Gregg County, Texas
|Named for||Gen. John Gregg|
|• Total||276 sq mi (710 km2)|
|• Land||273 sq mi (710 km2)|
|• Water||2.5 sq mi (6 km2) 0.9%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||450/sq mi (170/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Gregg County is a county located in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 124,239. Its county seat is Longview. The county is named after John Gregg, a Confederate general killed in action during the American Civil War.
Gregg County is part of the Longview, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Longview–Marshall, Texas combined statistical area. Discovery of oil near Kilgore, Texas, in October 1930 was the beginning of an oil boom that attracted workers to the county and expanded the population by more than 500% by 1940, according to the census. By that time, the economy had stabilized but the East Texas Oil Field, extending in five counties, has continued to be important to the county and region's economy.
This area was among early sections settled by United States immigrants before Texas became an independent republic, and after 1845, a state of the United States. It was an area developed as cotton plantations dependent on slave labor of African Americans. Lumbering of the pine forests was also pursued, especially in the early years of clearing the land for cultivation.
Gregg County was organized in 1873 after the American Civil War from portions of existing counties. When the Texas State Legislature convened in January 1873, Democratic representative B. W. Brown of Upshur County introduced a bill to create a new county from parts of Harrison, Rusk, and Upshur Counties. He was likely trying to break up the black majority that dominated county politics in Harrison County. Under Brown's proposal, the county was to be named Roanoke, and Longview was to be the county seat. The proposed name was later changed to honor Texas leader and Confederate General John Gregg, and the county seat was determined by popular election.
Harrison and Rusk Counties resisted efforts to have portions of their territory assigned to Gregg County. When Gregg County was created, it first consisted of about 143 square miles (370 km2) taken from Upshur County, and the Sabine River was its southern boundary. In April 1874, about 141 square miles (370 km2) south of the Sabine River in Rusk County was added to Gregg County. The third portion, of about 145 square miles (380 km2) to be taken from Harrison County, was never realized. Many of its voters continued to elect Republicans to county offices.
By 1919, the county population was 16,700, of which 8,160, or 48%, were black. Most were sharecroppers or tenant farmers raising cotton as a commodity crop. Members of the Negro Business League set up a cooperative store in Longview to compete with white merchants and offer African-American residents more choices for purchases. Beginning July 10, the town had a short-lived Longview Race Riot in which one black man was killed, and several black homes and properties were burned. It was quelled when the sheriff asked for Texas National Guard and other law enforcement. They established a curfew and military occupation.
Agricultural work declined during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and many African Americans continued to leave in the Great Migration north to find other work. In October 1930, oil was discovered in Henderson, Texas, near Kilgore. Suddenly, the county economy was booming, and the East Texas Oil Field attracted so many workers that county population increased by more than 500% by 1940. Growth stabilized, but oil has continued to be important. County demographics changed as other workers were attracted to the area. In the early 21st century, slightly less than 20% of the population is African American.
Texas Attorney General John Ben Shepperd, who served from 1953 to 1957, maintained a ranch in Gregg County near his native Gladewater. He also served on the Gregg County Commissioners Court for a brief period in 1949.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 276 square miles (710 km2), of which 273 square miles (710 km2) are land and 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) (0.9%) are covered by water.
Other unincorporated communities
- Greggton - annexed to Longview in the 1950s 
- Spring Hill - annexed to Longview on October 7, 1983
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1850–2010 2010 2020
|Race / Ethnicity||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2010||% 2020|
|White alone (NH)||74,005||68,050||60.79%||54.77%|
|Black or African American alone (NH)||24,068||24,974||19.77%||20.10%|
|Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)||497||424||0.41%||0.34%|
|Asian alone (NH)||1,316||1,614||1.08%||1.30%|
|Pacific Islander alone (NH)||35||47||0.03%||0.04%|
|Some Other Race alone (NH)||119||298||0.10%||0.24%|
|Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)||1,672||4,792||1.37%||3.86%|
|Hispanic or Latino (any race)||20,018||24,040||16.44%||19.35%|
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.
According to the 2000 census, 111,379 people, 42,687 households, and 29,667 families residing in the county at the 2000 census. The population density was 406 people per square mile (157/km2) in 2000; the 46,349 housing units averaged 169 per square mile (65/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 72.89% White, 19.86% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 4.57% from other races, and 1.49% from two or more races; about 9.14% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. In 2020, its racial and ethnic makeup was 54.77% non-Hispanic white, 20.10% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 1.30% Asian alone, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.24% some other race, 3.86% multiracial, and 19.35% Hispanic or Latino of any race, reflecting nationwide demographic diversification.
In 2000, median income for a household in the county was $35,006, and for a family was $42,617. Males had a median income of $33,186 versus $21,432 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,449. About 12.00% of families and 15.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.50% of those under age 18 and 11.40% of those age 65 or over. By 2020, its median household income was $52,027 with a mean income of $73,022.
These school districts serve Gregg County:
- Gladewater ISD (partly in Smith, Upshur Counties)
- Kilgore ISD (partly in Rusk County)
- Longview ISD
- Pine Tree ISD
- Sabine ISD
- Spring Hill ISD
- White Oak ISD
The Longview News-Journal is the primary newspaper in the county, published in Longview. Coverage of the area can also be found in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, based in Tyler, in Smith County. The Gladewater Mirror has been published since 1949, first as a daily newspaper and then as a weekly newspaper.
Monument to the Confederate soldier at the Gregg County Courthouse in Longview, completed by Frank Teich, 1911
Gregg subsequently became a classic “Solid South” Democratic county between 1904 and 1948, but has since become solidly Republican at a Presidential level, although the presence of a sizeable black population has permitted the Democrats to gain a quarter of the countywide total at virtually every election. Nonetheless, Gregg was one of only 16 Texas counties to vote for Barry Goldwater in his 1964 definitive loss, and the last Democrat to carry the county was Harry S. Truman in 1948.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Gregg County, Texas
- Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Gregg County
- "Gregg County Courthouse, Longview, Texas". www.texasescapes.com. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- "Gregg County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 144.
- Tuttle, William M. Jr. (1972). "Violence in a "Heathen" Land: The Longview Race Riot of 1919". Phylon. Clark Atlanta University. 33 (4): 324–333. doi:10.2307/273678. ISSN 0031-8906. JSTOR 273678.(subscription required)
- Kenneth R. Durham Jr. (1980). "THE LONGVIEW RACE RIOT OF 1919" (PDF). East Texas Historical Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 17, 2013. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- George E. Christian. "John Ben Shepperd". The Handbook of Texas. tshaonline.org. Retrieved July 21, 2009.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- Long, Chistopher (June 15, 2010). "GREGGTON, TX". tshaonline.org. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- LONG, CHROSTOPHER (June 15, 2010). "SPRING HILL, TX [GREGG COUNTY]". tshaonline.org. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Gregg County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Gregg County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- "Census shows US is diversifying, white population shrinking". AP NEWS. August 12, 2021. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
- Frey, William H. (July 1, 2020). "The nation is diversifying even faster than predicted, according to new census data". Brookings. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
- "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
- "Gladewater Mirror @ Gladewater". Texas Press Association. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
- "About The Gladewater mirror. (Gladewater, Tex.) 1968-current". United States Library of Congress. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Gregg County government's website
- Gregg County in Handbook of Texas Online at the University of Texas