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Orange, Texas
Orange, Texas.jpg
Gateway City, Gatecity, Fruit City
Small town charm, world class culture
Location of Orange, Texas
Location of Orange, Texas
Orange County Orange.svg
Country United StatesUnited States
State TexasTexas
County Orange
Community 1830 as Green's Bluff
Renamed 1840 as Madison
County seat 1852
Incorporated 1858 as Orange
Demonym Orangite
 • Type Council–manager
 • Total 24.18 sq mi (62.64 km2)
 • Land 22.08 sq mi (57.19 km2)
 • Water 2.10 sq mi (5.45 km2)
7 ft (2 m)
 • Total 18,595
 • Estimate 
 • Density 820.52/sq mi (316.81/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 409
FIPS code 48-54132
GNIS feature ID 1375304

Orange is a city and the county seat of Orange County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 18,595. It is the easternmost city in Texas, located on the Sabine River at the border with Louisiana, and is 113 miles (182 km) from Houston. Orange is part of the BeaumontPort Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Founded in 1836, it is a deep-water port to the Gulf of Mexico.


This community was originally called Green Bluff for a man named Reason Green, a Sabine River boatman who arrived at this location sometime before 1830. A short time later, in 1840, the town was renamed Madison in honor of President James Madison. To resolve the frequent post office confusion with another Texas community called Madisonville, the town was renamed "Orange" in 1858. The area experienced rapid growth in the late 19th century due to 17 sawmills within the city limits, making Orange the center of the Texas lumber industry. Orange's growth led to the arrival of many immigrants in the late 19th century, including a moderately-sized Jewish population by 1896. In 1898, the County built a courthouse in the city, which eventually burned down and was replaced by the Orange County Courthouse.

The harbor leading into the Port of Orange was dredged in 1914 to accommodate large ships. Ship building during World War I contributed to the growth in population and economy. The Great Depression, not surprisingly, affected the city negatively, and it was not until World War II that the local economy was boosted again. A U.S. Naval Station was installed and additional housing was provided for thousands of defense workers and servicemen and their families. The population increased to just over 60,000 residents.

After the war, the peace-time population decreased to about 25,000. At this time, the Navy Department announced it selected Orange as one of eight locations where it would store reserve vessels. The area of the shipyards provided a favorable location, as the Sabine River furnished an abundant supply of fresh water to prevent saltwater corrosion.
Also during this period the local chemical plants expanded which boosted the economy. The chemical industry continues today as a leading source of revenue to the area. The U.S. Naval Station was changed to a Reserve base in December 1975, and decommissioned completely in September, 2008.

The Port of Orange became the home to the USS Orleck (DD-886), one of the few naval ships remaining that was built at the Orange shipyards during WWII. The city of Orange sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Rita in 2005, causing damage to the ship. The city decreed that the ship be moved because, as it claimed, the city needed the dock space. The Orleck was not allowed to return to the port due to politics (as the city council was wanting the ship cut up and sold for scrap and had a long running feud with the Restoration Association) so a new location was sought, including one in Arkansas and Lake Charles, Louisiana, for a new home. On May 6, 2009, the Lake Charles city council voted in favor of an ordinance authorizing the city to enter into a "Cooperative Endeavor Agreement" with the "USS ORLECK". On May 20, 2010 the ship was moved to Lake Charles. The Grand Opening was on April 10, 2011.

Hurricane Ike

Orange was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008. Damage was widespread and severe across Orange County. The 22-foot (6.7 m) storm surge breached the city's levees, caused catastrophic flooding and obliterated everything in its path. The storm surge traveled up the Neches River to also flood Rose City.

Orange received winds at hurricane force. Nearly the entire city of 19,000 people was flooded, anywhere from 6 inches (15 cm) to 15 feet (4.5 m). The mayor of the city said about 375 people, of those who stayed behind during the storm, began to emerge, some needing food, water and medical care. Many dead fish littered streets and properties. Neighbor Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte estimated that only 14 homes in the city were unaffected by the surge, five of which were in the Oakview addition on Louise Street in Bridge City. The piles of debris and waterlogged furniture placed outside homes by residents beginning to clean up led the mayor to say "The whole city looks like a flea market." During the post-storm cleanup, Bridge City residents found swimming pools had been occupied by jellyfish brought inland with the water. Three people were found dead in Orange County on September 29.


Orange is located at 30°6′33″N 93°45′33″W / 30.10917°N 93.75917°W / 30.10917; -93.75917 (30.109217, -93.759133).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.8 square miles (54 km2), of which, 20.1 square miles (52 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it (3.32%) is water.


Orange has a humid subtropical climate. Winters are warm and rainy while summers are hot, humid and wet. The climate is similar to nearby Vinton, Louisiana and Beaumont, Texas. The record high in Orange is 105 °F or 40.6 °C recorded August 10, 1962. The record low is 11 °F or −11.7 °C recorded December 26, 1983. Orange records about 60 inches or 1,500 millimetres of rain per year.

Climate data for Orange, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
Average high °F (°C) 60
Average low °F (°C) 40
Record low °F (°C) 15
Rainfall inches (mm) 6.01


2010 Census data

As of the census of 2010, 18,595 people, 7,585 households, and 5,021 families resided in the city. The population density was 872.7 people per square mile (336.9/km2). The 8,868 housing units averaged 441.7 per square mile (170.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.9% White, 33.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 1.08% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 5.2% of the population. The average household size was 2.41.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 936
1890 3,173
1900 3,835 20.9%
1910 5,527 44.1%
1920 9,212 66.7%
1930 7,913 −14.1%
1940 7,472 −5.6%
1950 21,174 183.4%
1960 25,605 20.9%
1970 24,457 −4.5%
1980 23,628 −3.4%
1990 19,381 −18.0%
2000 18,643 −3.8%
2010 18,595 −0.3%
2020 19,324 3.9%

In Orange, the population is distributed as 27.4% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males. The median income for a household in the city was $29,519, and for a family was $37,473. Males had a median income of $37,238 versus $21,445 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,535. About 20.5% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.0% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over' 20.3% of the population was below the poverty line, compared to 15.1% of the national population.


The City of Orange hosts several cultural attractions. The Stark Museum of Art, houses one of the finest collections of 19th and 20th century Western American art and artifacts in the country. The collection focuses on the stunning land, dramatic people, and diverse wildlife of the American West. The Museum also holds a significant collection of American Indian art as well as collections of glass and porcelain, and rare books and manuscripts. The museum features the work of artists such as artist/naturalist John James Audubon, Paul Kane, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and John Mix Stanley.

The W.H. Stark House preserves the early days of Orange and lumber barons.

The W. H. Stark House is a careful restoration of an 1894 Victorian home, typical of a wealthy Southeast Texas family. The 15-room, three-storied structure with its many gables, galleries, and distinctive windowed turret, shows the influence of several architectural styles.

The First Presbyterian Church on Green Avenue is a strong example of the classic Greek Revival architecture. Completed in 1912, it was the first air-conditioned public building west of the Mississippi River and its dome is the only opalescent glass dome inside of the United States.

Orange Community Players is a non-profit community theater located across the street from the historic courthouse.

The Confederate Memorial of the Wind is being built on private land at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Martin Luther King Jr Drive.


Orange is served by Interstate 10, as well as a deep-water seaport. Commercial aviation service is located at nearby Southeast Texas Regional Airport, and general aviation service is provided by Orange County Airport.

Orange has the distinction of having exit 880 on Interstate 10 within its city limits, which is the highest numbered exit and mile marker on an interstate highway or freeway in North America.


The City of Orange is served by the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District, the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District, and the Orangefield Independent School District.

Lamar State College-Orange is a community college and part of the Texas State University System.

Notable people

  • Bonnie Baker, singer
  • Marcia Ball, singer
  • Michael Berry
  • Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
  • Edgar William Brown, business leader and philanthropist
  • Matt Bryant
  • Chris Cole, American football player
  • John Oliver Creighton
  • Shane Dronett
  • Clyde D. Eddleman
  • Frances Fisher
  • Donovan Gans
  • Greg Hill, American football player
  • Charles Holcomb
  • Bobby Kimball
  • Danny Klam
  • Chuck Knipp
  • Ernie Ladd, American football player and professional wrestler
  • Janette Sebring Lowrey
  • Henry J. Lutcher, lumber baron
  • Jason Mathews
  • Haskell Monroe
  • Danielle Panabaker
  • Kay Panabaker
  • John Patterson, baseball player
  • Bum Phillips, American football coach
  • Wade Phillips, American football coach
  • Andre Robertson, baseball player
  • Chad Shelton, opera singer
  • R.C. Slocum, American football player and coach
  • Bubba Smith, American football player
  • Kevin Smith, American football player
  • Tody Smith
  • William Henry Stark, business leader and philanthropist
  • Lee Stringer
  • Earl Thomas, American football player
  • Deionte Thompson, American football player
  • Liz Wickersham, television writer and producer

See also

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

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Famous Hispanic actors
John Gavin
Desi Arnaz
Henry Ian Cusick
Pedro Pascal
Frankie Muniz
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