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|— City —|
|• City Council||Mayor Therrell Thomas
Vernon Denmon Jr.
|• City Manager||Mike Orht|
|• Total||17.9 sq mi (46.3 km2)|
|• Land||17.7 sq mi (45.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)|
|Elevation||482 ft (147 m)|
|• Density||994.3/sq mi (383.9/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1364714|
Palestine (// PAL-e-steen) is a city in Anderson County, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 17,598, and 18,458 in the 2009 estimate. It is the county seat of Anderson County Palestine was named for Palestine, Illinois, by Daniel Parker.
The largest employer is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which employs more than 3,900. Another 1,600 work at two Wal-Mart distribution centers. Other significant employers include a thriving medical and healthcare sector that tends to the large population of retirees.
Palestine entered the news in February 2003, as one of the East Texas towns that received much of the debris from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, where seven astronauts were killed. Palestine is also home to the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (renamed after the shuttle crash), which has flown 1700 high-altitude balloons for universities and research agencies.
In 1846, the Texas Legislature created Palestine to serve as seat for the newly established Anderson County. James R. Fulton, Johnston Shelton and William Bigelow were hired by the first Anderson County commissioners to survey the surrounding land and lay out a town site, consisting of a central courthouse square and the surrounding 24 blocks. It grew significantly following the arrival of the railroad in the 1870s.
Palestine is located at .(31.757925, -95.638473)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.9 square miles (46 km2), of which, 17.7 square miles (46 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.01%)is water.
- The average warmest month is July.
- The highest recorded temperature was 114°F in 1954.
- On average, the coolest month is January.
- The lowest recorded temperature was -4°F in 1930.
- The maximum average precipitation occurs in October.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,598 people, 6,641 households, and 4,582 families residing in the city. The population density was 994.3 people per square mile (383.9/km²). There were 7,668 housing units at an average density of 433.2 per square mile (167.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.60% White, 24.77% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 7.90% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.88% of the population.
There were 6,641 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 18.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,497, and the median income for a family was $36,806. Males had a median income of $28,331 versus $20,662 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,514. About 16.6% of families and 20.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.7% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.
According to the city's most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city's various funds had $12.6 million in Revenues, $11.8 million in expenditures, $6.2 million in total assets, $0.7 million in total liabilities, and $4.2 million in cash in investments.
At the national level, the two U.S. Senators from Texas are Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz; Palestine is part of Texas' US Congressional 5th District, currently represented by Republican Jeb Hensarling.
Public school districts
- Palestine High School, grades 9-12
- Palestine Middle School, grades 6-8
- A. M. Story Elementary, grades 3-5
- Southside Primary, grades 1-2
- Northside Early Childhood Center, headstart and pre-k
Located on the western edge of the city is the Westwood Independent School District. It is home to approximately 1700 students. It consists of a primary, elementary, junior high and high school campus.
Westwood Independent School District
- Westwood High School, grades 9-12
- Westwood Junior High, grades 7-8
- Westwood Elementary, grades 3-6
- Westwood Primary, grades K-2
Innovation Academy, charter school of The University of Texas at Tyler, began in 2012 with grades 3-6. Grades 7-12 will be added at the rate of one per year. Location: NW Loop 256 @ Highway 287N.
Colleges and universities
Trinity Valley Community College operates TVCC-Palestine just north of the city limits at the intersection of US 287 and State Highway 19. In addition to offering academic transfer courses the Palestine campus offers vocational-technical programs in vocational nursing, cosmetology, mid-management, computer science, criminal justice, business and office technology, fire science, legal assistant, emergency medical technician and paramedic programs and also trains correctional officers for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Continuing education and adult education courses are also offered.
The University of Texas at Tyler also operates a campus in the city. A new $9.6 million 50-acre (200,000 m2) campus opened in 2010, fall semester. The UT Tyler Palestine Campus currently offers courses in Nursing, Business, Education, Health and Kinesiology and History.
Dogwood Trails Festival
The Dogwood Trails Festival occurs each Spring, the last 2 weekends of March and the 1st weekend in April, in Palestine, spanning 3 consecutive weekends.
The Dogwood Jamboree is held every two months at the Palestine Civic Center. The country and western concert is hosted by Pastor Dan Manuel and a variety of country and western artists. Each performance always features new talent, young, older and in between. The newest addition to the Dogwood Jamboree features talent competition developing young artists under the age of eighteen. Attendees come all over the nation and foreign countries to see the performances.
Roads and highways
- U.S. Highway 79
- U.S. Highway 84
- U.S. Highway 287
- State Highway 19
- State Highway 155
- Loop 127
- Loop 256
- Elton Bomer - former state representative and former Texas Secretary of State
- Bill Bradley (football player) - NFL coach
- Thomas M. Campbell - 24th governor of Texas
- Keith Crawford - NFL player
- Ben Howard - aeronautical designer and race pilot
- Adrian Peterson - Minnesota Vikings running back and former Oklahoma Sooners player
- John H. Reagan - nineteenth-century American politician and Confederate postmaster general
- Todd Staples - 11th (current) Texas commissioner of agriculture and former member of both houses of the Texas State Legislature
- Gene Watson - singer
References in popular culture
Popular artist T-Bone Burnett released a song with the title "Palestine, Texas", in which he mispronounces the name of the town. The artist performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in May 2006.
- "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.
- Palestine at City-Data
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Kelsey, Mavis P. and Dyal, Donald H. The Courthouses of Texas (2nd ed.). Texas A&M University Press, College Station, 2000, p31.
- Original Platmap of the City of Palestine, TX Portal to Texas History
- "Palestine, Texas", found in the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities,
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- City of Palestine 2006 CAFR Retrieved 2009-06-10
- School District Locator : Accessible Version
- School District Locator : Accessible Version
- "Contact Us." Landmark School. Retrieved on September 6, 2011. "Address: 101 Brushy Creek Road Palestine, Texas 75801"
- The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas - Paving the Way
- "University of Texas at Tyler Palestine Campus" (digital). UT Tyler. Retrieved 2009-03-27.[dead link]
- Palestine Herald Press: 1. April 3, 2009.
- City of Palestine
- Small Town Justice - Open Records Online
- Palestine, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine
- Historic Photos of Palestine Texas hosted by the Portal to Texas History
- Palestine Independent School District
- Westwood Independent School District
- University of Texas at Tyler - Palestine Campus
- Trinity Valley Community College - Palestine Campus