Corsicana, Texas

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Corsicana, Texas
The State National Bank building in Corsicana (built 1926)
The State National Bank building in Corsicana (built 1926)
Nickname(s): 
"Big Ugly"
Motto(s): 
"Live, work, play!"
Location within Navarro County and Texas
Location within Navarro County and Texas
Coordinates: 32°5′33″N 96°28′10″W / 32.09250°N 96.46944°W / 32.09250; -96.46944Coordinates: 32°5′33″N 96°28′10″W / 32.09250°N 96.46944°W / 32.09250; -96.46944
CountryUnited States
StateTexas
CountyNavarro
Government
 • TypeCouncil–manager
 • MayorDon Denbow
 • City managerConnie Standridge
Area
 • Total24.00 sq mi (62.17 km2)
 • Land22.98 sq mi (59.53 km2)
 • Water1.02 sq mi (2.64 km2)
Elevation
443 ft (135 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total23,770
 • Estimate 
(2019)[2]
23,906
 • Density1,040.07/sq mi (401.57/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
75109, 75110, 75151
Area code(s)903/430
FIPS code48-17060 [3]
GNIS feature ID1333395 [4]
Websitecityofcorsicana.com

Corsicana is a city in Navarro County, Texas, United States. It is located on Interstate 45, some 58 mi (89 km) south of downtown Dallas. The population was 23,770 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Navarro County.[5]

History[edit]

Pioneer Village in Beauford H. Jester Park in Corsicana

Founded in 1848, Corsicana was named by José Antonio Navarro after the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the birthplace of his father. He had died when Navarro and his many siblings were young.[6][7] The first school opened shortly afterwards in 1849.[8]

Women's groups have had a strong role throughout the history of the city. They established the Corsicana Female Literary Institute, a school that operated from 1857 through 1870. The first public library in Corsicana opened in 1901 by effort of the women's clubs of the city. A 1905 library matching gift by Andrew Carnegie gave the library a permanent home and its first full-time, professionally trained librarian. The library today is housed in a dedicated building downtown and boasts more than 52,283 books, 6,306 audio materials, 783 video materials, and 122 serial subscriptions.[9]

The Corsicana Jewish community dates from 1871; they established the 1898 Moorish Revival Temple Beth-El, Corsicana. Few Jewish residents live here today, and the congregation sold the temple. The Historical Society has adapted the temple for use as a community center.

The Corsicana YMCA was founded in 1884,[10] and has grown with patron funding. In its earliest days, it was supported by George Taylor Jester (1847–1922), a wealthy dry-goods and cotton distributor, banker, and politician. He served as lieutenant governor of Texas (1895–1899), and his son Beauford H. Jester served as governor (1947–1949).[11]

Oil was accidentally discovered in June, 1894, by the American Well and Prospecting Company, hired by the Corsicana Water Development Company, when oil seeped into an artesian well being drilled within the city limits. In October 1895, the first commercial oil well was drilled by the Corsicana Oil Development Company, founded by Ralph Beaton, H.G. Damon and John Davidson. It was the first commercially significant oilfield find in Texas. A refinery was in operation by January 1899, through the efforts of Joseph S. Cullinan. The Powell oil field, was discovered in 1900, a few miles east of Corsicana. Rotary drilling, used to drill water wells, was introduced to the oil industry by M.C. Baker and C.E. Baker, with tools manufactured by the American Well and Prospecting machine shop, owned by N.G. Johnson, E.H. Akin, and Charles Rittersbacker.[12][13][14][15][16]

During World War II, an airman flying school called Corsicana Air Field trained thousands of pilots.[17]

Geography[edit]

Corsicana is located at 32°5′33″N 96°28′10″W / 32.09250°N 96.46944°W / 32.09250; -96.46944 (32.092480, −96.469407).[18]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.7 square miles (56 km2), of which 20.7 square miles (54 km2) are land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) is water.

Corsicana is home to the Lake Halbert dam and recreational park, and is less than 15 mi (24 km) from Richland Chambers Reservoir, with recreational fishing, public boat ramps, and 330 mi (530 km) of tree-lined and green shorelines. Richland Chambers Reservoir is the third-largest lake by surface area and the eighth-largest reservoir by water volume in Texas.[19]

Climate[edit]

Corsicana has a moderate humid subtropical climate.[20] The range of low-high average temperatures in January, April, July, and October is 34/55, 53/75, 73/95, and 55/79°F, respectively.[21]

Corsicana rainfall averages 39.5 inches (1,000 mm) per year.[21] Leafy oak, pecan, magnolia, and walnut trees are common, and grasses grow tall and green. Rain is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with small wetter peaks in May and October.[21]

Climate data for Corsicana, TX 1981-2010, extremes 1893-present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
(32)
96
(36)
95
(35)
99
(37)
104
(40)
108
(42)
113
(45)
112
(44)
112
(44)
101
(38)
91
(33)
90
(32)
113
(45)
Average high °F (°C) 57.3
(14.1)
61.5
(16.4)
68.3
(20.2)
76.0
(24.4)
82.9
(28.3)
89.6
(32.0)
94.1
(34.5)
95.4
(35.2)
88.9
(31.6)
79.0
(26.1)
67.9
(19.9)
58.8
(14.9)
76.6
(24.8)
Average low °F (°C) 34.8
(1.6)
38.7
(3.7)
45.6
(7.6)
52.7
(11.5)
62.3
(16.8)
69.7
(20.9)
73.2
(22.9)
72.9
(22.7)
65.7
(18.7)
55.0
(12.8)
45.2
(7.3)
38.0
(3.3)
54.5
(12.5)
Record low °F (°C) −5
(−21)
3
(−16)
12
(−11)
29
(−2)
31
(−1)
41
(5)
56
(13)
53
(12)
41
(5)
27
(−3)
19
(−7)
−1
(−18)
−5
(−21)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.58
(66)
3.42
(87)
3.90
(99)
3.07
(78)
4.70
(119)
3.52
(89)
2.25
(57)
2.14
(54)
2.95
(75)
4.49
(114)
3.35
(85)
3.50
(89)
39.87
(1,012)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 0.3
(0.76)
0.1
(0.25)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.25)
0.5
(1.26)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 7 7 8 6 8 8 5 5 6 7 7 7 81
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1
Source: NWS Nowdata for Corsicana (Dallas/Fort Worth Area)

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
187080
18803,3734,116.3%
18906,28586.3%
19009,31348.2%
19109,7494.7%
192011,35616.5%
193015,20233.9%
194015,2320.2%
195019,21126.1%
196020,3445.9%
197019,972−1.8%
198021,7128.7%
199022,9115.5%
200024,4856.9%
201023,770−2.9%
2019 (est.)23,906[2]0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[22]

As of the census[3] of 2010, 23,770 people, 8,490 households, and 5,966 families were residing in the city. The population density was 1,048.3 people per square mile (404.8/km2). The 9,491 housing units averaged 460.5 per square mile (177.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 58.1% White, 20.9% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.3% Pacific Islander, 16% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 31.1% of the population.[23]

Of the 8,490 households, 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them in 2010, 48.6% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were not families. About 27.3% 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 2.64 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city, the population was distributed as 27.3% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,203, and for a family was $33,078. Males had a median income of $27,516 versus $19,844 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,001. About 17.4% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.4% of those under age 18 and 15.1% of those age 65 or over.

The housing stock in 2007 consisted of 12,313 houses and condominiums.[24] About two-thirds were owner-occupied, and one-third rented.[24] The median price asked for vacant for-sale houses and condos in 2007 was $87,955.[24] The median amount of real estate property taxes paid for housing units in 2007 was $912.[24]

Arts and entertainment[edit]

Cook Center on the Navarro College campus

Today's downtown supports an active performing-arts community, with year-round live theater, art exhibits, and music performances in a corner of downtown anchored by the Warehouse Living Arts Center and the Palace Theater. Also, an art contest was started in 2018. Downtown also features the historic State National Bank building (built in 1926), several coffeeshops and eateries, an art gallery, several bric-à-brac outlets, and many brick-faced storefronts of historical interest.

A green park a short walk from the county courthouse downtown has meandering creeks and walking, jogging, and biking trails. Other amenities include lighted tennis courts, a children's play area with a retired fire truck, spray park, and designated skate area. At one end of the community park is the town YMCA, with a year-round indoor pool, basketball courts, cardio- and free-weight equipment, and instructor-led fitness workshops.

The town has several museums: Pioneer Village, located by Jester Park, offers reconstructed buildings and artifacts from the early historical period of the area. A museum is dedicated to Lefty Frizzell, a Nashville singer born in town during the late 1920s.

The Cook Education Center, located on the Navarro College campus, is a multifaceted venue offering event space, gift shop, a planetarium, Civil War museum, and Western Art gallery. The planetarium is among the largest in Texas, featuring a 60-foot (18 m) dome and 200 seats. The planetarium offers narrated astronomical shows and 70 mm film for nominal admission.

The center is also home to the Pearce Collections Museum, which boasts a collection of Civil War memorabilia and a Western Art gallery featuring a number of renowned Western artists. The Cook Education Center hosts the annual Navarro College Foundation fundraiser Elegance, which benefits scholarship programs for Navarro College students. The Navarro College Performing Arts Department stages several musical recitals and two staged plays a year at the Dawson Auditorium on the west side of town.

Cinergy Cinemas and Entertainment opened a complex in 2011 near the intersection of highways 287 and 45 containing eight theaters, mini bowling, a go-kart track, and an arcade/game room. In 2015, the location was sold to Schulman Theaters and is now branded as Schulman's Movie Bowl Grille-Corsicana.

The Navarro County Exposition Center on West State Highway 22 hosts many horse shows year-round.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Texas Youth Commission and later the Texas Department of Juvenile Justice formerly operated the Corsicana Residential Treatment Center in the city.

Economy[edit]

Oil City Iron Works, Inc., today a ductile and gray iron foundry, was started in 1866 to make parts for the owner's cotton gin.[25] Wolf Brand Chili, a national brand named for the owner's pet wolf, Kaiser Bill, started in 1895 as a downtown by-the-bowl lunch wagon.[26] Wolf Brand Chili was made in Corsicana until 1986. Corsicana is best known as the home of the Collin Street Bakery, which has been making fruitcakes since 1896.

Today's economy no longer relies on oil and gas. Major employers include Russell Stover Candies and Collin Street Bakery, Guardian Industries (glass), Corsicana Bedding, Kohl's and Home Depot distribution centers, Navarro Regional hospital (160+ beds), Trinity/Mother Francis Health System, and the Texas State Home.[27] There are several 24/7 pharmacies, grocery stores and chain department stores scattered about the town. College Park Mall is an enclosed shopping mall which primarily houses a Beall's clothing store. Additionally, a Wal-Mart Supercenter is located on the southwestern edge of the town.

Corsicana was the home of Tradewest, a coin-arcade and video game company founded in 1986. Tradewest was known for such Nintendo Entertainment System classics as "Double Dragon" and "Battletoads". Tradewest later became Williams Entertainment (known for the Mortal Kombat series) in 1994, then Midway Home Entertainment after an acquisition from WMS Industries. The Corsicana offices were closed by Midway in late 2002.

Schools[edit]

The Richard M. Sanchez Library at Navarro College

Corsicana is home to Navarro College, which offers associate degrees and is also a satellite facility of Texas A&M University-Commerce, through which students can receive bachelor's and graduate degrees. Navarro College came to international prominence in 2020 owing to its dominant coed cheerleading team, which was featured that year in a Netflix docuseries centering on the team's preparation for the NCA national championships in Daytona Beach, Florida.[28][29] The cheerleading squad is currently coached by Monica Aldama, who, since 2000, has led the Bulldogs to 14 championships in their division, as well as 5 "Grand National" designations (for the highest overall score in competition that year).

The Corsicana Independent School District (CISD) has an enrollment over 6,500 students. Five CISD schools have been lauded by the Texas Education Agency: Bowie, Fannin, Carroll, and Navarro Elementary Schools and Drane Intermediate School all achieved Recognized status.

Collins Middle School and Corsicana High School were rated Academically Acceptable by the TEA. The CISD received Academically Acceptable status from the state.

Corsicana also has one private school, James L. Collins Catholic School, for grades K-8. Founded in 1953 by a bequest from its namesake benefactor, the school today has an enrollment of 270 students.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ Defending Mexican Valor in Texas: Jose Antonio Navarro's Historical Writings, 1853–1857, by Jose Antonio Navarro, David R. McDonald, Timothy M. Matovina Pric, State House Press, October 1995, ISBN 978-1-880510-31-5, p. 1. Navarro's mother was a native of San Antonio, then a part of New Spain.
  7. ^ Jose Antonio Navarro, co-creator of Texas, Baylor University Press, 1969, 127 pages, ASIN: B0006CAIBS
  8. ^ A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas. Lewis Publishing Company. 1893. p. 173. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  9. ^ City of Corsicana
  10. ^ Anon. "Corsicana YMCA History" Archived October 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Anon. "George Taylor Jester Biography" Archived February 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Texas GenWeb
  12. ^ Dick Platt "And so spake The Little Woman... ", Corsicana Daily Sun
  13. ^ Olien, Diana; Olien, Roger (2002). Oil in Texas, The Gusher Age, 1895-1945. Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 4–9. ISBN 0292760566.
  14. ^ Yergin, Daniel (1991). The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 83. ISBN 9780671799328.
  15. ^ MATSON, GEORGE; HOPKINS., OLIVER (1917). "THE CORSICANA OIL AND GAS FIELD, TEXAS, CONTRIBUTIONS TO ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, 1917, PART II, USGS Bulletin 661f" (PDF). USGS. p. 213. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  16. ^ Linsley, Judith; Rienstrad, Ellen; Stiles, Jo (2002). Giant Under the Hill, A History of the Spindletop Oil Discovery at Beaumont, Texas in 1901. Austin: Texas State Historical Association. pp. 20–22. ISBN 9780876112366.
  17. ^ William, Edward L. "Corsicana Air Field Photographs – 1941" Archived February 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Texas GenWeb
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  19. ^ Texas Water Development Board WIID System Surface Water Mapping Tool. Available online at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 27, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Köppen climate classification
  21. ^ a b c "Corsicana Weather Averages"
  22. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  23. ^ "Corsicana (city), Texas". US Census Bureau 2010 Census Quickfacts. US Department of Commerce. June 6, 2012. Archived from the original on September 3, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  24. ^ a b c d City Data Corsicana TX 75110
  25. ^ Oil City Iron Works Inc. History "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved March 10, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ The Online Handbook Of Texas https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/diw01
  27. ^ Anon. "Corsicana: Live, Work, Play!"
  28. ^ https://www.vox.com/2020/1/16/21067702/cheer-netflix-documentary-navarro-cheerleading
  29. ^ https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/television/2020/01/14/small-us-colleges-domination-of-cheerleading-competition-focus-of-new-show.html
  30. ^ "Appeal court judge, former mayor dies". Shreveport Journal. July 17, 1967. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  31. ^ "Verna Elisha Howard (1911-2000)". therestorationmovement.com. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2013.

External links[edit]