Hearne, Texas

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Hearne, Texas
Downtown Hearne, Texas (2017)
Downtown Hearne, Texas (2017)
Location of Hearne within Texas
Location of Hearne within Texas
Coordinates: 30°52′41″N 96°35′44″W / 30.87806°N 96.59556°W / 30.87806; -96.59556Coordinates: 30°52′41″N 96°35′44″W / 30.87806°N 96.59556°W / 30.87806; -96.59556
CountryUnited States
 • Total4.12 sq mi (10.68 km2)
 • Land4.12 sq mi (10.67 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
295 ft (90 m)
 • Total4,544
 • Density1,056.80/sq mi (408.01/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code979
FIPS code48-32972 [2]
GNIS feature ID1358979 [3]

Hearne (/hɜːrn/ hurn) is a city in Robertson County, Texas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the city population was 4,544. The city is named for a family that settled in the area in the 19th century and promoted the construction of rail lines through the city.



Hearne is located on land that initially belonged to politician and soldier José Francisco Ruiz. By the 1840s, a tavern was located there and it also served as a general store and post office. The Hearne family moved to the area in the 1850s, purchasing 10,000 acres and operating cotton plantations. Christopher C. Hearne wanted a railroad line built through the area, but the Civil War started before the railroad could be constructed. His widow later gave 700 acres to the Houston and Texas Central Railway.[4]

With the construction of a depot in Hearne in 1868, businesses began to open, including a hotel, saloons, churches and a cotton gin. Two rail lines met in Hearne by the 1870s. Hearne's population was 2,129 in 1900 and 3,511 in 1940. Between 1943 and 1946, a prison camp operated near the city limits and held several thousand German prisoners of war. Agricultural and manufacturing businesses came to Hearne by the 1960s. By 1990, over 5,000 people lived in Hearne; the population was 4,690 in 2000.[4]

Wal-Mart closure[edit]

On New Year's Eve 1990, the Wal-Mart in Hearne closed. After closure, the store was converted into the current Hearne High School.[5] Merchants in downtown Hearne by that time had already folded their businesses because they were unable to compete with Wal-Mart.[6] The New York Times reported that out of more than 1,500 Wal-Mart stores in the nation, the Hearne store was one of six that had closed.[5]

Drug sweeps and ACLU lawsuit[edit]

In November 2000, 15 African-American residents of Hearne, Texas, were indicted on drug charges after being arrested in a series of "drug sweeps". The ACLU filed a class action lawsuit, Kelly v. Paschall, on their behalf, alleging that the arrests were unlawful. The ACLU contended that 15 percent of Hearne's male African American population aged 18 to 34 (and at least one woman) were arrested based on the "uncorroborated word of a single unreliable confidential informant coerced by police to make cases." The government had promised the informant leniency on a burglary charge and a hundred dollars in cash in exchange for each suspect he helped convict.[7]

On May 11, 2005, the ACLU and Robertson County announced a confidential settlement of the lawsuit, an outcome which "both sides stated that they were satisfied with." District Attorney John Paschall dismissed the charges against the plaintiffs of the suit. He also admitted that the witness had tampered with evidence and failed a polygraph test.[7] [8] A movie, American Violet, was made about the incident.

Shooting of Pearlie Golden[edit]

Hearne, TX, sign IMG 2263.JPG

In May 2014, protesters demonstrated against the shooting of a 93-year-old woman named Pearlie Golden by the Hearne Police Department.[9] After Officer Stephen Stem responded to a disturbance at Golden's residence, police officials said that Golden had discharged a firearm into the ground twice. Stem shot Golden three times, resulting in Golden's death.[10]

The officer had been on the police force since 2012 and it was his second fatal shooting. Stem was placed on leave and Hearne mayor Ruben Gomez recommended Stem's firing.[9] He was terminated by a unanimous city council vote. Stem's attorney said that some community members had turned a safety issue into one focused on age, race and gender.[10]



Hearne is located at 30°52′41″N 96°35′44″W / 30.87806°N 96.59556°W / 30.87806; -96.59556 (30.877989, –96.595665).[12] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles (11 km2), all of it land. General aviation service is provided by Hearne Municipal Airport.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Hearne has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[13] Hearne was subject to heavy flooding on May 13, 2004 when 17 inches (430 mm) of rain fell in an hour.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census

Hearne is part of the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area.

Hearne racial composition as of 2020[14]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 919 20.22%
Black or African American (NH) 1,708 37.59%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 8 0.18%
Asian (NH) 10 0.22%
Pacific Islander (NH) 6 0.13%
Some Other Race (NH) 10 0.22%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 97 2.13%
Hispanic or Latino 1,786 39.3%
Total 4,544

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 4,544 people, 1,682 households, and 1,110 families residing in the city.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 4,690 people, 1,710 households, and 1,190 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,144.2 people per square mile (441.7/km2). There were 1,944 housing units at an average density of 474.3 per square mile (183.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 44.41% African American, 38.12% White (including Hispanics), 0.49% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 14.48% from other races, and 2.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.10% of the population.

There were 1,710 households, out of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 25.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.31.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 32.9% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $19,556, and the median income for a family was $25,538. Males had a median income of $24,013 versus $19,306 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,716. About 29.2% of families and 31.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.2% of those under age 18 and 25.8% of those age 65 or over.


Hearne High School, an entity of the Hearne Independent School District, was a Texas Education Agency-recognized campus in 2008. The Hearne Junior High School was a TEA-recognized campus in 2010 and Hearne Elementary School received the academically acceptable rating from TEA in 2013

Notable people[edit]


Hearne City Hall
Downtown Hearne
First Star Bank is located in Hearne off Texas State Highway 6 south.
Hearne High School occupies the former Wal-Mart building.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ a b "Hearne, TX". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Belkin, Lisa (1990-12-14). "Wal-Mart, Once Again, Shakes Up Texas Town". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
  6. ^ Halkias, Maria. "Living with Wal-Mart 30 years later, Texas both cheers and fears discount behemoth Lone Star State has been changed, as has giant retailer." The Dallas Morning News. October 30, 2005. Business 1D. Retrieved on February 22, 2011.
  7. ^ a b The Rise of the Warrior Cop, the militarization of America's police, by Radley Blako, 2013, Kindle Location 4459
  8. ^ "In Wake of ACLU Civil Rights Lawsuit Settlement, African Americans Affected by Texas Drug Task Force Scandal Call for Reconciliation at Town Meeting". Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b Stanglin, Doug. "Texas town shaken after cop shoots 93-year-old". USA Today. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Boroff, David (May 12, 2014). "Texas cop who was axed after fatally shooting 93-year-old rips 'knee-jerk reaction'". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  11. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Judge says he quit over speeding ticket quota". 6 June 2015. Archived from the original on 6 June 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  13. ^ "Hearne, Texas Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  15. ^ https://www.census.gov/[not specific enough to verify]
  16. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  17. ^ "Vanderbilt University Register: Texas-born virtuoso finds harmony, sophistication in Appalachian instrument". Archived from the original on 17 January 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  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.[15][16]

External links[edit]