Coryell County courthouse
|Nickname(s): Spur Capital of Texas|
Location of Gatesville, Texas
|• City Council||Mayor Gary Chumley
|• City Manager||William H. "Bill" Parry|
|• Total||8.91 sq mi (23.07 km2)|
|• Land||8.90 sq mi (23.05 km2)|
|• Water||0.004 sq mi (0.01 km2)|
|Elevation||807 ft (246 m)|
|• Density||1,769/sq mi (683.2/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC–6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1357921|
Gatesville is a city in and the county seat of Coryell County, Texas, United States. The population was 15,751 at the 2010 census. The city has five of the eight prisons and state jails for women operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. One of the facilities, the Mountain View Unit, has the state's death row for women.
U.S. Route 84 runs through the city, leading east 37 miles (60 km) to Waco and west 50 miles (80 km) to Goldthwaite. Texas State Highway 36 passes through the east side of the city, leading northwest 32 miles (51 km) to Hamilton and southeast 35 miles (56 km) to Temple.
Gatesville was established in 1854 on land donated by Richard G. Grant (1808–1858), shortly after the organization of Coryell County. The name was taken from Fort Gates, which had been established in 1849 five miles west.
As of the census of 2000, 15,591 people, 2,640 households, and 1,752 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,794.2 people per square mile (692.7/km2). There were 2,963 housing units at an average density of 341.0 per square mile (131.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.20% White, 27.00% African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 8.49% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 14.73% of the population.
Of the 2,640 households, 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were not families. About 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the city the population was spread out with 11.7% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 53.9% from 25 to 44, 16.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 63.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 59.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,534, and for a family was $36,543. Males had a median income of $30,625 versus $17,073 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,152. About 12.4% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.7% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.
Two manufacturing companies are located in Gatesville:
- Kalyn Siebert, a division of Heil Trailer International, Co., owned by American Industrial Partners, manufacturer of trailers for commercial and military use
- Laerdal Medical Corporation, a division of Laerdal, based in Norway, manufacturer of plastic medical teaching supplies. The division, formerly known as Medical Plastics Laboratories, Inc., was founded in 1949 by 3 Gatesville doctors. In January of 2000, it was sold to Laerdal
Gatesville is the home of several prisons operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, including the Mountain View Unit, which houses the women's death row. Gatesville is located on the northern edge of Fort Hood, and as such is also dependent on the military for a part of its economy (besides Fort Hood, a large military vehicle repair facility is located on the east side of town).
As of 2012, the prisons in the Gatesville area employ 2,600 people. Most of the employees live in Coryell County. Timothy F. Orwig (born 1949) of the Cove Herald said, "Correctional officers in gray uniforms have been a common sight in the town's businesses for years, and the job of a 'prison boss' is a highly regarded career choice in Gatesville."
Of the eight Texas Department of Criminal Justice general correctional facilities for women, which include five prisons and three state jails, five of the units, including four prisons and one state jail, are in the City of Gatesville.
The Christina Crain Unit prison (formerly Gatesville Unit), the Hilltop Unit prison, the Dr. Lane Murray Unit prison, and the Linda Woodman Unit state jail are co-located amongst one another. In addition the Mountain View Unit, a prison with the State of Texas female death row, is in Gatesville. One male prison, the Alfred D. Hughes Unit, is in Gatesville. As of 2012 there were 5,552 female prisoners and 2,958 male prisoners, totaling 8,510 or over half of the population of the city.
Mountain View Unit opened in July 1975, Crain opened in August 1980, Hilltop opened in November 1981, and Hughes opened in January 1990. The Murray Unit opened in November 1995, and the Woodman Unit opened in June 1997.
Gatesville previously hosted the Gatesville State School and the Mountain View State School, juvenile correctional centers of the Texas Youth Council. The Mountain View State School closed in 1975, and the Gatesville State School closed in 1979. The buildings were transferred to the Texas Department of Corrections and were used as prisons for adults.
Public education and educational resources
Parks and recreation
Since 2000 the Prison Boss Cookoff, a barbecue competition that serves as a fundraiser for the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation, has been held every year. Orwig described it as "a family gathering of prison workers."
Donated in 1991, the Coryell County Museum in Gatesville is home to the Loyd and Madge Mitchell Collection of about 10,000 pairs of spurs, thought to be the largest such collection in the world. In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature designated Gatesville the "Spur Capital of the Texas".
As of 2014, the Last Drive-In Picture Show in Gatesville, opened by Gene Palmer in 1955 — and, as of 2004, owned by his son, Audie Gene Palmer (1957–2004) — is one of 17 remaining Drive-in theaters in Texas; of those 17, it is one of oldest (sixty-one years old) and longest running without cessation.
The Gatesville High School Hornets are the 2000 Texas UIL 4A high school football champions.
- Sybil Leonard Armes (1914–2007), Baptist author, musician, and poet
- William Blankenship (born 1928), opera tenor
- Bart Bryant (born 1962), professional golfer
- Cotton Davidson (born 1931), former AFL and NFL quarterback
- Dan Edwards (1926–2001), pro football player
- Margaret Royalty Edwards (1895-1969), Poet Laureate of Texas from 1957 to 1959
- Mary Beth Harrell (born 1956), regional TV talk show host and former prosecutor for the City of Temple
- Taurean Henderson (born 1983), current NFL football player
- David Holt (born 1946), musician
- Jim Miller (1866–1909), outlaw who lived with his sister and brother-in-law on the Plum Ranch, outside of Gatesville
- Frank S. Page, pastor
- J. D. Sheffield (born 1960), physician and state legislator
- Benny Thomasson (1909–1984), Texas fiddler
- Bulldog Turner (1919–1998), NFL football player
- Mike Weaver (born 1951), former WBA boxer
- Flat, Texas
- Gatesville Municipal Airport
- List of city nicknames in Texas
- My Ghost Story TV series location
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Coryell County, Texas
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, Waco Deanery
- Scott & White Memorial Hospital
- Stephenville North and South Texas Railway
- Texas locations by per capita income
- Texas State Guard, Army, 2nd Regiment, Gatesville
- Troop 1500, 2005 documentary film
- W.C. Dodson (1829–1914), architect of the Coryell County Courthouse in Gatesville
- 71st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade
- "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.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Gatesville city, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Women's pen may be changed" (Archive). Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. June 2, 1997. Retrieved on December 24, 2015.
- Jackson, Bruce and Diane Christian. In This Timeless Time: Living and Dying on Death Row in America. University of North Carolina, 2012. ISBN 0807835390, 9780807835395. p. 143.
- "The history of Coryell County to 1920", by Zelma May Scott (1908–1973), University of Texas at Austin (masters thesis) (1946); OCLC 27251893
Republished by the Texas State Historical Association (1965); OCLC 2193804
Texas County and Local History Series, Vol. 4
- Coryell County History; Stories, by Frank Elmer Simmons (1880–1966) (manuscript; unfinished) (1948); OCLC 5229872, 5229770
- History of Coryell County, by John Henry Chrisman (1821–1922) (incomplete: taken from scrapbook in archives) (1945); OCLC 25498094
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire, 1st ed., by Robert Perkinson, Metropolitan Books (2010), pg. 34; OCLC 317928797
- "Company's Mr. Hurt makes model patient", by Pete Szilagyi, Dallas Morning News, July 3, 1983, sect. AA, pps. 16–17
- "MATES Pride of the TXANG - Living - Fort Hood Sentinel". www.forthoodsentinel.com. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
- "Gatesville’s penitentiaries bring 2,600 jobs to Coryell Co." (Archive), by Timothy F. Orwig (born 1949), Gatesville: Cove Herald, September 28, 2012 (retrieved November 13, 2012)
- Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Unit Directory (retrieved May 10, 2010)
- "Former Downtown Waco Executive Director Moved to Gatesville," by Paul Gately, KWTX-TV, November 22, 2008 (retrieved May 20, 2010)
- "Gatesville city, Texas." U.S. Census Bureau (retrieved May 10, 2010)
- "Gatesville State School for Boys", Handbook of Texas (retrieved July 23, 2010)
- "Mountain View School for Boys",Handbook of Texas (retrieved July 23, 2010)
- USPS: Gatesville, TX (retrieved February 21, 2014)
- Gatesville Public Library, City of Gatesville (retrieved May 30, 2010)
- "Spur Capital", by Martha Deeringer, Cowboys & Indians December 2011; OCLC 1069-8876
- "Official Capital Designations", State of Texas", Texas State Library and Archives Commission
- "Last Drive-In Picture Show Information", www
.drive-ins .com (retrieved February 23, 2014)
- "Drive-ins Making Big Comeback Across Texas", Associated Press via Dallas News, July 31, 2005, pg. 6A