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Jacksonville, Texas
Jacksonville's City Hall, located downtown on South Ragsdale Street, was completed in November 2016.
The Biggest Small Town in Texas;
Tomato Capital of the World
Location of Jacksonville, Texas
Location of Jacksonville, Texas
Cherokee County Jacksonville.svg
Country  United States
State  Texas
County Cherokee
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Total 14.20 sq mi (36.77 km2)
 • Land 14.19 sq mi (36.75 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
522 ft (159 m)
 • Total 14,544
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,043.97/sq mi (403.09/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 430, 903 (903 Exchanges: 541,586,589)
FIPS code 48-37216
GNIS feature ID 1374262

U.S. Highways US 69.svg US 79.svg US 175.svg
Major State Highways Texas 135.svg Texas 204.svg Texas Loop 456.svg Texas FM 347.svg Texas FM 768.svg
Jacksonville, TX, welcome sign IMG 2985
Monument-style welcome sign at U.S. Highway 69's north approach to the city.

Jacksonville is a city located in Cherokee County, Texas, United States. The population was 14,544 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Jacksonville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Cherokee County, and part of the larger Tyler–Jacksonville combined statistical area.

Jacksonville is located in an area of rolling hills in East Texas, north of the county seat, Rusk, and south of Tyler, in neighboring Smith County, on U.S. Highway 69. The north-south Highway 69 intersects the east–west U.S. Highway 79 adjacent to the city's downtown area.

Area production and shipping of tomatoes gained the town the title "Tomato Capital of the World". The impressive red iron ore rock Tomato Bowl, built by Works Progress Administration workers during the Great Depression, is home to the Jacksonville High School "Fightin' Indians" football and soccer teams. Annual events include the "Tops in Texas Rodeo" held in May and the "Tomato Fest" celebration in June.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 349
1890 970 177.9%
1900 1,558 60.6%
1910 2,875 84.5%
1920 3,723 29.5%
1930 6,748 81.3%
1940 7,213 6.9%
1950 8,607 19.3%
1960 9,590 11.4%
1970 9,734 1.5%
1980 12,264 26.0%
1990 12,765 4.1%
2000 13,868 8.6%
2010 14,544 4.9%
2019 (est.) 14,815 1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 13,868 people, 4,882 households, and 3,358 families residing in the city. The population density was 981.0 people per square mile (378.7/km2). There were 5,397 housing units at an average density of 381.8 per square mile (147.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 62.60% White, 21.70% African American, 0.48% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 12.72% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23.04% of the population.

There were 4,882 households, out of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 29.2% under the age of 18, 12.1% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,800, and the median income for a family was $31,176. Males had a median income of $23,650 versus $19,375 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,541. About 19.2% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.


Jacksonville began in 1847 as the town of Gum Creek. Jackson Smith built a home and blacksmith shop in the area, and became postmaster in 1848, when a post office was authorized. Shortly afterward, Dr. William Jackson established an office near Smith's shop. When the townsite was laid out in 1850, the name Jacksonville was chosen in honor of these two men. The name of the post office was changed from Gum Creek to Jacksonville in June 1850.


Jacksonville is located a 31°57′49″N 95°16′07″W / 31.963525°N 95.268629°W / 31.963525; -95.268629.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.1 square miles (37 km2), of which 14.1 square miles (37 km2) is land and 0.07% is water.

Surrounding municipalities

Weather chart for Jacksonville, Texas
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: / NWS


  • On average, the warmest month is July.
  • The highest recorded temperature was 110 °F (43 °C) in 1954.
  • On average, the coolest month is January.
  • The lowest recorded temperature was 5 °F (−15 °C) in 1982.
  • The most precipitation on average occurs in May.


Many highways pass through and intersect in Jacksonville: US 69, US 79, US 175, SH 135, SH 204, FM 347, FM 768, FM 2138, and Loop 456. However, no Interstate highways pass through the city limits

Where 3 railroads once served the Jacksonville area (Southern Pacific and Cotton Belt abandoned their tracks in the mid-1980s), only one, Union Pacific, remains.

Cherokee County Airport is the sole airport within Jacksonville, but solely serves general aviation. Commercial aviation can be accessed by traveling north to Tyler Pounds Regional Airport with an American Eagle flight to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), or simply driving 132 miles directly to either DFW or Dallas Love Field via U.S. Route 175.

Lake Jacksonville

Lake Jacksonville is located three miles (5 km) southwest of Jacksonville. It is the city's primary water source. In addition, it is a popular location for recreation and residences. It was created in 1957 and the city expected it to take years to fill with water from the surrounding creeks. But, with an unusually rainy season, the lake reached full capacity in only a year.

  • Lake characteristics
Location: 3 miles southwest of Jacksonville off US 79
Surface area: 1,320 acres
Maximum depth: 62 feet
Impounded: 1957

An attempt to unionize meatcutters at Walmart

Despite never having organized unions in any Walmart stores before, meatcutters working at the Jacksonville Walmart voted in favor of organizing under the wing of the United Food and Commercial Workers union in February 2000. During a flurry of subsequent legal actions, Walmart discontinued store-level meatcutting and started shipping in pre-packaged/pre-frozen meat to their stores. When all the hearings and appeals were exhausted, it was decided that the local meatcutters didn't embody the characteristics of a group that could bargain since they weren't specialized, while Walmart was found to have engaged in unfair labor practices. Even now, there is no one in the Jacksonville meat department to make special cuts of meat or any union presence there.


The City of Jacksonville is served by the Jacksonville Independent School District. Jacksonville High School, the district's only high school, has "Fightin' Indians"/"Maidens" as mascots for its team sports.

Colleges, universities

Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary, Jacksonville, TX IMG 4433
Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary, an entity of the Baptist Missionary Association of America, is located off State Highway 135 on the northeast side of the city.

Jacksonville College and the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary, both of which are owned by the Baptist Missionary Association of America, are located in Jacksonville.

Lon Morris College, a United Methodist Church operated private junior college, was located in Jacksonville until ceasing operations in 2012.

Notable people

  • Kevin Aldridge, former Tennessee Titans Defensive Lineman
  • Ray Benge, baseball pitcher
  • Bruce Channel, singer/songwriter
  • Travis Clardy, Texas House of Representatives member for District 11
  • John Clark, previous state-championship-winning high school football coach and later athletic director for Plano ISD in Plano
  • Al Dexter, country music singer
  • Sandy Duncan, actress, originally from Henderson, graduated from the former Lon Morris College
  • Paul Gipson, running back
  • Toby Gowin, former NFL punter
  • Micah Hoffpauir, former Chicago Cubs first baseman
  • Craig James, former pro football player, former ESPN and Fox Sports commentator
  • John B. Kendrick, (1857–1933), United States Senator from Wyoming and ninth Governor of Wyoming, was born on a ranch near Jacksonville
  • Pete Lammons, former New York Jets tight end and defensive end
  • Billy Martindale, former pro golfer, golf course designer
  • Margo Martindale, award-winning actress, graduated from the former Lon Morris College
  • Josh McCown, New York Jets quarterback
  • Luke McCown, former NFL quarterback
  • Neal McCoy, country music singer
  • Robert Nichols, Texas State Senator (2007–present), former Jacksonville mayor and city councillor; a park and an intermediate school in the city bear his surname
  • Grady Nutt, (1934–1982), was a Christian minister and humorist who resided in Jacksonville for several years; many of his stories are based on people and places in the Jacksonville area
  • V. O. Stamps, (1892–1940), was co-founder of the Stamps-Baxter Music Company. He moved to Jacksonville in 1919 to sell gospel songbooks, began the V.O. Stamps Publishing Company in Jacksonville in 1924, and ran the Jacksonville office of the Stamps-Baxter Music Company from its beginning in 1927 until the offices moved to Dallas in 1929
  • Alan Tudyk, actor, originally from El Paso, graduated from the former Lon Morris College
  • Lee Ann Womack, country music singer
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