|Motto: History, Heritage, Hospitality|
|• Total||5.0 sq mi (12.8 km2)|
|• Land||4.9 sq mi (12.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||184 ft (56 m)|
|• Density||1,331.1/sq mi (513.9/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1377543|
Cuero (// QUAIR-oh) is a city in DeWitt County, Texas, United States. The population was 6,841 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of DeWitt County. It is also unofficially known as the "turkey capital of the world" (this is reflected in the Cuero High School mascot, the Gobblers). In 2010, Cuero was named one of the 'Coolest Small Towns in America,' by Budget Travel Magazine.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.9 square miles (13 km2), of which 4.9 square miles (13 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.40%) is water. Cuero has an annual average precipitation of 38.0 inches (965.2 mm), all rain.
As of the census of 2000, 6,571 people, 2,500 households, and 1,695 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,331.1 people per square mile (513.6/km²). There were 2,867 housing units at an average density of 580.8 per square mile (224.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.25% White, 16.71% African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 12.84% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 34.73% of the population.
Of the 2,500 households, 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were not families. About 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city, the population was distributed as 27.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,931, and for a family was $29,500. Males had a median income of $26,154 versus $16,551 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,286. About 21.5% of families and 26.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.6% of those under age 18 and 20.1% of those age 65 or over.
The city of Cuero had its start in the mid-19th century as a stopping point on the Chisholm Trail cattle route to Kansas. However, it was not recognized as a town until 1873, when it was officially founded. The city was named for the Spanish word meaning "hide", referring to the leather made from animal hides. The industry was extremely short-lived, however, and gave way to various forms of ranching. The city saw several Old West gunfights related to clan feuding following the Civil War
Cuero's population grew considerably in the 1870s and 1880s, as residents from the coastal town of Indianola, Texas, settled here after major hurricanes in this period destroyed sizeable portions of that city. Cuero thrived through much of the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the introduction and practice of turkey ranching in the area. Today, agriculture is still the primary industry in the region. Cuero is considered to be one of the top cattle producers and shippers in Texas.
- Turkey Fest is a local festival during which the townsfolk compete with people at various turkey-centric events. The competitions revolve around the turkeys each town raises and in which each takes immense pride. The events are the prettiest turkey contest, turkey toss, turkey trot, and turkey race. Unlike most Turkey Trots, where humans do the racing, in Cuero, the "turkey trot" involves racing actual turkeys.
- In 1972, Charles Kuralt did an "On the Road" Report for CBS News from Cuero, where he did his own Turkey Call.
The City of Cuero is served by the Cuero Independent School District. John C. French serves PK-K grades, Hunt Elementary serves grades 1–3, Cuero Intermediate School serves grades 4–6, Cuero Junior High serves grades 7–8, and Cuero High School serves grades 9–12. In addition, the City of Cuero is served by St. Michael's Catholic School. Providing education for the children of DeWitt County for over 130 years, the school has a fully accredited early childhood program (PreK-3 and PreK-4) and offers quality education for grades K-6.
Cuero's Christmas in the Park
Christmas in Cuero began in 2000 with the lighting of the Gazebo in the Cuero Municipal Park. It has grown to over 100 displays of Victorian, Western, 12-car train, Gingerbread House, and other scenes. A live nativity scene is sponsored by a church in Cuero. Two of the scenes were vandalized by two teens in November 2009. The park was still open to the public excluding the two damaged scenes. The teens arrested for the crime had their bonds set at $150,000, in part because of the effect the crime had on the community.
Cuero has many places for recreation, including a baseball complex, a golf course, volleyball courts, tennis courts, a basketball pavilion, and a park area with access to public swimming pool.
- Leo Frank, lynching victim
- Arthur Whittington, NFL player
- Fred Hansen, Olympic champion pole vaulter
- Frank Horton (New York politician)
- Robert Strait, high school football running back
- Jo Morrow, actress
- Frank Bass, professor and inventor of the Bass diffusion model
- MSG Roy Benavidez, Medal of Honor recipient
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Photos: Coolest Small Towns in America" BudgetTravel September 2011.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.