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Polk County, Texas facts for kids

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Polk County
County of Polk
Polk County Court House
Polk County Court House
Map of Texas highlighting Polk 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 March 30, 1846
Named for James K. Polk
Seat Livingston
Largest town Livingston
Area
 • Total 1,110 sq mi (2,900 km2)
 • Land 1,057 sq mi (2,740 km2)
 • Water 53 sq mi (140 km2)  4.74%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 50,123
 • Density 45.16/sq mi (17.43/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
75934, 75936, 75939, 75960, 77326, 77335, 77350, 77351, 77360, 77364
Area code 936
Congressional district 36th

Polk County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 50,123. Its county seat is Livingston. The county is named after James K. Polk.

The Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation of the federally recognized tribe is in Polk County, where the people have been since the early 19th century, after having been forcibly evicted from the Southeast. The 2000 census reported a resident population of 480 persons within the reservation. The tribe reports 1100 enrolled members.

History

Confederate memorial in Polk County, TX IMG 8279
Ike Turner Camp Confederate Monument, Livingston, Texas.

Polk County, named for His Excellency James Knox Polk of Tennessee, President of the United States, was by act of the First Legislature of the State of Texas, approved on March 30, 1846, created out of Liberty County and embraced that portion thereof known and designated as the "Northern Division" of said Liberty County. It was one of the first of a series of 23 counties, formulated, constituted and established by the State of Texas, after annexation with the United States.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,348
1860 8,300 253.5%
1870 8,707 4.9%
1880 7,189 −17.4%
1890 10,332 43.7%
1900 14,447 39.8%
1910 17,459 20.8%
1920 16,784 −3.9%
1930 17,555 4.6%
1940 20,635 17.5%
1950 16,194 −21.5%
1960 13,861 −14.4%
1970 14,457 4.3%
1980 24,407 68.8%
1990 30,687 25.7%
2000 41,133 34.0%
2010 45,413 10.4%
2020 50,123 10.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010 2020

2020 census

Polk County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 32,830 34,808 72.29% 69.45%
Black or African American alone (NH) 5,153 4,869 11.35% 9.71%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 778 914 1.71% 1.82%
Asian alone (NH) 180 340 0.40% 0.68%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 7 0 0.02% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 14 135 0.03% 0.27%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 492 1,712 1.08% 3.42%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 5,959 7,345 13.12% 14.65%
Total 45,413 50,123 100.00% 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.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,110 square miles (2,900 km2), of which 1,057 square miles (2,740 km2) is land and 53 square miles (140 km2) (4.7%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Transportation

Major highways

  • US 59.svg U.S. Highway 59
    • I-69 (TX).svg Interstate 69 is currently under construction and will eventually follow the current route of U.S. 59 throughout most of Polk County.
  • US 190.svg U.S. Highway 190
  • US 287.svg U.S. Highway 287
  • Texas 146.svg State Highway 146
  • Texas FM 350.svg Farm to Market Road 350
  • Texas FM 356.svg Farm to Market Road 356
  • Texas FM 357.svg Farm to Market Road 357
  • Texas FM 942.svg Farm to Market Road 942
  • Texas FM 943.svg Farm to Market Road 943
  • Texas FM 1745.svg Farm to Market Road 1745

Mass transportation

Greyhound Lines operates the Livingston Station at the Super Stop Food Mart in Livingston.

Airport

West Livingston has the Livingston Municipal Airport, operated by the City of Livingston.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

Education

School districts:

  • Big Sandy Independent School District
  • Chester Independent School District
  • Corrigan-Camden Independent School District
  • Goodrich Independent School District
  • Leggett Independent School District
  • Livingston Independent School District
  • Onalaska Independent School District
  • Woodville Independent School District

The county is in the district for Angelina College. Polk County College / Commerce Center was completed in 2013 and is located on the U.S. Highway 59 Bypass. Angelina College offers advanced curriculum study and technical training at this location. The facility provides public auditorium space and may be used as a mass shelter in a disaster event .

Notable people

  • John Wesley Hardin - Old West gunslinger
  • William P. Hobby - Governor of Texas, publisher of Houston Post
  • Sam Houston, general of the revolution to achieve independence and President of the Republic of Texas, spent much time in Polk County, including making peace treaties with the Alabama-Coushata Indians.
  • Margo Jones - stage director who launched the careers of Tennessee Williams and Ray Walston and directed Williams' The Glass Menagerie on Broadway
  • René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, noted French explorer of the 17th century, was likely killed in Polk County.
  • Sally Mayes was a Broadway actress and singer. Livingston named a street in her honor.
  • Mark Moseley, professional football player, won Super Bowl XVII and was awarded 1982 MVP as a placekicker.
  • Moon Mullican - musician, "King of the Hillbilly Piano Players"
  • Captain (Ike) Isaac Newton Moreland Turner was a Confederate captain who joined the Civil War from Polk County, with units called the Texas Brigade; his remains were returned here from Georgia and were reinterred in his family cemetery on April 15, 1995.
  • Annette Gordon-Reed (born November 19, 1958, in Livingston, Texas) is an American historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and law professor noted for changing scholarship on Thomas Jefferson regarding his relationship with Sally Hemings and her children.

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