Wood County, Texas facts for kids

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Wood County, Texas
Seal of Wood County, Texas
Map
Map of Texas highlighting Wood County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the USA highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1850
Seat Quitman
Largest City Mineola
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

696 sq mi (1,803 km²)
645 sq mi (1,671 km²)
50 sq mi (129 km²), 7.3%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

41,964
65/sq mi (25/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website: www.co.wood.tx.us

Wood County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,964. Its county seat is Quitman. The county was named for George T. Wood, governor of Texas from 1847 to 1849.

History

The first documented European exploration of the territory that is now Wood County was by Pedro Vial, who was an explorer sent on expeditions by the Spanish governor of Texas. After an expedition to Santa Fe, Vial set out for Natchitoches in 1787, and in 1788, passed through the territory on his way back from there to San Antonio.

There is some archeological evidence to suggest the French had a trading post along Mill Race Creek near the site of the present day town of Hainsville. In addition, it is believed, in addition to the trading post, that the French may have had a fortification called Fort Ledout near Black Oak in the county. Both would have been in the 1710s, but aside from archeological evidence, little is known about possible French settlements in the county.

A major archeological discovery by a hunting party in 1887 southeast of Hainsville and north of Bromley resulted in the belief that indigenous peoples may have engaged in a battle among tribes or with the Spanish at some point. However, in spite of the discovery of numerous relics including a cross, tomahawk pieces, a Spanish coin, and several pieces of guns, no written evidence documents what may have occurred at the site.

Although some land grants were issued in the area, settlement was sparse until after the Texas Revolution. The first white settler was Martin Varner. He settled in the area near the southeast side of the present day settlement of Hainsville by 1824. The first organized settlement was at Webster in 1845.

In 1850, five years after Texas was annexed to the United States, the Legislature authorized the forming of the county from Van Zandt County. In 1849, residents of what was then Van Zandt County north of the Sabine River, petitioned the Legislature for the county to be reorganized. Reasons included that the majority of the population lived north of the river, and that travel to Jordan's Saline, then the county seat, was difficult in winter. Wood county was created and Van Zandt was reorganized with territory from adjacent counties.

Early industry

Early industry included a number of sawmills, gritsmills, steam mills, and cotton gins. A jug factory operated north of the Big Sandy Creek in the 1850s. A second judge factory was built some years later near Holly Creek. Two brick kilns are known to have been located in the area of Winnsboro. A furniture company, Wigley Furniture Company, begain operating in Mineola in 1874. A cane and raw-hide bottom chair factory opened in 1886. Tie-cutting became a major industry in the county in the 1870s with the coming of the railroads. Pine Mills, Perryville, Ogburn, Merrimac, Peach, and Fouke got their start as sawmill towns.

Civil War era

Wood County had only 17 slaves by 1850, but that number ballooned ten years later to 3,963, estimated at about 20 percent of the population. Wood County voted for succession by a 70 percent margin, but then sent two delegates to the Secession Convention who had opposed succession.

The first company of Wood County soldiers organized for the Confederacy during the war was Company A, 10th Texas Cavalry, Ector Brigade. A camp called Camp Flournoy was located east of Quitman. Another group of soldiers called the Wood County Rebels was organized on August 5, 1861. They wrote to the major general of the Texas cavalry requesting active service.

Coming of the railroads

The Texas and Pacific Railroad came through the southern portion of the county in 1873 and formed a junction with the International and Great Northern Railroad at Sodom, which was later renamed Mineola, on a Longview to Dallas route. The railroads came to the northern portion of the county in 1876 when the East Line and Red River Railroad laid track from Jefferson to Greenville. This segment later was absorbed by the Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas Railroad. The Texas Shortline Railroad also ran between Alba and Grand Saline in Van Zandt County.

Discovery of coal

Coal was discovered in the Alba area in sometime before 1900. The operating mines were Lignite coal mines.

Discovery of oil

Oil was discovered in Wood County in 1941, and the county produced 25 million barrels of oil per year by 1948. Developed oilfields in Wood County include the Pine Mills Oilfield and the Alba Oilfield.

Early schools

There were a number of so-called "subscription schools" in Wood County after 1854, when free public schools in Texas were on the rise due to legislative action. In 1852, a log school house in the western part of the county near Chaney Crossing on Lake Fork was built. By 1854, school was being taught in Quitman. By 1859, Quitman had three schools that required tuition to be paid.

On January 8, 1884, the Texas legislature required the county to be divided into free public school districts. The school districts established by the legislature were Quitman, Lone Star, Myrtle Springs, Forest Hill, Cartwright, Caney, Rock Hill, Forest Home, Winnsboro, Chalybeate Springs, Spring Hill, Smyrna, Cold Springs, Shady Grove, Center Point, Pleasant Grove, Floyd's Common Ridge, Mount Pisgah, Liberty, Sand Springs, Fletcher, Pleasant Divide, Friendship, Lone Pint, Salem, Webster, Permimmon Grove, Cottonwood, Macedonia, Concord, New Hope, Dyess, Mount Enterprise, and "Albia" (Alba). Free school districts for African Americans were established at Quitman, Cedar Tree, Robinson's Chapel, Muddy Creek, Mount Zion, Tranquil, Center, Hawkins, Shiloh and "District 48" which encompassed all of the district west of Lake Fork.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 696 square miles (1,800 km2), of which 645 square miles (1,670 km2) is land and 50 square miles (130 km2) (7.3%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National Protected Areas

  • Little Sandy National Wildlife Refuge

Municipalities and incorporated towns

The following are municipalities and towns which are incorporated under the laws of the state of Texas, meaning they have elected governments and officially recognized municipal, town, or village governments.

Unincorporated settlements and towns

The following are towns in Wood County, Texas which are not incorporated but recognized as active settlements through community centers, churches, and similar geographic, historic, and physical landmarks.

Ghost towns and former settlements

Wood County previously had a number of settlements. In 1884, there were 35 settlements in the county at which the Texas Legislature ordered schools to be established.

Ghost Towns & Former Settlements In Wood County, Texas
Lone Star Pleasant Grove Liberty Salem Webster Pleasant Divide Myrtle Springs Forest Hill Dyess Muddy Creek Ogburn Caney Black Oak
Rock Hill Floyd's Common Ridge Sand Springs Persimmon Grove Macedonia Friendship Forest Home Chalybeate Springs Cedar Tree Mount Zion Merrimac Spring Hill Coldwater
Smyrna Mount Pisgah Fletcher Cottonwood Concord Lone Pint Cold Springs Shady Grove Robinson's Chapel Tranquil Peach Center Point

Transportation

Wood County includes the intersection of two major U.S. Highways, U.S. Highways 69 and 80 intersect in the city of Mineola's downtown area. Texas Highway 37 connects Mineola and Quitman off of US 69.

Major highways

  • US 69.svg U.S. Highway 69
  • US 80.svg U.S. Highway 80
  • Texas 11.svg State Highway 11
  • Texas 37.svg State Highway 37
  • Texas 154.svg State Highway 154
  • Texas 182.svg State Highway 182

Farm to market roads

Wood County includes all or part of the following Texas Farm To Market Roads:

  • Texas FM 14.svg FM 14
  • Texas FM 17.svg FM 17
  • Texas FM 49.svg FM 49
  • Texas FM 69.svg FM 69
  • FM 115
  • FM 288
  • Texas FM 313.svg FM 312
  • FM 514
  • FM 515
  • FM 778
  • FM 779
  • FM 852
  • FM 1254
  • FM 1483
  • FM 1643
  • FM 1647
  • FM 1795
  • FM 1799
  • FM 1801
  • FM 1804
  • FM 2088
  • FM 2225
  • FM 2422
  • FM 2455
  • FM 2659
  • FM 2869
  • FM 2911
  • FM 2966
  • FM 3056

Railroads

Wood County is currently served by Amtrack's Texas Eagle passenger railway line. The railroad tracks which run through the southern portion of Wood County and through Mineola are currently owned and operated by Union Pacific.

Airports

Wood County is served by three airports located in Mineola, Quitman, and Winnsboro.

Mineola Wisner Field: The Airport identifier for this airport is 3F9. This airport was established in 1917. It has been operated by the same family owners since 1926. It is also known as the Mineola Airport and Wisner Field.

Wood County Airport (Mineola/Quitman Airport): This airport is a public airport owned by Wood County.

Winnsboro Municipal Airport: This airport is located south of the city of Winnsboro and is a municipally owned airport facility.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 4,968
1870 6,894 38.8%
1880 11,212 62.6%
1890 13,932 24.3%
1900 21,048 51.1%
1910 23,417 11.3%
1920 27,707 18.3%
1930 24,183 −12.7%
1940 24,360 0.7%
1950 21,308 −12.5%
1960 17,653 −17.2%
1970 18,589 5.3%
1980 24,697 32.9%
1990 29,380 19.0%
2000 36,752 25.1%
2010 41,964 14.2%
Est. 2015 43,356 3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, there were 36,752 people, 14,583 households, and 10,645 families residing in the county. The population density was 56 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 17,939 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.11% White, 6.12% Black or African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.91% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 5.72% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 14,583 households out of which 26.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.50% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.00% were non-families. 24.10% 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 2.85.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.80% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 22.90% from 25 to 44, 26.40% from 45 to 64, and 20.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 97.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,885, and the median income for a family was $38,219. Males had a median income of $30,558 versus $20,209 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,702. About 10.80% of families and 14.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.50% of those under age 18 and 10.30% of those age 65 or over.

Historic & Natural Preservation Sites and Specially Designated Landmarks, Districts, and Businesses

Wood County is home to a number of historic and natural preservation sites, Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks, special districts, and cities and businesses with special designations from various national and state bodies.

Historic Sites

See Also State and Nationally Designated Historic Sites and Buildings in Wood County, Texas

Birthplace of Ima Hogg

Callaway House

Carlock Home

Central Christian Church of Winnsboro

Col. James A. Stinson Home

Collins-Haines House

Corbitt Home

Dr. Pepper Bottling Plant

Flora Lodge, No. 119

George W. Haines Site

Howle Site

Old Settler's Reunion Grounds

Jarvis Christian College

Lankford-Stinson House

National Register Listings

See National Register of Historic Places in Wood County, Texas

Landmark Districts

Mineola Downtown Historic District

Main Street Cities

Mineola

Winnsboro

Museums

Mineola History Museum

Institutions and Businesses With Special State Designations

Texas Business Treasure Award Recipients (Texas Historical Commission Designation)

Broadway Barber Shop (Mineola)

Wisener Field (Mineola)

First National Bank of Winnsboro

R.H. McCrary Hardware (Winnsboro)

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Ghost towns


Wood County, Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.