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Wise County, Texas facts for kids

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Wise County
The Wise County Courthouse in Decatur. The Romanesque Revival structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The Wise County Courthouse in Decatur. The Romanesque Revival structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Map of Texas highlighting Wise 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 1856
Named for Henry Alexander Wise
Seat Decatur
Largest city Decatur
 • Total 923 sq mi (2,390 km2)
 • Land 904 sq mi (2,340 km2)
 • Water 18 sq mi (50 km2)  2.0%%
 • Total 59,127
 • Density 65/sq mi (25/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 12th, 13th

Wise County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 59,127. Its county seat is Decatur.

Wise County is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The Wise Eyes crime watch program, eventually adopted by mostly rural counties in several states, was started in 1993 by then-Sheriff Phil Ryan.


On November 10, 1837 the Battle of the Knobs was fought in what is now Wise County between about 150 Indian warriors and just 18 Republic of Texas soldiers under Lieutenant A. B. Benthuysen. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Texas soldiers held their ground, with an estimated 50 Indians killed or wounded and 10 of the Texans dead. Settlers began coming into the area not long afterwards. Wise County itself was founded in 1856. It was named after Virginia Congressman Henry A. Wise, who had supported Texas annexation by the United States.

Hydraulic fracturing

In recent years, Wise County allowed an increase in hydraulic fracturing. In 2011, the Parr family and others filed a lawsuit against several energy companies, including Republic Energy, Inc. and Ryder Scott Petroleum, claiming the extracting processes have created health complications for their family and neighbors. In April 2014, the Parrs won a $2.9 million award from a Dallas jury.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 923 square miles (2,390 km2), of which 904 square miles (2,340 km2) is land and 18 square miles (47 km2) (2.0%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 3,160
1870 1,450 −54.1%
1880 16,601 1,044.9%
1890 24,134 45.4%
1900 27,116 12.4%
1910 26,450 −2.5%
1920 23,363 −11.7%
1930 19,178 −17.9%
1940 19,074 −0.5%
1950 16,141 −15.4%
1960 17,012 5.4%
1970 19,687 15.7%
1980 26,575 35.0%
1990 34,679 30.5%
2000 48,793 40.7%
2010 59,127 21.2%
Est. 2015 62,953 6.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, there were 48,793 people, 17,178 households, and 13,467 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 19,242 housing units at an average density of 21 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.01% White, 1.23% Black, 0.75% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.03% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. 10.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 17,178 households out of which 38.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.10% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.60% were non-families. 18.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.14.

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found there were about 3.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.30% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 30.20% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 101.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,933, and the median income for a family was $47,909. Males had a median income of $35,913 versus $23,434 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,729. About 7.50% of families and 9.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.30% of those under age 18 and 10.60% of those age 65 or over.


Major highways

  • US 81.svg U.S. Highway 81
  • US 287.svg U.S. Highway 287
  • US 380.svg U.S. Highway 380
  • Texas 101.svg State Highway 101
  • Texas 114.svg State Highway 114
  • Texas 199.svg State Highway 199


The following public-use airports are located in the county:

  • Bishop Airport (76T)
  • Bridgeport Municipal Airport (XBP)
  • Decatur Municipal Airport (LUD)
  • Heritage Creek Airstrip (58T)
  • Rhome Meadows Airport (T76)




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

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