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Huntsville, Texas facts for kids

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Huntsville, Texas
Sam Houston statue outside Huntsville
Sam Houston statue outside Huntsville
Home Sweet Huntsville
Location of Huntsville, Texas
Location of Huntsville, Texas
Country  United States
State  Texas
County Walker
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Total 43.43 sq mi (112.47 km2)
 • Land 42.59 sq mi (110.30 km2)
 • Water 0.84 sq mi (2.17 km2)
371 ft (113 m)
 • Total 45,941
 • Estimate 
 • Density 991.88/sq mi (382.97/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
77320, 77340–77344, 77348–77349
Area code(s) 936
FIPS code 48-35528
GNIS feature ID 1382049

Huntsville is a city in and the county seat of Walker County, Texas. The population was 45,941 as of the 2020 census. It is the center of the Huntsville micropolitan area. Huntsville is in the East Texas Piney Woods on Interstate 45 and home to the infamous Texas State Prison. It is home to Sam Houston State University, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Huntsville State Park, and HEARTS Veterans Museum of Texas. The city served as the residence of Sam Houston, who is recognized in Huntsville by the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and a statue on Interstate 45.


Downtown Hunstville TX 1870s
Downtown Huntsville in the 1870s.
University Ave Hunstville TX 1870s
Downtown Huntsville in the 1870s.

The city had its beginning about 1836, when Pleasant and Ephraim Gray opened a trading post on the site. Ephraim Gray became first postmaster in 1837, naming it after his former home town, Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama.

Huntsville became the home of Sam Houston, who served as President of the Republic of Texas, Governor of the State of Texas, Governor of Tennessee, U.S. Senator, and Tennessee congressman. General Houston led the Texas Army in the Battle of San Jacinto – the decisive victory of the Texas Revolution. Houston has been noted for his life among the Cherokees of Tennessee, and – near the end of his life – for his opposition to the American Civil War, a position which was a very unpopular in his day. Located in Huntsville are two of Houston's homes, his grave, and the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. Houston's life in Huntsville is also commemorated by his namesake Sam Houston State University, and by a 70 ft (21 m) statue. (The towering statue, "A Tribute to Courage" by artist David Adickes, has been described as the world's largest statue of an American hero, and is easily viewed by travelers on Interstate 45.)

Huntsville was also the home of Samuel Walker Houston (1864–1945), a prominent African-American pioneer in the field of education. He was born into slavery on February 12, 1864 to Joshua Houston, a slave owned by Sam Houston. Samuel W. Houston founded the Galilee Community School in 1907, which later became known as the Houstonian Normal and Industrial Institute, in Walker County, Texas.

In 1995, on the grounds of the old Samuel W. Houston Elementary School, the Huntsville Independent School District, along with the Huntsville Arts Commission and the high school's Ex-Students Association, commissioned the creation of The Dreamers, a monument to underscore the contributions made by the black community in the growth and development of Huntsville and Walker County.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 892
1860 939 5.3%
1870 1,600 70.4%
1880 1,322 −17.4%
1890 1,509 14.1%
1900 2,485 64.7%
1910 2,072 −16.6%
1920 4,689 126.3%
1930 5,028 7.2%
1940 5,108 1.6%
1950 9,820 92.2%
1960 11,999 22.2%
1970 17,610 46.8%
1980 23,936 35.9%
1990 27,925 16.7%
2000 35,078 25.6%
2010 38,548 9.9%
2019 (est.) 42,241 9.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

As of the census of 2010, there were 35,078 people, 10,266 households, and 7,471 families residing in the city. The population density was 1438.3/km sq (10,135.1/mi sq). There were 11,508 housing units at an average density of 1143.8/km sq (1372.4/mi sq). The racial makeup of the city was 65.78% White, 26.14% African American, 0.33% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 4.91% from Race (United States Census) other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.22% of the population.

There were 10,266 households, out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.7% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 15.1% under the age of 18, 29.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 16.3% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 152.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 163.8 males. The prison population is included in the city's population, which results in a significantly skewed sex ratio.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,075, and the median income for a family was $40,562. Males had a median income of $27,386 versus $22,908 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,576. About 13.1% of families and 23.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.9% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.


Huntsville is located at 30°42′41″N 95°32′54″W / 30.71139°N 95.54833°W / 30.71139; -95.54833 (30.711254, -95.548373).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a land area of 35.86 square miles in 2010.

At the area code level, land area covers 559.661 sq. mi. and water area 7.786 sq. mi.

Huntsville is about 70 miles (110 km) north of Houston. It is part of the Texas Triangle megaregion.


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


Greyhound Lines operates the Huntsville Station in Huntsville. As of 2001 many former prisoners released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system use the station to travel to their final destinations. The station is three blocks uphill from the Huntsville Unit, a point of release for prisoners exiting the TDCJ.

Bruce Brothers Huntsville Regional Airport is in Huntsville.

Major highways

  • I-45
  • US 190
  • SH 19
  • SH 30
  • SH 75


Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice cemetery for deceased prisoners who are not reclaimed by their families

In September 2009, the Huntsville Cultural District was designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts as one of the first seven state cultural districts.

The Huntsville Cultural District encompasses a variety of facilities and attractions including: Museums and Art Galleries Artist Studios and Workshops Historic Homes and Sites Theaters and Performances Cultural Events and Festivals

The Cultural District is home to some of the finest historical architecture in Texas. Enhancing the downtown buildings are murals by world-renowned artist Richard Haas. You can also tour artistically unique homes built from recycled materials that were created by Dan Phillips of Phoenix Commotion. You can enjoy self-guided walking and driving tours, art activities, music-theater-dance performances, shopping, antiquing, and unique eateries.

Cultural offerings in Huntsville include: SHSU's College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication, The Wynne Home Arts Center, Old Town Theatre, Sam Houston Memorial Museum, General Sam Houston Folk Festival, and Huntsville Community Theatre.

Ruth Massingill and Ardyth Broadrick Sohn, authors of Prison City: Life with the Death Penalty in Huntsville, Texas, said that Huntsville shares several traits with other small towns. For instance many insiders include members of Huntsville's founding families who still reside in Huntsville. They also said "Disagreement is a well-established Huntsville Tradition." The authors say that debate is a significant part of the leadership agenda, and that the residents of Huntsville disagree about capital punishment.

Since Huntsville has a well-known reputation as a location of executions, Huntsville has a negative reputation in Europe. Huntsville has often been referred to as the "Death Penalty capital of the world".


Huntsville has several tourist attractions. They include an art tour, a downtown walking tour, Sam Houston's grave, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, the Sam Houston Woodland Home, and a folk and cowboy music festival held every April.


The BOT Complex, the administrative headquarters of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Huntsville's largest employer as of 2005

As of 2005 the largest employer in Huntsville is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, with 6,744 employees. In 1996 the TDCJ had 5,219 employees in Huntsville. Robert Draper of the Texas Monthly described Huntsville as the "company town" of the TDCJ; he stated that the industry was "recession-proof" and that "It's hard to find a person in Huntsville who doesn't have at least an indirect affiliation with the prison system" since many businesses indirectly rely on its presence. As of 1996 the TDCJ employed over twice the number of people employed by Sam Houston State University, the city's second-largest employer.

As of 2005 Sam Houston State remained the second-largest employer in Huntsville, with 2,458 employees. The university has a strong role in the study of criminology. The third-largest employer is the Huntsville Independent School District, with 974 employees. The fourth-largest employer, Huntsville Memorial Hospital, has 540 employees. 517 employees work for the fifth-largest employer, Wal-Mart.

As of 2007 Huntsville's average income was lower than Texas's average income.


Primary and secondary schools

The majority of the City of Huntsville is served by the Huntsville Independent School District (HISD).

By 2007 a Huntsville community report stated that over 50% of the HISD students are "classified as economically disadvantaged"; this is a higher percentage than the overall state percentage. As of 2007 over 18% of the students do not graduate from high school.

List of Schools (by education level)


  • Gibbs Pre-K Center

Elementary School(s)

  • Estella Stewart Elementary School
  • Huntsville Elementary School
  • Samuel W. Houston Elementary School
  • Scott E Johnson Elementary School

Intermediate School(s)

  • Huntsville Intermediate School

Middle School(s)

  • Mance Park Middle School

High School(s)

  • Huntsville High School

Private School(s)

  • Alpha Omega Academy (Pre-K–12)
  • Tomorrow's Promise, The Montessori School of Huntsville (Pre-K–12)
  • Summit Christian Academy (Pre-K–12)

A very small portion of the city of Huntsville is within the New Waverly ISD.

Colleges and universities

The city has Sam Houston State University. It also served as the first location for Austin College.

Residents of both Huntsville ISD and New Waverly ISD (and therefore the whole city of Huntsville) are served by the Lone Star College System (formerly North Harris-Montgomery Community College).

Public libraries

The 7,000 square feet (650 m2) Huntsville Public Library opened on Sunday September 24, 1967 after the group "Friends for a Huntsville Public Library" had campaigned for the opening of a public library.

Adult prisoner education

The Windham School District, which provides educational services to prisoners in the TDCJ, is headquartered in Building B in the Wynne Unit in Huntsville.

Notable people

  • Dana Andrews, actor
  • Jacy Reese Anthis, writer
  • Judge James A. Baker, attorney and banker
  • Captain James A. Baker, attorney of William Marsh Rice
  • Lois Blount, historian and teacher
  • Chuck Clements, American football player
  • Erin Cummings, actress
  • James Davidson, American football player
  • David Catchings Dickson, politician
  • Royal Dixon, author
  • James A. Elkins, attorney
  • Craig Flournoy, journalist and professor
  • Justin Gilbert, American football player
  • Sam Houston, politician
  • Samuel Walker Houston, pioneer
  • Cody Johnson, Musician
  • Charles G. Keenan, politician and physician
  • Richard Linklater, movie director
  • Marcus Luttrell, former Navy-SEAL
  • Austin McGary, sheriff
  • Matt Powledge, American football coach
  • Dan Rather, journalist
  • Derrick Ross, American football player
  • Thaksin Shinawatra, Thai politician
  • John Thomason, author
  • Rex Tillerson, former ExxonMobil CEO and 69th United States Secretary of State
  • Dave Ward, journalist
  • Mark Hanna Watkins, African-American linguist and anthropologist
  • Charlie Wilson, U.S. politician

Images for kids

See also

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

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Influential Hispanic athletes
Gilbert Arenas
Pau Gasol
Rolando Blackman
Charlie Villanueva
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