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Texas County, Missouri facts for kids

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Texas County
Texas County Administrative Center
Texas County Administrative Center
Map of Missouri highlighting Texas County
Location within the U.S. state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Missouri
Founded February 14, 1845
Named for Republic of Texas
Seat Houston
Largest city Licking
 • Total 1,179 sq mi (3,050 km2)
 • Land 1,177 sq mi (3,050 km2)
 • Water 2.0 sq mi (5 km2)  0.2%
 • Total 24,487
 • Estimate 
 • Density 20.769/sq mi (8.019/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 8th

Texas County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 24,487. Its county seat is Houston. The county was organized in 1843 as Ashley County, changing its name in 1845 to Texas, after the Republic of Texas. The 2010 U.S. Census indicates that the county was the center of population for the United States.

Texas County Missouri Justice Center 20150315-164
The Texas County Justice Center was completed in 2008.


Texas County was originally created in 1843 and named for William H. Ashley, the first lieutenant governor of Missouri. It was later organized on February 14, 1845, when it was also renamed for the Republic of Texas.

A seat of justice for the county was laid out in 1846 near the center of the county on Brushy Creek and named Houston for the first president of the Texas Republic. The historic Texas County Courthouse, built in 1932, was the county's sixth and now serves as the county administrative center. It was remodeled in 1977 and again in 2007. A new justice center was completed in 2008.

Rugged hills, springs, creeks, rivers and caves abound in Texas County. There have been many Native American mounds found in the county. Their paintings remain upon various bluffs over ancient campsites. The area was part of the 1808 Osage Native American land cession.

Pioneers came to Texas County in the 1820s from Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas and set up sawmills along the Big Piney River. Pioneers made a nice income rafting the timber down the Piney River toward St. Louis. Some 48,000 acres (190 km2) in the north and northwest part of the county is now part of the Mark Twain National Forest. Several acres in the southeast part of the county are part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Park. Small family farms are still a major part of the landscape of the county. The population of the first Federal Census of Texas County in 1850 was 2,312 citizens.

The American Civil War period was a time of turmoil in Texas County. The populace was predominantly Southern. The courthouse was occupied during the war by the Union Army as headquarters. Houston was an important point on the route from federal headquarters in Springfield to headquarters in Rolla. Some skirmishes were fought here. Confederate soldiers stormed the town, burning every building.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,179 square miles (3,050 km2), of which 1,177 square miles (3,050 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.2%) is water. It is the largest county in Missouri by area.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 60.svg U.S. Route 60
  • US 63.svg U.S. Route 63
  • MO-17.svg Route 17
  • MO-32.svg Route 32
  • MO-38.svg Route 38
  • MO-137.svg Route 137

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,812
1860 6,067 115.8%
1870 9,618 58.5%
1880 12,206 26.9%
1890 19,406 59.0%
1900 22,192 14.4%
1910 21,458 −3.3%
1920 20,548 −4.2%
1930 18,580 −9.6%
1940 19,813 6.6%
1950 18,992 −4.1%
1960 17,758 −6.5%
1970 18,320 3.2%
1980 21,070 15.0%
1990 21,476 1.9%
2000 23,003 7.1%
2010 26,008 13.1%
2020 24,487 −5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 23,003 people, 9,378 households, and 6,647 families residing in the county. The population density was 21 people per square mile (8/km2). There were 9,378 housing units at an average density of 9 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.47% White, 0.21% Black or African American, 0.96% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 1.81% from two or more races. Approximately 0.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,378 households, out of which 30.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.10% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.89.

Age spread: 24.90% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 24.90% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 17.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,260, and the median income for a family was $34,503. Males had a median income of $25,071 versus $17,126 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,568. About 16.50% of families and 21.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.10% of those under age 18 and 17.20% of those age 65 or over.


According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Texas County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Texas County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (77.46%), Christian Churches & Churches of Christ (20.65%), and National Association of Free Will Baptists (12.92%).



Of adults 25 years of age and older in Texas County, 71.4% possesses a high school diploma or higher while 10.8% hold a bachelor's degree or higher as their highest educational attainment.

Public schools

    • Cabool Elementary School (PK–4)
    • Cabool Middle School (5–8)
    • Cabool High School (9–12)
    • Houston Elementary School (PK–5)
    • Houston Middle School (6–8)
    • Houston High School (9–12)
    • Licking Elementary School (PK–6)
    • Licking High School (7–12)
    • Plato Elementary School (PK–5)
    • Plato High School (6–12)
    • Raymondville Elementary School (PK–8)
    • Success Elementary School (K–8)
    • Summersville Elementary School (K–6)
    • Summersville High School (7–12)

Private schools

Alternative and vocational schools

  • Exceptional Child Cooperative – Houston – (K–12) – Special Education
  • Gentry Residential Treatment Facility – Cabool (6–12) – Alternative

Public libraries

  • Texas County Library

Notable people

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