McMillan Memorial Library, established 1956, in Overton, Texas
|Motto: "A Growing Community nestled in the Piney Woods of East Texas"|
Location of Overton, Texas
|• Total||6.8 sq mi (17.5 km2)|
|• Land||6.7 sq mi (17.4 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)|
|Elevation||502 ft (153 m)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1343370|
Overton is a city in Rusk and Smith counties in the U.S. state of Texas. Overton lies in two counties as well as two metropolitan areas. The Rusk County portion of the city is part of the Longview Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Smith County portion is part of the Tyler Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The town was named after Major Frank Overton, an early settler and landowner who donated some of his land for the town site. It was platted in 1873 and a post office was granted that year.
Overton was originally intended to be a crossroads for two railroads. In 1875 the Henderson and Overton Branch Railroad, 16 miles long, was completed and was later joined by the International-Great Northern. When the nearby communities of Belleveu, Jamestown, Rocky Mount, and Salem were all bypassed by the railroad, Overton gained the businesses and people who wanted to benefit from the railroad lines. The town offered lots for businesses to relocate and many took the offer.
The Masons and Odd Fellows built the first school and a church was constructed in 1875. By 1888 the population had increased to 500 and had all essential businesses, including a newspaper. Overton prospered as an agricultural community and in 1904 the population had reached 568.
Oklahoman wildcatter C. M. (Dad) Joiner was drilling his third well in 1930 and the town of Overton helped raise the funds he needed to drill. When the well came in Overton, shared in Joiner's success, as churches, schools, and a refinery were built. Hubbard College was founded during this time as well. The town's once agrarian-based economy suddenly revolved entirely around the production of oil.
Overton's population exploded from 426 in 1931 to 3,000 in 1933. By 1936 it was up to 4,500 and the town went through the Great Depression relatively unscathed. But by the end of World War II the population had declined by half - reaching just 2,000 in the 1950s and remaining at that level through the 1970s. In the 1980s Overton was Rusk County's "second city" with a population of 2,430 in 1983. By the 1990s Overton extended into neighboring Smith County.
Overton is located at (32.273608, -94.976306).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.8 square miles (17.5 km²), of which 6.7 square miles (17.4 km²) is land and 0.04 square mile (0.1 km²) (0.59%) is water. Most of the city lies in Rusk County, with a small portion extending into Smith County.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,554 people, 935 households, and 639 families residing in the city. The population density was 375.6 people per square mile. There were 1,086 housing units at an average density of 159.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 80% White, 16.1% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.4% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. 4% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 935 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.6 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 20 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.2 years.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,292, and the median income for a family was $55,261. The per capita income for the city was $18,987. Males had a median income of $28,496 versus $17,237 for females.
|Mayor||C.R. Evans Jr.|
|City Council||John Edd Welch, Philip Cox, Pat Beets, Jerry Clark, John Posey|
|City Manager||Charles Cunningham|
|City Attorney||Blake Thompson|
|City Secretary||Rachel Gafford|
|Police Chief||Clyde Carter|
|Fire Chief||Greg Wall|
|Finance Director||Pam Raney|
Overton is represented in the Texas Senate by Republican Kevin Eltife, District 1. The Rusk County portion of Overton is represented in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Travis Clardy, District 11. The Smith County portion of Overton is represented in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Bryan Hughes, District 5.
At the Federal level, the two U.S. Senators from Texas are Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz; Overton is part of Texas' US Congressional 1st District, which is currently represented by Republican Louie Gohmert.
Organization The Overton Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is a community team made up of resident executives and business owners, responsible for attracting new investment and helping expand existing businesses within the City. With a seven member board, the Overton EDC is funded by a $.0025 sales tax that allows the EDC to accomplish its goals.
Business Assistance Overton EDC provides business assistance to qualifying companies. They evaluate incentives for businesses to locate or expand in the Overton area and base their findings on taxes assessed and paid, the number of jobs created or retained, wages paid, local purchases of products and services, indirect employment gains and the general benefit of furthering the mission of the city of Overton Economic Development Corporation.
They primarily seek businesses in manufacturing, production, medical/health, hospitality and distribution. Funds may be used in land lease/purchase, building lease/purchase, rehabilitation or construction, capital equipment purchase, infrastructure improvements or employee training.
Funds may not be used for venture or equity capital, working capital/inventories or personal loans. Forms of business assistance include loans/loan guarantees, SBA 504, SBA 7(A) guaranteed and direct loan, and the rural economic development fund.
The Overton Bluegrass Festival is a two day event held in early June each year. The event features live music from nationally recognized talent, exhibitors, and cuisine. 2013 marked the festivals 25th anniversary.
- Jerry L. Buchmeyer was a retired senior United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas, Texas.
- Robert Lee Howze graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1888 and was a Major General who received the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars.
- Michael "Bo" Kelly is a former American football fullback in the Arena Football League. Kelly starred for the Arizona Rattlers and Carolina Cobras, retiring in 2007 as the AFL all-time rushing yards leader.
- Clyde Lee served as head coach for several sports at Overton High School before moving on to a successful career at the University of Houston.
- Earle Bradford Mayfield was a lawyer and Democratic Party politician from Overton, Texas who served in both the Texas State Senate and United States Senate.
- Max McGee, football wide receiver in the NFL, played professionally for the Green Bay Packers; born in Overton.
- The Baptist General Convention of Texas was first organized in Overton as the East Texas Baptist Convention in 1847 before being incorporated into other regional alliances.
Republic of Texas
From 2003 to 2005, Overton was the seat of government of the Republic of Texas, a separatist group who are an independence movement that claims that the annexation of Texas by the United States was illegal and that Texas remains an independent nation under occupation. The Republic of Texas headquarters burned down in August 2005.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Overton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
- "City of Overton Texas". City of Overton Texas. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- "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.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Max McGee". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- "Fire causes major damage to Republic of Texas headquarters". The Victoria Advocate. 09/02/2005. Check date values in:
- Climate Summary for Overton, Texas
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Overton, Texas.|
- Texas Escapes Online Magazine
- USA Cities Online
- City of Overton Texas
- Overton in the Handbook of Texas