Hempstead, Texas

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City of Hempstead, Texas
City
Nickname(s): Watermelon Capital of Texas
Location in the state of Texas
Location in the state of Texas
Coordinates: 30°5′29″N 96°4′53″W / 30.09139°N 96.08139°W / 30.09139; -96.08139Coordinates: 30°5′29″N 96°4′53″W / 30.09139°N 96.08139°W / 30.09139; -96.08139
Country United States
State Texas
County Waller
Incorporated Originally incorporated November 10, 1858, re-incorporated June 10, 1935
Government
 • Mayor Michael Wolfe
Area
 • 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)
Population (2000)[1]
 • Total 4,691
 • Density 364.4/sq mi (943.8/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 77445
Area code(s) 979
FIPS code 48-33200[2]
GNIS feature ID 1337592[3]
Website hempsteadcitytx.com

Hempstead is a city in Waller County, Texas, United States, part of the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area.

Location[edit]

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.[4] The population was 4,691 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Waller County.[5]

History[edit]

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.[4]

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.[6]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Another notable Hempstead resident is RL Bucher who, along with his two sons, runs the privately owned, 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge[7] Hempstead & Northern Railroad on his property.[8]


Geography[edit]

Map of Hempstead

Hempstead is located at 30°5′29″N 96°4′53″W / 30.09139°N 96.08139°W / 30.09139; -96.08139 (30.091427, -96.081252).[9]

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.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[10][11] of 2010, there were 5,770 people, 2,010 households, and 1,360 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,040.8 people per square mile (401.8/km²). There were 2,220 housing units at an average density of 400.7 per square mile (154.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 36.8% White (including 22.5% non-Hispanic/Latino), 38.9% African American, 1.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 20.2% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37.4% of the population.

There were 2,010 households out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.7% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.42.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.6% under the age of 18, 14.7% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.9 years. For every 100 females there were 95 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.[12]

The median income for a household in the city was $35,859. In 2008-2012, the per capita income for the city was $15,888. About 25.4% of the population were below the poverty line.

Economy[edit]

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.[13]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Hempstead is the county seat of Waller County.

The United States Postal Service Hempstead Post Office is located at 901 12th Street.[14]

Education[edit]

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.

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Hempstead has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[15]

References[edit]

External links[edit]