boundaries of Houston County also included all of present-day Anderson and Trinity Counties, and portions of present-day Henderson and Polk Counties.

The county is named for Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas and Governor of Texas. Other than being named for the same person, Houston County is not related to the City of Houston, which is located about 100 mi (160 km) to the south, in Harris County.

A county historical museum is located in a former railroad depot, located on First Street in Crockett.


Samuel Cartmill Hiroms (1836–1920) was born in present-day Polk County, his parents having been among Stephen F. Austin's "Old 300" families. Hiroms was an educator and a surveyor who served in the Confederate Army. He and his second wife, the former Emily Ann Johnston (1853–1948), settled in the Creek Community of Houston County. Their homestead was adjacent to what is now the Austonio Baptist Church on State Highway 21 in Austonio, Texas.

Collin Aldrich (1801–1842) was a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto and was the first judge in Houston County, having served during the Republic of Texas from 1837-1841.

Eli Coltharp established his Coltharp Hill in Houston County near Kennard. The store, post office, gristmill, cotton gin, blacksmith shop, and millinery shop were located on the stagecoach route west of Nacogcoches in Houston County. When the railroad bypassed the Contharp Community, many of the residents relocated to work at a nearby sawmill.

James Murphy Hager of Kentucky and his wife, the former Nacoma Clark, established the Hagerville Community in the 1840s. Hager was a farmer, cabinet maker, and blacksmith. The stagecoach from Nacogdoches to Navasota, ran beside the Hagers' log home. One of the Hager sons donated land for a church and a school. There was a post office at Hagerville from 1891-1905.

The Four C Mill operated in Houston County during the first two decades of the 20th century. R.M. Keith, agent of the Central Coal and Coke Company in Kansas City, Missouri, began buying virgin timber in the fall of 1899. Lumber to construct the new mill was cut by a small sawmill purchased in early 1901 from J.H. Ratcliff. Keith organized the Louisiana and Texas Lumber Company to operate the Four C. The mill was producing a staggering 300,000 board feet of lumber per daily by June 1902. Ratcliff Lake, now a United States Department of Interior recreational site, was the millpond for the Four C. The Texas Southeastern Railroad laid track from Lufkin to haul out the lumber. The town of Ratcliff was separated from the Four C by a fence, built to discourage the mill workers from spending their money outside the company town. The 120,000 acres were in time exhausted, and by 1920, the mill shut down.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,237 square miles (3,200 km2), of which 1,231 square miles (3,190 km2) is land and 5.7 square miles (15 km2) (0.5%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,721
1860 8,058 196.1%
1870 8,147 1.1%
1880 16,702 105.0%
1890 19,360 15.9%
1900 25,452 31.5%
1910 29,564 16.2%
1920 28,601 −3.3%
1930 30,017 5.0%
1940 31,137 3.7%
1950 22,825 −26.7%
1960 19,276 −15.5%
1970 17,855 −7.4%
1980 22,299 24.9%
1990 21,375 −4.1%
2000 23,185 8.5%
2010 23,732 2.4%
2020 22,066 −7.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2020

2020 census

Houston County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 14,811 12,957 62.41% 58.72%
Black or African American alone (NH) 6,129 5,163 25.83% 23.40%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 75 94 0.32% 0.43%
Asian alone (NH) 95 138 0.40% 0.63%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 1 8 0.00% 0.04%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 25 58 0.11% 0.26%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 232 577 0.98% 2.61%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 2,364 3,071 9.96% 13.92%
Total 23,732 22,066 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.


Major highways

  • US 287.svg U.S. Highway 287
  • Texas 7.svg State Highway 7
  • Texas 19.svg State Highway 19
  • Texas 21.svg State Highway 21

Houston County is served by US Highway 287 and State Highways 7, 19, and 21. All of these highways intersect at the Courthouse Square in downtown Crockett. SH 21 follows the 300-year-old route of Old San Antonio Road. Texas State Highway Loop 304 circles the city of Crockett.


Freight rail service is provided by Union Pacific Railroad. The Crockett Depot, built in 1909, has been restored and now serves as the Houston County Museum.


Houston County Airport (KDKR), located 3 miles east of Crockett on SH 7, features a 4,000-foot runway. On-site aircraft services are provided by East Texas Aircraft.

Public transportation

Demand and response public transportation within Houston County is provided by Brazos Transit District.



Unincorporated communities

Ghost Towns


Five school districts are located entirely in the county:

  • Crockett Independent School District
  • Lovelady Independent School District
  • Kennard Independent School District
  • Latexo Independent School District
  • Grapeland Independent School District

In addition, small portions of Groveton Independent School District and Elkhart Independent School District, located in Trinity County and Anderson County, respectively, extend into Houston County.

The county is in the district for Angelina College.

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See also

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