|Named for||Burr H. Duval|
|Largest city||San Diego|
|• Total||1,796 sq mi (4,650 km2)|
|• Land||1,793 sq mi (4,640 km2)|
|• Water||2.1 sq mi (5 km2) 0.1%|
|• Density||5.5/sq mi (2.1/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Duval County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 9,831. The county seat is San Diego. The county was founded in 1858 and later organized in 1876. It is named for Burr H. Duval, a soldier in the Texas Revolution who died in the Goliad Massacre.
Duval County's development began during the Viceroyalty of New Spain (1521–1821). In 1804, six years before Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla launched Mexico's successful independence movement from Spain, Jose Faustino Contreras, surveyor general of San Luis Potosi, charted the county's landscape, which attracted colonists from Mier, Tamaulipas.
On February 1, 1858, the Texas Legislature established Duval County. The Texas Almanac of 1867 reported that Duval and nearby Dimmit County had only four stock raisers and their population was unlikely to grow much, absent the discovery of mineral wealth. Not long after, a wave of Anglo immigrants entered the county to raise sheep. Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Irishmen, and Scots came. During this boom, the county seat enjoyed formal balls and haute cuisine. The Hotel Martinet's Sunday feast drew patrons from Corpus Christi, 50 miles (80 km) to the East.
The death rate rivaled Tombstone, Arizona's. Although some died under the code duello, most of Duval County's deaths were murders that primarily victimized the legacy Spanish-speaking population. When a great pile of cowhides presumed to have come from stolen animals was discovered near the county line, a vigilante group from Duval and McMullen County lynched 15 Spanish-speaking Texans there.
Prosperity in the 1880s placated Anglo animosity. When the Texas Mexican Railway began operating in 1881, its San Diego station served as an important hub for trading hides, wool and cotton, but the boom evaporated when sheep began dying during the Winter of 1886–1887, triggering the Sheep Wars that once again primarily victimized the legacy Spanish-speaking population.
During the twentieth century, the Parr family established a political machine that dominated politics in Duval and nearby Jim Wells counties. The family was instrumental in the 1948 election of Lyndon B. Johnson to the US Senate, and influenced the outcome of the 1960 presidential election which threw Texas to John F. Kennedy.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,796 square miles (4,650 km2), of which 1,793 square miles (4,640 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.1%) is water. The county overlies the Piedras Pintas salt dome, scheduled for at hydrogen storage.
- U.S. Highway 59
- Interstate 69W is currently under construction and will follow the current route of U.S. 59 in most places.
- State Highway 16
- State Highway 44
- State Highway 285
- State Highway 339
- State Highway 359
- Farm to Market Road 716
- Farm to Market Road 1329
- Farm to Market Road 2295
- Farm to Market Road 3196
- McMullen County (north)
- Live Oak County (northeast)
- Jim Wells County (east)
- Brooks County (southeast)
- Jim Hogg County (south)
- Webb County (west)
- La Salle County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1850–2010 2010 2020
|Race / Ethnicity||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2010||% 2020|
|White alone (NH)||1,206||937||10.24%||9.53%|
|Black or African American alone (NH)||86||145||0.73%||1.47%|
|Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)||18||13||0.15%||0.13%|
|Asian alone (NH)||17||45||0.14%||0.46%|
|Pacific Islander alone (NH)||5||0||0.04%||0.00%|
|Some Other Race alone (NH)||6||8||0.05%||0.08%|
|Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)||20||721||0.17%||7.33%|
|Hispanic or Latino (any race)||10,424||7,962||88.47%||80.99%|
Note: the US Census 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.
As of the 2010 United States census, there were 11,782 people living in the county. 87.0% were White, 0.9% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 9.8% of some other race and 1.7% of two or more races. 88.5% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,120 people, 4,350 households, and 3,266 families living in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (2.7 people/km2). There were 5,543 housing units at an average density of 3 units per square mile (1.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.22% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 15.46% from other races, and 3.11% from two or more races. 87.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,350 households, out of which 36.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.20% were married couples living together, 16.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.90% were non-families. 22.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.40.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 29.50% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 26.40% from 25 to 44, 20.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 100.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $22,416, and the median income for a family was $26,014. Males had a median income of $25,601 versus $16,250 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,324. About 23.00% of families and 27.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.90% of those under age 18 and 25.30% of those age 65 or over.
Duval County is a Democratic stronghold like most of heavily Hispanic South Texas. The last Republican to carry the county was Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. In the 1964, 1968 and 1972 presidential elections, Duval was the most Democratic county in the country. In the 2004 presidential election, the county voted for Democrat John F. Kerry of Massachusetts by a strong margin despite George W. Bush's 22.87 percent margin of victory in the state. From 1956 to 2012, the Democratic candidate consistently received more than seventy percent of the county's vote. After 2012, the county's voters began to trend towards the Republican Party; the Democratic margin of victory decreased by 18.9 percentage points from 2012 to 2016, and by 32.6 percentage points from 2016 to 2020, with 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden winning the county by only 2.6 percent, the worst-ever Democratic performance in the county.
After the initial election returns in the 1948 Democrat runoff primary election for U.S. Senate, Duval County added 425 votes for Lyndon B. Johnson over Coke R. Stevenson. (George Parr simultaneously arranged the more famous electoral fraud for Johnson in Alice, Texas.)
Duval County is notorious for corrupt politics, particularly during the early and mid-20th century, when it was largely controlled by the political machine of Texas State Senator Archie Parr and his son George Parr, each in his turn called El Patrón or the "Duke of Duval". Givens Parr had been county judge before his younger brother George. George was later elected sheriff. Archer Parr III, George's nephew and adopted brother, later held both those offices. Meanwhile, then Texas Attorney General John Ben Shepperd brought some three hundred state indictments against county and school officials.
School districts for the county include:
- Benavides Independent School District
- Freer Independent School District
- Premont Independent School District
- Ramirez Common School District
- San Diego Independent School District
- "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Duval County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
- "Duval County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Texas: Individual County Chronologies". Texas Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Archived from the original on May 13, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
- Lynch, Dudley M. (January 1, 1976). The Duke of Duval: The Life and Times of George B. Parr. Waco: Texian Press. pp 8-10. ISBN 978-0-87244-044-9. LCCN 76-54438. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
- Caro, Robert (1990). The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0394528359.
- Caro, Robert (2012). The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0375713255.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
- "Piedras Pintas, Duval Co., Texas, USA". www.mindat.org.
- Barton, DC (1925). "The Salt Domes of South Texas" (PDF). GeoScienceWorld. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022.
- Collins, Leigh (March 3, 2022). "World's largest green hydrogen project unveiled in Texas, with plan to produce clean rocket fuel for Elon Musk | Recharge". Recharge | Latest renewable energy news.
- "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decade". US Census Bureau.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Duval County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Duval County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- "Presidential election of 1904 - Map by counties". géographie électorale. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "1964 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- "1968 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- "1972 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- Givens, Murphy (September 7, 2011). "George Parr inherited his father's political dynasty". Corpus Christi Caller Times. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
Stevenson also challenged the results in Duval County, where the vote totals also changed dramatically after the election. On election night in Duval County, the county chairman reported Johnson with 4,187 votes, Stevenson with 38. Six days later, the official canvass increased that to 4,622 votes for Johnson, 40 for Stevenson. Johnson gained 425 votes and Stevenson 2.
- Givens, Murphy (August 31, 2011). "Cowboy from Matagorda founded political dynasty". Corpus Christi Caller Times. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- Lynch, Dudley M. (January 1, 1976). The Duke of Duval: The Life and Times of George B. Parr. Waco: Texian Press. pp. 31, 34, 90, 127. ISBN 978-0-87244-044-9. LCCN 76-54438. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
- Texas Education Code Sec. 130.167. BEE COUNTY COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA. The legislation calls it "Bee County College".