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Vernon, Texas
Vernon City Hall
Vernon City Hall
Motto: "Steer Our Way!"
Location of Vernon, Texas
Location of Vernon, Texas
Wilbarger County Vernon.svg
Country United States
State Texas
County Wilbarger
 • Total 8.1 sq mi (21.0 km2)
 • Land 8.1 sq mi (21.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,184 ft (361 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 11,002
 • Density 1,358.3/sq mi (523.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 76384-76385
Area code(s) 940
FIPS code 48-75308
GNIS feature ID 1370623
Website Vernon, Texas
Downtown Vernon, TX Picture 2209
A glimpse of downtown Vernon, with Waggoner National Bank in the left background
Red River Valley Museum, Vernon, TX Picture 2202
The Red River Valley Museum is located on the Vernon College campus.

Vernon is a city in Wilbarger County, Texas, United States. It is the county seat, and as of the 2010 Census had a population of 11,002.


The original town was called Eagle Springs by the Tonkawa Indians as early as 1858. After the American Civil War, more settlers began moving in the area, and in 1880 they applied for a post office as Eagle Flat. However, the U.S. Post Office rejected the name, saying too many Texas towns were already called Eagle something. The town then chose the name Vernon, after George Washington's home, Mount Vernon.

An estimated seven million head of cattle passed through Vernon on the Great Western Cattle Trail between 1873 and the 1890s. The historic trail was located ninety miles west of and parallel to the better-known Chisholm Trail.


Vernon is located at 34°09′04″N 99°17′26″W / 34.151116°N 99.290473°W / 34.151116; -99.290473 (34.151116, −99.290473).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21.0 km2), of which 8.1 square miles (21.0 km2) is land and 0.12% is water.


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


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 2,857
1900 1,993 −30.2%
1910 3,195 60.3%
1920 5,142 60.9%
1930 9,137 77.7%
1940 9,277 1.5%
1950 12,651 36.4%
1960 12,141 −4.0%
1970 11,454 −5.7%
1980 12,695 10.8%
1990 12,001 −5.5%
2000 11,660 −2.8%
2010 11,002 −5.6%
Est. 2015 10,573 −3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 11,660 people, 4,506 households, and 2,946 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,439.2 people per square mile (555.8/km2). There were 5,166 housing units at an average density of 637.6 per square mile (246.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 76.33% White, 9.65% African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 10.72% from other races, and 1.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.39% of the population.

There were 4,506 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% 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 88.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,194, and the median income for a family was $36,913. Males had a median income of $25,167 versus $18,971 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,747. About 10.2% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Santa Rosa Roundup Rodeo

Vernon is host to various events annually including the four-day Santa Rosa Roundup rodeo in May, which is sponsored by the local Santa Rosa Palomino Club. VSMCA is host to Summer's Last Blast, a car show that shows a variety of the 50s - late 2000s cars, which is held the second weekend of August every year.

1979 tornado

On April 10, 1979, Vernon and surrounding Wilbarger County were struck by an F4 tornado, a part of a large storm in the Red River Valley. Much of Vernon was damaged or destroyed, and eleven people were killed as the tornado passed through Foard and Wilbarger counties before it dissipated in a rural portion of Tillman County, Oklahoma. That same day, tornadoes also devastated the larger nearby cities of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Lawton, Oklahoma.

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