Brazoria County, Texas

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Brazoria County
The Brazoria County Courthouse in Angleton
The Brazoria County Courthouse in Angleton
Official seal of Brazoria County
Map of Texas highlighting Brazoria County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 29°10′N 95°26′W / 29.17°N 95.44°W / 29.17; -95.44
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1836
Named forBrazos River
SeatAngleton
Largest cityPearland
Area
 • Total1,609 sq mi (4,170 km2)
 • Land1,358 sq mi (3,520 km2)
 • Water251 sq mi (650 km2)  16%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total372,031
 • Density272.9/sq mi (105.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts14th, 22nd
Websitebrazoriacountytx.gov

Brazoria County (/brəˈzɔːriə/ brə-ZOR-ee-ə) is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, the population of the county was 372,031.[1] The county seat is Angleton.[2]

Brazoria County is included in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan statistical area. It is located in the Gulf Coast region of Texas.

Regionally, parts of the county are within the extreme southernmost fringe of the regions locally known as Southeast Texas. Brazoria County is among a number of counties that are part of the region known as the Texas Coastal Bend. Its county seat is Angleton, and its largest city is Pearland. Brazoria County, like Brazos County farther upriver, takes its name from the Brazos River. It served as the first settlement area for Anglo-Texas, when the Old Three Hundred emigrated from the United States in 1821. The county also includes what was once Columbia and Velasco, Texas, early capital cities of the Republic of Texas. The highest point in Brazoria County is Shelton's Shack, located near the Dow Chemical Plant B Truck Control Center, measuring 342 ft above sea level.

History[edit]

Brazoria County takes its name from the Brazos River, which flows through it. Anglo-Texas began in Brazoria County when the first of Stephen F. Austin's authorized 300 American settlers arrived at the mouth of the Brazos in 1821. Many of the events leading to the Texas Revolution developed in Brazoria County. In 1832, Brazoria was organized as a separate municipal district by the Mexican government, so became one of Texas original counties at independence in 1836.

An early resident of Brazoria County, Joel Walter Robison, fought in the Texas Revolution and later represented Fayette County in the Texas House of Representatives.[3]

Stephen F. Austin's original burial place is located at a church cemetery, Gulf Prairie Cemetery, in the town of Jones Creek, on what was his brother-in-law's Peach Point Plantation. His remains were exhumed in 1910 and brought to be reinterred at the state capital in Austin. The town of West Columbia served as the first capital of Texas, dating back to prerevolutionary days.

Group of men at work in Brazoria County, 1939

Temple Lea Houston, youngest son of Sam Houston, around 1880 was the county attorney of Brazoria County. His life story is reflected in the 1963 film The Man from Galveston and the 26-episode 1963-1964 NBC Western television series, Temple Houston.[4]

The Hastings Oil Field was discovered by the Stanolind Oil and Gas Company in 1934. Production was from a depth of 5,990 feet (1,830 m), associated with a salt dome structure. Total production by 1954 was about 242 million barrels.[5][6]

Lake Jackson is a community developed beginning in the early 1940s to provide housing to workers at a new Dow Chemical Company plant in nearby Freeport. The county has elements of both rural and suburban communities, as it is part of greater Houston.

Back view of agricultural trucks, 1939

On June 2, 2016, the flooding of the Brazos River required evacuations for portions of Brazoria County.[7]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,609 square miles (4,170 km2), of which 1,358 square miles (3,520 km2) are land and 251 square miles (650 km2) (16%) are covered by water.[8]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Villages[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18504,841
18607,14347.6%
18707,5275.4%
18809,77429.9%
189011,50617.7%
190014,86129.2%
191013,299−10.5%
192020,61455.0%
193023,05411.8%
194027,06917.4%
195046,54972.0%
196076,20463.7%
1970108,31242.1%
1980169,58756.6%
1990191,70713.0%
2000241,76726.1%
2010313,16629.5%
2020372,03118.8%
2021 (est.)379,689[1]2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1850–2010[10] 2010–2020[1]

As of the census of 2000, 241,767 people, 81,954 households, and 63,104 families resided in the county.[11] The population density was 174 people per square mile (67/km2). The 90,628 housing units averaged 65 per mi2 (25/km2). According to the 2010 United States census, 313,166 people were living in the county; by 2020, its population grew to 372,031.[12]

Of the 81,955 households in 2000, 40.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.20% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.00% were not families. About 19.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82, and the average family size was 3.23.

In the county, the age distribution as 28.60% under 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 32.40% from 25 to 44, 21.50% from 45 to 64, and 8.80% who were 65 or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 107 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.4 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,632, and for a family was $55,282. Males had a median income of $42,193 versus $27,728 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,021. About 8.1% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.6% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.

Race and ethnicity[edit]

In the late 1800s the county was majority black as many were former slaves who had worked on plantations in the county. In 1882 it had 8,219 black people and 3,642 white people. However after Jim Crow laws were cemented, many African-Americans moved to Houston and the county became majority white. By 2022, due to the growth of ethnic minorities in Pearland, non-Hispanic white people were now a plurality and not a majority in the county as a whole.[13]

Brazoria County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[14] Pop 2020[12] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 166,674 161,833 53.22% 43.50%
Black or African American alone (NH) 36,880 53,668 11.78% 14.43%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 1,013 1,022 0.32% 0.27%
Asian alone (NH) 17,013 26,231 5.43% 7.05%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 58 129 0.02% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 472 1,374 0.15% 0.37%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 4,413 12,572 1.41% 3.38%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 86,643 115,202 27.67% 30.97%
Total 313,166 372,031 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the U.S. Census Bureau treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

In 2000, the racial makeup of the county was 77.09% White, 8.50% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 9.66% from other races, and 2.22% from two or more races. About 22.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. About 12.1% were of German, 11.2% American, and 7.2% English ancestry according to 2000's census; about 79.0% spoke only English at home, while 18.1% spoke Spanish. By 2010, 70.1% were White, 12.1% African American, 5.5% Asian, 0.6% Native American, 9.2% of some other race, and 2.6% of more than one race; about 27.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

Government and politics[edit]

County representation[edit]

The Brazoria County Jail is located at 3602 County Road 45 in unincorporated central Brazoria County, north of Angleton.[15]

In 2022 most major government officials were white.[13]

State representation[edit]

Clemens Unit, one of several prisons in Brazoria County

Nathan Haller, a black man, was the elected representative for the county from 1892 to 1897. After Jim Crow laws were imposed, black residents were suppressed politically until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.[13]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates six state prisons for men and its Region III office in unincorporated Brazoria County.[16] As of 2007,1,495 full-time correctional job positions were in the county.[17] In 1995, of the counties in Texas, Brazoria had the second-highest number of state prisons and jails, after Walker County.[18] In 2003, a total of 2,572 employees were employed at the six TDCJ facilities.[19] The TDCJ units are:

(The following 3 are co-located in Otey,[24] near Rosharon.[21])

  • Ramsey Unit - The unit is co-located with Stringfellow and Terrell. The TDCJ Region III Maintenance Headquarters is within this unit.[25]
  • Stringfellow Unit, near Rosharon - The unit is co-located with Ramsey and Terrell.[26] The unit was originally named Ramsey II Prison Unit.[27]
  • C. T. Terrell Unit - The unit is co-located with Ramsey and Stringfellow.[28] It was originally known as the Ramsey III Unit.[29]

In 2007, TDCJ officials said discussions to move the Central Unit from Sugar Land to Brazoria County were preliminary.[17]

Elected officials[edit]

United States Congress[edit]

Senators Name Party First Elected Level
  Senate Class 1 John Cornyn Republican 2002 Senior Senator
  Senate Class 2 Ted Cruz Republican 2012 Junior Senator
Representatives Name Party First Elected Area(s) of Brazoria County Represented
  District 14 Randy Weber Republican 2012 Central and southern areas (Alvin), Lake Jackson, Angleton, Freeport), also part of (Galveston County)
  District 22 Troy Nehls Republican 2008 Northern areas (Pearland), Northwest areas (Manvel), also parts of Harris and Galveston counties

Texas Legislature[edit]

Texas Senate[edit]

District Name Party First Elected Area(s) of Brazoria County Represented
  11 Larry Taylor Republican 1999 Northern and central areas
  17 Joan Huffman Republican 2008 Southern areas, Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula (Galveston County)

Texas House of Representatives[edit]

District Name Party First Elected Area(s) of Brazoria County Represented
  25 Cody Vasut Republican 2020 Lake Jackson, Angleton, Freeport
  29 Ed Thompson Republican 2008 Pearland, Alvin, Manvel

Pearland native Kyle Kacal, a Republican from College Station, holds the District 12 state House seat based in Brazos and four neighboring counties.[30]

United States presidential election results for Brazoria County, Texas[31]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 90,433 58.35% 62,228 40.15% 2,323 1.50%
2016 72,791 60.07% 43,200 35.65% 5,190 4.28%
2012 70,862 66.39% 34,421 32.25% 1,456 1.36%
2008 67,515 64.34% 36,480 34.76% 945 0.90%
2004 63,662 68.27% 28,904 31.00% 682 0.73%
2000 53,445 66.79% 24,883 31.10% 1,691 2.11%
1996 36,392 55.44% 22,959 34.98% 6,287 9.58%
1992 30,384 42.51% 21,861 30.59% 19,222 26.90%
1988 34,028 57.60% 23,436 39.67% 1,617 2.74%
1984 39,166 67.52% 18,609 32.08% 234 0.40%
1980 27,614 58.08% 18,253 38.39% 1,677 3.53%
1976 19,475 46.65% 21,711 52.01% 558 1.34%
1972 21,045 64.89% 11,350 35.00% 37 0.11%
1968 10,631 35.32% 11,439 38.00% 8,033 26.69%
1964 8,477 34.60% 15,917 64.98% 103 0.42%
1960 10,880 50.13% 10,561 48.66% 264 1.22%
1956 9,536 56.49% 7,137 42.28% 208 1.23%
1952 8,360 49.88% 8,386 50.03% 15 0.09%
1948 2,133 25.51% 4,783 57.19% 1,447 17.30%
1944 850 11.05% 5,543 72.07% 1,298 16.88%
1940 799 17.43% 3,781 82.46% 5 0.11%
1936 462 16.59% 2,284 82.01% 39 1.40%
1932 617 17.25% 2,948 82.44% 11 0.31%
1928 1,588 59.39% 1,086 40.61% 0 0.00%
1924 1,114 37.21% 1,761 58.82% 119 3.97%
1920 1,235 47.41% 1,184 45.45% 186 7.14%
1916 581 33.62% 1,033 59.78% 114 6.60%
1912 263 19.02% 746 53.94% 374 27.04%


Education[edit]

A variety of school districts serve Brazoria County students. They include:[32]

Alvin Community College and Brazosport College serve as higher education facilities. Alvin CC serves areas in Alvin, Danbury, and Pearland ISDs as well as portions of the Angleton ISD that Alvin CC had annexed prior to September 1, 1995. Brazosport College serves the remainder of Angleton ISD and the Brazosport, Columbia-Brazoria, Damon, and Sweeny ISD areas.[33]

The Brazoria County Library System has branches in Alvin, Angleton, Brazoria, Clute, Danbury, Freeport, Lake Jackson, Manvel, Pearland, Sweeny and West Columbia, and runs the Brazoria County Historical Museum.

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Airports[edit]

The Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport, in central unincorporated Brazoria County, is the county's sole publicly owned airport.

The following airports, located in the county, are privately owned and for public use:

The closest airport with regularly scheduled commercial service is Houston's William P. Hobby Airport, located in southern Houston in adjacent Harris County. The Houston Airport System has stated that Brazoria County is within the primary service area of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, an international airport in Houston in Harris County.[34]

Toll roads[edit]

Brazoria County Toll Road Authority
Authority overview
FormedDecember 2003 (2003-12)[35]
JurisdictionBrazoria County, Texas
HeadquartersBrazoria Commissioners Court

The Brazoria County Toll Road Authority operates toll lanes on TX 288 inside Brazoria County. They connect to the SH 288 Express Toll Lanes in Harris County operated by the Texas Department of Transportation.

History[edit]

BCTRA came into existence in December, 2003 [35] when it saw that the Houston area needed more roadways and wanted to have a say so about any roads that come into Brazoria County.

Roadway system[edit]

The only toll road BCTRA has in operation at this time is the Brazoria County Expressway. Located within the media of SH 288, the expressway begins at County Road 58 in Manvel and is maintained by BCTRA for five miles up to the Harris County line at Clear Creek. The 288 Toll Lanes continue into Harris County (maintained by TxDOT) for ten miles up to I-69/US 59 in Houston. Construction began on the Brazoria County Expressway in late 2016 and was completed on November 16, 2020. Tolls are collected electronically and an EZ Tag, TxTag or TollTag is required for passage.[36][37]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Brazoria County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Robison, Joel Walter". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
  4. ^ Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), pp. 106-109
  5. ^ Olien, Diana; Olien, Roger (2002). Oil in Texas, The Gusher Age, 1895-1945. Austin: University of Texas Press. p. 214. ISBN 0292760566.
  6. ^ Weingartner, R. (1949). Nettleton, L.L. (ed.). Geophysical Case History of the Hastings Oil Field, Brazoria and Galveston Counties, Texas, in Geophysical Case Histories, Volume 1=1948. Society of Exploration Geophysicists. pp. 156–165.
  7. ^ "Mandatory evacuations ordered in Brazoria County". Houston Chronicle. June 2, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  12. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Brazoria County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ a b c Hardy, Michael (February 18, 2022). "Brazoria County Is Poised to Elect Its First Black Congressman. Not Everyone Is Happy About It". Texas Monthly. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  14. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Brazoria County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "Sheriff's Office Archived September 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine." Brazoria County. Accessed September 13, 2008.
  16. ^ "Region III Director's Office Archived January 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  17. ^ a b Lowman, John. "Talk of prison move preliminary." Brazosport Facts. Wednesday June 6, 2007. Retrieved on May 9, 2010.
  18. ^ Horswell, Cindy. "For hard-hit economy of Liberty County, crime officially pays." Houston Chronicle. Thursday June 29, 1995. A30. Retrieved on July 23, 2010.
  19. ^ a b Isensee, Bridie. "TDCJ makes overtime changes", Brazosport Facts, 13 August 2003, Retrieved 2010-05-09.
  20. ^ "CLEMENS (CN) Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." TDCJ. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  21. ^ a b Staff and Wire Reports. "Parts of Houston join evacuation," Houston Chronicle, 21 September 2005, Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  22. ^ "DARRINGTON (DA) Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." TDCJ. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  23. ^ "SCOTT (RV) Archived 2008-09-24 at the Wayback Machine." TDCJ. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  24. ^ "Table of Contents and Excerpt, Trulson and Marquart, First Available Cell." University of Texas Press. Retrieved on July 16, 2010.
  25. ^ "RAMSEY (R1) Archived August 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine." TDCJ. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  26. ^ "STRINGFELLOW (R2) Archived 2008-08-21 at the Wayback Machine." TDCJ. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  27. ^ Tompkins, John. "Ramsey unit renamed." Brazosport Facts. November 10, 2006. Retrieved on December 7, 2009.
  28. ^ "C. T. TERRELL (R3) Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." TDCJ. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  29. ^ Timms, Ed. "Uneasy about death row, Terrell wants name off unit Prison expected to be renamed." The Dallas Morning News. July 14, 2001. Retrieved on May 9, 2010. "Another prison the Ramsey III unit in Brazoria County probably will be renamed for Mr Terrell".
  30. ^ "Kyle Kacal's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  31. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  32. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Brazoria County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 29, 2022. - Text list
  33. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.163. ALVIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA. Sec. 130.170. BRAZOSPORT COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA.. The college zone map of Alvin ISD shows what was annexed before September 1, 1995.
  34. ^ "Master Plan Executive Summary Archived July 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." George Bush Intercontinental Airport Master Plan. Houston Airport System. December 2006. 2-1 (23/130). Retrieved on December 14, 2010.
  35. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "Brazoria County Expressway". Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  37. ^ Fresh drive: This is what the new 288 toll road looks like for one of the first drivers Click2Houston.com (KPRC-TV) Published on November 12, 2020, and updated on November 16, 2020 (Retrieved 22 November 2020)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°10′N 95°26′W / 29.17°N 95.44°W / 29.17; -95.44