|City of Hempstead, Texas|
|Nickname(s): Watermelon Capital of Texas|
|Incorporated||Originally incorporated November 10, 1858, re-incorporated June 10, 1935|
|• Mayor||Michael Wolfe|
|• Total||5.0 sq mi (12.9 km2)|
|• Land||5.0 sq mi (12.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)|
|Elevation||227 ft (69.1 m)|
|• Density||364.4/sq mi (943.8/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1337592|
The community, located at the junctions of U.S. Highway 290, Texas State Highway 6, and Texas State Highway 159, is around fifty miles northwest of Downtown Houston. The population was 4,691 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Waller County.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2009)|
On December 29, 1856 Dr. Richard Rodgers Peebles and James W. McDade organized the Hempstead Town Company to sell lots in the newly established community of Hempstead, which was located at the projected terminus of Houston and Texas Central Railway. Peebles named Hempstead after Dr. G. S. B. Hempstead, Peebles's brother in law. Peebles and Mary Ann Groce Peebles, his wife, contributed 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of the estate of Jared E. Groce, Jr. for the community. On June 29, 1858 the Houston and Texas Central Railway was extended to Hempstead, causing the community to become a distribution center between the Gulf Coast and the interior of Texas. On November 10 of that year Hempstead incorporated. The Washington County Railroad, which ran from Hempstead to Brenham, enhanced the city upon its completion.
Hempstead is famous for its watermelon crop, and until the 1940s the town was the top shipper of watermelons in the United States. Billy DiIorio was known as the Watermelon King and Angelina DiIorio was known as the Watermelon Queen. Both resided in Hempstead, Texas. The town holds an annual Watermelon Festival in July.
The town has grown in recent years because of its relative closeness to Houston along U.S. Highway 290. The current economy is based on county government, shipping, and a large auto dealership which closed its doors in 2009.
One of the town's residents was Lillie E. Drennan, who in 1929 became the first woman to hold a commercial driver's license in Texas. She ran a regional hauling company called the Drennan Truck Line while maintaining an excellent driving record. Drennan received periodical attention in national newspapers and radio broadcasts.
Hempstead is located at (30.091427, -96.081252).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.0 square miles (12.9 km²), of which, 5.0 square miles (12.9 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.40%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,691 people, 1,663 households, and 1,124 families residing in the city. The population density was 943.8 people per square mile (364.4/km²). There were 1,848 housing units at an average density of 371.8 per square mile (143.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 39.86% White, 43.44% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 14.65% from other races, and 1.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24.77% of the population.
There were 1,663 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 20.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.35.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 14.2% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,095, and the median income for a family was $29,744. Males had a median income of $26,673 versus $20,938 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,560. About 22.9% of families and 29.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.5% of those under age 18 and 25.5% of those age 65 or over.
Until February 2009 the Lawrence Marshall car dealership was Hempstead's largest employer. The sudden closure of the dealership lead the city to reconsider capital projects such as sewer upgrades and park beautification.
Government and infrastructure
Hempstead is the county seat of Waller County.
The City of Hempstead is served by the Hempstead Independent School District. There is one Private Christian School in Hempstead, Community Christian Academy. The grades of study offered are K3 through 5th grade.
- "US Census Bureau Population Finder: Hempstead city, TX". factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- "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.
- Hempstead, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Hempstead, TX: Chamber of Commerce. Watermelon Festival.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Turner, Allan. "Hempstead comes to grips without big employer." Houston Chronicle. February 5, 2009. Retrieved on February 7, 2009.
- "Post Office Location - HEMPSTEAD." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
- City of Hempstead
- Hempstead, TX Chamber of Commerce Website
- Hempstead, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online