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Overton, Texas
The McMillan Memorial Library in Overton, Texas
The McMillan Memorial Library in Overton, Texas
"A Growing Community nestled in the Piney Woods of East Texas"
Location of Overton, Texas
Location of Overton, Texas
Country United States
State Texas
Counties Rusk, Smith
 • Total 6.8 sq mi (17.5 km2)
 • Land 6.7 sq mi (17.4 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
502 ft (153 m)
 • Total 2,554
 • Density 375.6/sq mi (145.9/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 903
FIPS code 48-54432
GNIS feature ID 1343370
Overton, TX, City Hall IMG 4397
Overton City Hall
Part of downtown Overton, TX IMG 4399
A portion of downtown Overton
Abandoned Overton Theater, Overton, TX IMG 4401
The abandoned Overton Theater
First Baptist Church, Overton, TX IMG 4403
The First Baptist Church of Overton

Overton is a city in Rusk and Smith counties in the U.S. state of Texas. Overton lies in two counties as well as two metropolitan areas. The Rusk County portion of the city is part of the Longview Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Smith County portion is part of the Tyler Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The population was 2554 at the 2010 census.


Known to Choctaws/Chickasaws/Creeks who lived in the area, and still do as Tiyuk Hekia (Standing Pine) many years later when it was incorporated it became known as Overton.

The town was named after Major Frank Overton, an early settler and landowner who donated some of his land for the town site. It was platted in 1873 and a post office was granted that year.

Overton was originally intended to be a crossroads for two railroads. In 1875 the Henderson and Overton Branch Railroad, 16 miles long, was completed and was later joined by the International-Great Northern. When the nearby communities of Belleveu, Jamestown, Rocky Mount, and Salem were all bypassed by the railroad, Overton gained the businesses and people who wanted to benefit from the railroad lines. The town offered lots for businesses to relocate and many took the offer.

The Masons and Odd Fellows built the first school and a church was constructed in 1875. By 1888 the population had increased to 500 and had all essential businesses, including a newspaper. Overton prospered as an agricultural community and in 1904 the population had reached 568.

Oklahoman wildcatter C. M. (Dad) Joiner was drilling his third well in 1930 and the town of Overton helped raise the funds he needed to drill. When the well came in, Overton shared in Joiner's success, as churches, schools, and a refinery were built. Hubbard College was founded during this time as well. The town's once agrarian-based economy suddenly revolved entirely around the production of oil.

Overton's population exploded from 426 in 1931 to 3,000 in 1933. By 1936 it was up to 4,500 and the town went through the Great Depression relatively unscathed. But by the end of World War II the population had declined by half - reaching just 2,000 in the 1950s and remaining at that level through the 1970s. In the 1980s Overton was Rusk County's "second city" with a population of 2,430 in 1983. By the 1990s Overton extended into neighboring Smith County.


Overton is located at 32°16′25″N 94°58′35″W / 32.27361°N 94.97639°W / 32.27361; -94.97639 (32.273608, -94.976306).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.8 square miles (17.5 km²), of which 6.7 square miles (17.4 km²) is land and 0.04 square mile (0.1 km²) (0.59%) is water. Most of the city lies in Rusk County, with a small portion extending into Smith County.

Major highways

  • Texas 135.svg State Highway 135
  • Texas 323.svg State Highway 323


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 353
1890 401 13.6%
1920 528
1930 426 −19.3%
1940 2,313 443.0%
1950 2,001 −13.5%
1960 1,950 −2.5%
1970 2,084 6.9%
1980 2,430 16.6%
1990 2,105 −13.4%
2000 2,350 11.6%
2010 2,554 8.7%
Est. 2015 2,536 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,554 people, 935 households, and 639 families residing in the city. The population density was 375.6 people per square mile. There were 1,086 housing units at an average density of 159.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 80% White, 16.1% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.4% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. 4% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 935 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.6 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 20 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.2 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,292, and the median income for a family was $55,261. The per capita income for the city was $18,987. Males had a median income of $28,496 versus $17,237 for females.

Bluegrass Festival

The Overton Bluegrass Festival is a two-day event held in early June each year. The event features live music from nationally recognized talent, exhibitors, and cuisine. 2013 marked the festivals 25th anniversary.

Republic of Texas

From 2003 to 2005, Overton was the seat of government of the Republic of Texas, a separatist group who are an independence movement that claims that the annexation of Texas by the United States was illegal and that Texas remains an independent nation under occupation. The Republic of Texas headquarters burned down in August 2005.


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

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