Graham, Texas

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Graham, Texas
Graham downtown square as seen from Twin Mountains
Graham downtown square as seen from Twin Mountains
Location of Graham, Texas
Location of Graham, Texas
Young County Graham.svg
Coordinates: 33°6′3″N 98°34′45″W / 33.10083°N 98.57917°W / 33.10083; -98.57917Coordinates: 33°6′3″N 98°34′45″W / 33.10083°N 98.57917°W / 33.10083; -98.57917
Country United States
State Texas
County Young
 • Total 5.5 sq mi (14.2 km2)
 • Land 5.5 sq mi (14.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,047 ft (319 m)
Population (2010 United States Census)
 • Total 8,864
 • Density 1,584.9/sq mi (611.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 76450
Area code(s) 940
FIPS code 48-30392[1]
GNIS feature ID 1336783[2]

Graham is a city in north central Texas. It is the county seat of Young County, and as of the 2010 Census had a population of 8,903.[3]


The site was first settled in 1871 by brothers Gustavus A. and Edwin S. Graham, primary shareholders in the Texas Emigration and Land Company of Louisville, Kentucky. The brothers moved to Texas after the Civil War, and after buying 125,000 acres (510 km2) in then-vast Young County, helped to revitalize the area, the population of which had become badly depleted during the war. During that same year as when Graham was settled, the Warren Wagon Train Raid occurred about 12 miles north of the city. In 1872 the Graham brothers purchased a local saltworks and established the town of Graham and set up the Graham Land Office. The saltworks was not a profitable venture as the salt was too expensive to ship and was closed in a few years.[4]

New families started to arrive, and the brothers began promoting the sale of homesites and doing civic improvements.[4] A post office opened in 1873, and after Young County reorganized the following year, Graham became the county seat. The town's newspaper, known as the Leader and still in existence today, was first printed in 1876, the same year that the first temporary courthouse was built. Other businesses from these early years included a gristmill, sawmill, cotton gin, a brick kiln, two hotels, and several stores.[5]

On February 15, 1877 the city was the site of the organizational meeting of the group that became the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, created to police ranching and put a stop to cattle rustling.[6] Founding officers included pioneer ranchers James C. Loving (son of Oliver Loving), Col. C. L. (Kit) Carter, and C.C. Slaughter. A three-story limestone courthouse was built in 1884, and it was replaced by a new courthouse in the early 1930s. The 1884 structure's east door still stands on the courthouse square. From 1879-1896, Graham was the seat of a Federal District Court overseen by Judge A.P. McCormick; his jurisdiction extended over all of Texas north and west to New Mexico.[5][6]

Edwin Graham had married Addie Mary Kintner in 1865. They had five children. Throughout the 1870s they divided their time between Texas and their families back north, but in 1879, with the town flourishing, they moved their wives and children to Graham permanently. Edwin and Addie lived there until 1891, then moved to Spokane, Washington, where Edwin died on May 7, 1899. His body was brought back to Graham for burial. Addie moved back to Graham and became a leading civic booster and philanthropist. In 1921, with her son Malcolm, she set up the Graham Foundation as a continuing fund for the city's growth and improvement. Addie died in 1929[7] and was responsible for the establishment of the Eden Home for the aged.[4]

By 1900, Graham had incorporated as a town, and railroad service began in 1903, through the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad, which in 1921 became the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad, one of the Frank Kell and Joseph A. Kemp properties. It was later a stop on the since defunct Chicago, Rock Island and Texas, which reached Graham from Fort Worth.[8]

The population of Graham grew slowly until 1917, when oil was discovered nearby; the population tripled from 878 in 1900 to 2,544 in 1920. By 1966, Graham had seventeen churches, seven schools, a hospital, a radio station, two libraries, three parks, and two newspapers. The population peaked at 9,170 in 1980 and has since gradually declined; it was 8,716 at the 2000 census and 8,518 by the July 2007 estimate.[5][9]

According to a mural on the courthouse depicting the arrival of the Graham brothers, the town square is physically the largest of any in the country.[10][11]

Graham is also one of only a handful of towns in Texas that remains a Dry County and still has an operational drive-in theater.[12]

Physical Geography[edit]

An impoundment in Flatrock Creek, Young County, Texas

Graham, the County seat of Young County, Texas 33°6′3″N 98°34′45″W / 33.10083°N 98.57917°W / 33.10083; -98.57917 (33.100778, -98.579254).[13] is located in the southeast portion of the county and has an area of 5.592 square miles (14.48 km²).[3] Geographically, Graham is located in the Western Cross Timbers area of North Texas. Locally this is known as the western portion of the Palo Pinto Mountains.

Creeks drain the area generally into the Brazos River, Dry Creek on the east side of town flows into Salt Creek towards the south and into the Brazos. Flatrock Creek drains the rural areas to the southeast and also flows into the Brazos just below where Salt Creek enters. Small impoundments are located along Flatrock Creek that are used for stock tanks and fish ponds. [14]

Lake Graham is located on the Salt Creek in Young County, five miles north of Graham on US 380: Surface area: 2,444 acres Maximum depth: 45 feet Impounded: 1929 Conservation Pool Elevation: 1,075 ft. msl Fluctuation: Minimal, sometimes prone to long periods with dropping water levels Normal Clarity: Slightly stained to stained

Reservoir Controlling Authority: City of Graham PO Box 1449 Graham, Texas 76450 (940) 549-3322

Aquatic Vegetation:

  • Bulrushes, lily pads, smartweed, pondweed

Predominant Fish Species

  • Largemouth bass
  • White & hybrid striped bass
  • Channel catfish
  • White crappie

There are three public boat ramps, one fishing pier, a picnic area, and sites for primitive and improved camping. There are no boat rentals, no marina, and no handicap fishing access. A bait shop is located about two miles south of the reservoir on US 380. Shore fishing is limited to the area around the boat ramp on the Eddleman portion of the reservoir and along the US 380 causeways. [15]

Graham Climate

Average Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit:

Annual Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
64 42.7 46.5 55.1 63.8 71.6 80.0 84.1 84.1 75.6 65.5 53.5 44.7

Average High Temperature:

Annual Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
77.5 56.3 60.2 69.4 77.7 84.1 91.9 97.1 97.6 89.9 79.8 67.6 58.4

Average Low Temperature

Annual Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
50.5 29.0 32.8 40.8 49.9 59.2 67.9 71.4 70.7 63.2 51.2 39.4 31.1

Highest Recorded Temperatures:

Annual Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
117 94 99 103 101 107 112 114 117 110 105 93 90

Lowest Recorded Temperatures:

Annual Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
-8 -8 -3 4 20 35 46 53 47 30 16 10 -8


The Twin Mountains is the dominant physical landmark of the city.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 576
1890 667 15.8%
1900 878 31.6%
1910 1,569 78.7%
1920 2,544 62.1%
1930 4,981 95.8%
1940 5,175 3.9%
1950 6,742 30.3%
1960 8,505 26.1%
1970 7,477 −12.1%
1980 9,170 22.6%
1990 8,986 −2.0%
2000 8,716 −3.0%
2010 8,903 2.1%
Est. 2014 8,864 [17] −0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 8,716 people, 3,391 households, and 2,366 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,584.8 people per square mile (611.9/km²). There were 3,904 housing units at an average density of 709.9 per square mile (274.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.39% White, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.41% of the population. 1.24% African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 7.78% from other races, and 1.66% from two or more races.

There were 3,391 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,081, and the median income for a family was $38,118. Males had a median income of $30,221 versus $19,574 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,587. About 13.0% of families and 17.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.0% of those under age 18 and 13.5% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools in the City of Graham are managed by the Graham Independent School District and home to the Graham High School Steers.[19]

In 2010, North Central Texas College established a learning base in Graham. The campus offers a wide range of academic transfer courses, vocational nursing (LVN), Oil & Gas production technology, allied health certificate programs, and continuing education programs. Graham ISD and NCTC also have a partnership offering dual credit courses to high school juniors and seniors.[20]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "2010 US Census-Texas-Places-Graham". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  4. ^ a b c "GRAHAM, EDWIN SMITH / The Handbook of Texas Online/ Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  5. ^ a b c "Handbook of Texas Online - Graham, TX". Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  6. ^ a b Hodge, Larry; Syers, Ed (2000). "Backroads of Texas" (4th ed.). Lanham, MD: Lone Star Books. 
  7. ^ Morrison Funeral Home records
  8. ^ "H. Allen Anderson, "Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad"". Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Graham, Texas (TX) Detailed Profile". Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  10. ^ "Graham, Texas Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  11. ^ "Graham Texas Historic Graham and Graham Texas Hotels Motels". Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  12. ^ "Texas Drive-ins :-: TX". Retrieved 2008-09-20.  and is a dry county!
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  14. ^ "graham-2008.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  15. ^ "Lake Graham". Texas Parks and Wildlife. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Weatherbase, Graham Texas". Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  17. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Graham ISD". Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  20. ^ "NCTC - Graham Campus". Retrieved 2012-10-31. 

External links[edit]