Vernon, Texas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vernon, Texas
City
Vernon City Hall
Vernon City Hall
Nickname(s): V - Town
Motto: "Steer Our Way!"
Location of Vernon, Texas
Location of Vernon, Texas
Wilbarger County Vernon.svg
Coordinates: 34°9′4″N 99°17′26″W / 34.15111°N 99.29056°W / 34.15111; -99.29056Coordinates: 34°9′4″N 99°17′26″W / 34.15111°N 99.29056°W / 34.15111; -99.29056
Country United States
State Texas
County Wilbarger
Area
 • Total 8.1 sq mi (21.0 km2)
 • Land 8.1 sq mi (21.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,184 ft (361 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 11,002
 • Density 1,358.3/sq mi (523.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 76384-76385
Area code(s) 940
FIPS code 48-75308[1]
GNIS feature ID 1370623[2]
Website Vernon, Texas
A glimpse of downtown Vernon, with Waggoner National Bank in the left background
The Red River Valley Museum is located on the Vernon College campus.

Vernon is a city in Wilbarger County, Texas, United States. It is the county seat[3], and as of the 2010 Census had a population of 11,002.


History[edit]

The town of Vernon was first called Eagle Springs by the Tonkawa Indians as early as 1858. After the American Civil War settlement boomed in the Vernon area, by 1880 the town was applying for a post office under the name Eagle Flat, but the post office complained that too many Texas towns were using Eagle in the name, so the town settled on Vernon.[4] Vernon was named for President George Washington's home, Mount Vernon.[5]

Some seven million head of cattle passed through Vernon on the Great Western Trail between 1873 and the 1890s. The trail was located some ninety miles west and parallel to the better-known Chisholm Trail.

Geography[edit]

Vernon is located at 34°09′04″N 99°17′26″W / 34.151116°N 99.290473°W / 34.151116; -99.290473 (34.151116, -99.290473).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21.0 km2), of which 8.1 square miles (21.0 km2) is land and 0.12% is water.

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, Vernon has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[7]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 11,660 people, 4,506 households, and 2,946 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,439.2 people per square mile (555.8/km2). There were 5,166 housing units at an average density of 637.6 per square mile (246.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 76.33% White, 9.65% African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 10.72% from other races, and 1.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.39% of the population.

There were 4,506 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,194, and the median income for a family was $36,913. Males had a median income of $25,167 versus $18,971 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,747. About 10.2% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

In 1905, the Wichita Mill and Elevator Company, owned and managed by the entrepreneur Frank Kell of Wichita Falls, established a mill in Vernon. Kell's business partner was W. O. Anderson.[8]

Major businesses and industries in Vernon include a Tyson Foods, formerly Wright Brand Foods, Inc., bacon processing plant, a Rhodia, Inc. guar processing plant, North Texas State Hospital, which is operated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (an agency of the Texas Health and Human Services System), Victory Field Correctional Academy (a juvenile detention facility operated by the Texas Youth Commission), and the Texas AgriLife (Texas A&M System) Research and Extension Center.

The nearby W. T. Waggoner Ranch holds the distinction of being the largest spread in Texas under one fence. The ranch remains operational, with business in petroleum, farming, horses, and cattle. The Waggoner produces some of the best ranch horses in Texas, many from the breeding of the quarter horse Poco Bueno. According to the wishes of E. Paul Waggoner, Poco Bueno is preserved standing on the corner at the main entrance to the ranch.

Arts and culture[edit]

Santa Rosa Roundup Rodeo[edit]

Vernon is host to various events annually including the four-day Santa Rosa Roundup rodeo in May, which is sponsored by the local Santa Rosa Palomino Club. VSMCA is host to Summer's Last Blast, which is held the second weekend of August every year.

Education[edit]

Public education[edit]

The Vernon Independent School District serves students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. The district's school campuses include three elementary schools (grades pre-kindergarten through 5), a middle school (grades 6-8) and Vernon High School, grades 9-12. The district also operates an alternative education program as well as an education program for juveniles of the Adolescent Forensic Program at North Texas State Hospital

Vernon High School's football team, the Vernon Lions, were one of the strongest programs in the 3A division until recently. The Lions won the 3A state championship in 1990 and were ranked number 1 all year. They finished in second place the previous year. Recently the Lions have finished as semi-finalists in 2003 and 2006, and were ranked in top 10 for the 2007 season when they lost in a close game in the state quarter-finals to Snyder. The overall record of Vernon High School football is 595-363-38 (a winning percentage of 62.27%)

Vernon High School's first team state championship came in the 1984-1985 season as the Lady Lions won the 3A girls basketball state title. The Lady Lions returned to Austin the next season and were defeated in the semi-finals.

Vernon High School is also known for its prestigious Tennis Team. The Tennis team has completed 23 straight years of going to the Texas Tennis Coaches Association State Team Tennis Tournament. VHS Tennis has 6 TTCA State Team Tennis Titles and has finished no lower than 3rd place in 22 of the 23 years. In 2008 the Team finished 2nd in the state losing to Abilene Wylie in the championship game. In 2009 the Team finished 3rd in the State Tourney and in 2010 the Team finished 2nd, again losing to Abilene Wylie in the finals. In UIL individual competition, VHS tennis players have won several awards. Most recently, in 2009 Josh Marshall & Steven Stanley won the Class 3A State Boys Doubles Title. In 2008 Nick Lehman won the Class 3A State Boys Single title and in 2006 Brad Fenter & Kelly Clifton won the Class 3A State Mixed Doubles title. The VHS Tennis Team is guided by Head Coach Ruben Vargas.

Vernon College is a community college in Vernon
Osborne Administration Building at Vernon College

Vernon College[edit]

Vernon College, a 2-year community college, is located here and maintains a branch campus in Wichita Falls. Academic offerings include cosmetology, nursing, and vocational-technical programs. Athletically, Vernon College fields a women's softball team, women's volleyball team, men's baseball team and a rodeo team. The rodeo team is consistently ranked high in the JUCO level of competition.

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Vernon is located fifty miles northwest of Wichita Falls, Texas and approximately 160 to 180 miles from surrounding metropolitan areas including Amarillo, Abilene, Oklahoma City and the DFW metroplex. The city is served by four U.S. Routes: 70, 183, 283, and 287.

Bus transportation is available to Amarillo and Dallas-Fort Worth. Wilbarger County Airport is located 5 miles north of Vernon and the nearest airport with scheduled flights is Wichita Falls Municipal Airport 50 miles to the east which predominantly offers flights of commuter airlines to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The nearest international airports from Vernon with major airline connections include Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, and Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Amarillo.

The area is also served by a BNSF line bypassing downtown from Ft. Worth to Amarillo.

Notable people from Vernon[edit]

1979 Tornado[edit]

On April 10, 1979, Vernon and surrounding Wilbarger County were struck by an F4 tornado, a part of a large storm in the Red River Valley. Much of Vernon was damaged or destroyed, and eleven people were killed as ths tornado passed through Foard and Wilbarger counties before it dissipated in a rural portion of Tillman County, Oklahoma. That same day, tornadoes also devastated the larger nearby cities of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Lawton, Oklahoma.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "The Handbook Of Texas, Vernon, Texas". Texas. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Profile for Vernon, Texas, TX". ePodunk. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ Climate Summary for Vernon, Texas
  8. ^ "J. W. Williams, "Frank Kell"". tshaonline.org. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]