Gladewater, Texas

Coordinates: 32°32′34″N 94°56′49″W / 32.54278°N 94.94694°W / 32.54278; -94.94694
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Gladewater, Texas
Antique shops in Gladewater
Antique shops in Gladewater
Antique Capital of East Texas
"Treasuring the past, while embracing the future"[1]
Location of Gladewater, Texas
Location of Gladewater, Texas
Coordinates: 32°32′34″N 94°56′49″W / 32.54278°N 94.94694°W / 32.54278; -94.94694
CountryUnited States
CountiesGregg, Upshur
Incorporated (town)1873 (dissolved 1878)
Incorporated (city)1931
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • Total12.09 sq mi (31.32 km2)
 • Land11.57 sq mi (29.96 km2)
 • Water0.53 sq mi (1.36 km2)
364 ft (111 m)
 • Total6,134
 • Density510/sq mi (200/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)430, 903
FIPS code48-29660[3]
GNIS feature ID1336557[4]

Gladewater is a city in Gregg and Upshur counties in the U.S. state of Texas with a 2020 census population of 6,134.[5]

In the early 20th century, Gladewater was an oil boom town. In 1995, the Texas Legislature proclaimed it the "Antique Capital of East Texas."[6]


Gladewater in 1935
Gladewater City Hall

Gladewater was founded by the Texas and Pacific Railway Company in 1873 on land bought from Jarrett Dean and Anderson White. A community called St. Clair, 2 miles (3 km) to the east, moved to Gladewater when the railroad announced that the only mail stop in the area would be there; residents from Point Pleasant, also bypassed by the railroad, moved to Gladewater. The first post office at Gladewater was established on August 22, 1873. The town's name probably originated from its proximity to Glade Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River that rose in a rather barren region called the Glades.

In 1874, Gladewater was incorporated with a mayor-alderman government. The incorporation lapsed, and a new charter was not obtained until 1931, when an influx of population necessitated organized city government. In 1955 Gladewater adopted a council-mayor form of government. The population grew slowly during the nineteenth century; the town had only 163 people in 1880 and 259 in 1900. In the area around Gladewater lumbering was a major activity, although farming was also important; cotton was the major crop. In 1908 the town had ten stores, one bank, two blacksmith shops, two hotels, a gin, a sawmill, and a planing mill. It continued to grow slowly until 1931.

Oil derrick replica in downtown Gladewater recalls the oil boom years.

On April 7, 1931, the first Gladewater oil well blew in. It was located one mile (1.6 km) outside town in the Sabine River bottom. Oil production led to a population increase during the 1930s from about 500 to around 8,000 people. In 1940, after the oil boom, Gladewater had a population of 4,454. Civic improvements in the 1940s included an extensive paving project and a commercial airfield. Between 1940 and 1960 the population grew to 5,742. Lake Gladewater, constructed on Glade Creek in 1954, provides recreation for city residents.

During the 1970s Gladewater moved from an oil-oriented to a more diversified economy, primarily because of depletion of oil resources in the area. The movement of salt water into the western edge of the large East Texas Oil Field affected Gladewater first. By 1980 the town had a total of 6,548 residents, 4,311 in Gregg County and 2,237 in Upshur County. The economy in the 1980s depended on the oil industry and related activities and on the manufacture of such products as furniture, clothing, paper products, and boats. The lumber and agricultural industry was still a driver for the economy as well. By 1990 the community had become well known for its numerous antique stores. Notable annual festivals include the East Texas Gusher Days in April, the Gladewater Roundup Rodeo in June, the Arts and Crafts Festival in September, and Christmas in November.

In 1935, the Boston Red Sox franchise had a minor league baseball team in Gladewater, the Gladewater Bears.[citation needed] The minor league stadium has since been turned into a city park. The predominant features of the stadium are long gone, but the stadium is located near the Lee Building in Gladewater.


It is located in western Gregg County and southern Upshur County at 32°32′34″N 94°56′49″W / 32.54278°N 94.94694°W / 32.54278; -94.94694 (32.542666, –94.946950),[7] primarily within Gregg County. U.S. Route 80 leads east 12 miles (19 km) to Longview and west 10 miles (16 km) to Big Sandy. U.S. Route 271 crosses US 80 in the center of Gladewater, leading north 14 miles (23 km) to Gilmer and southwest 25 miles (40 km) to Tyler.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Gladewater has a total area of 12.2 square miles (31.5 km2), of which 11.6 square miles (30.0 km2) are land and 0.54 square miles (1.4 km2), or 4.61%, are water.[8] The Sabine River forms the southwestern border of the city.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
Gladewater racial composition as of 2020[10]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 3,920 63.91%
Black or African American (NH) 1,167 19.03%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 34 0.55%
Asian (NH) 49 0.8%
Pacific Islander (NH) 3 0.05%
Some Other Race (NH) 5 0.08%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 371 6.05%
Hispanic or Latino 585 9.54%
Total 6,134

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 6,134 people, 2,122 households, and 1,283 families residing in the city.

At the census of 2000, there were 6,078 people, 2,257 households, and 1,593 families residing in the city.[3] The population density was 523.7 inhabitants per square mile (202.2/km2). There were 2,601 housing units at an average density of 224.1 per square mile (86.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city in 2000 was 79.80% White, 16.12% African American, 0.82% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.58% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latinos of any race were 3.50% of the population in 2000. By 2020, the majority of its population remained predominantly non-Hispanic white, though African Americans remained the second largest group with Hispanics or Latinos of any race comprising 14.8% of the population at the following census estimates.[5][13]

The median income for a household in the city was $28,118, and the median income for a family was $32,278 in 2000. Males had a median income of $24,770 versus $23,271 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,317. About 15.5% of families and 19.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 20.9% of those age 65 or over. In 2020, the American Community Survey estimated the median household income was $40,000.[14]


The city is served by the Gladewater Independent School District, home of the Gladewater Bears.

School buildings include:

  • Gladewater Primary School, formerly Gay Avenue Primary School
  • Weldon Elementary School
  • Gladewater Middle School
  • Gladewater High School
  • Truman W. Smith High School

Other school districts serving parts of the city are:


The newspaper Gladewater Mirror has been published in the community since 1949.[15] It first was a daily newspaper from 1949 to 1968, and then became a weekly newspaper.[16]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "City of Gladewater". City of Gladewater. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "2020 Race and Population Totals". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  6. ^ Lane, Christina (October 30, 2017). "Vintage Love: East Texas Home to a plethora of antique shops big and small". Longview News-Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Gladewater city, Texas". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 23, 2017.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  11. ^ [not specific enough to verify]
  12. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  13. ^ "2020 Demographic and Housing Estimates". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  14. ^ "2020 Annual Income Estimates". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  15. ^ "Gladewater Mirror @ Gladewater". Texas Press Association. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  16. ^ "About The Gladewater mirror. (Gladewater, Tex.) 1968-current". United States Library of Congress. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  17. ^ "Skip Butler". Archived from the original on May 31, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  18. ^ "Chris Johnson #39 DB". NFL Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  19. ^ "The Orbit: The Online Drive-in of Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale".
  20. ^ "Daylon Mack Biography".
  21. ^ "Monty Montgomery". Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  22. ^ "James Scott". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  23. ^ E., CHRISTIAN, GEORGE (June 15, 2010). "SHEPPERD, JOHN BEN". Retrieved May 7, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^
  1. ^ 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.[11][12]

External links[edit]