Location of Hemphill, Texas
|• Total||2.4 sq mi (6.3 km2)|
|• Land||2.4 sq mi (6.2 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)|
|Elevation||279 ft (85 m)|
|• Density||500/sq mi (190/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1381990|
Hemphill is a city in Sabine County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,198 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Sabine County. It is located on State Highway 87 at the junction of State Highway 184, and is surrounded by the Sabine National Forest and the Toledo Bend Reservoir.
Hemphill is located at (31.342612, -93.854909).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), of which, 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (1.66%) is water.
Hemphill is 484 miles (as the crow flies) from Hemphill County, Texas (which is in the northern Panhandle). This is the largest separation of a Texas city from a Texas county of the same name.
In 1858 the Sabine county voters elected to move the county seat from Milam to a more central part of the county. The following year, the plans for the town were laid down, with the post office opening as well. The Town was named after John Hemphill, an early Texas judge and legal scholar, and later a United States Senator.
The location was indeed ideal distance-wise for the county, but transportation was disadvantaged as the Sabine River and existing rail lines were away from the heart of the county. In 1912, the Lufkin, Hemphill and Gulf Railway provided Hemphill with rail connections, which would operate to facilitate the lumber operations nearby. By 1938, the line would be abandoned as sawmills would close at the neighboring communities.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,106 people, 467 households, and 301 families residing in the city. The population density was 465.3 people per square mile (179.4/km²). There were 574 housing units at an average density of 241.5 per square mile (93.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.40% White, 16.82% African American, 0.63% Native American, 3.62% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.61% of the population.
There were 467 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,781, and the median income for a family was $33,839. Males had a median income of $30,000 versus $20,417 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,674. About 14.1% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.5% of those under age 18 and 18.6% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Hemphill is served by the Hemphill Independent School District
Killing of Loyal Garner Jr.
Christmas night 1987 saw the murder of an African American man, Loyal Garner Jr., being held in a cell in the Sabine County jail in Hemphill. Police Chief Thomas Ladner and two sheriff deputies were acquitted of violating Garner's civil rights in a Hemphill trial, but were convicted of murder by a jury in Tyler Texas. The difference in the two trial outcomes has been attributed to the composition and prejudices of the juries. The cases were covered nationally, and the ensuing civil rights protest march in Hemphill was covered by CBS 60 Minutes.
Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
In February 2003, the town and its vicinity were one of the key search areas for wreckage from the Space Shuttle Columbia after it broke up over Texas. Search teams recovered some of the remains of the shuttle and crew members, and the Orbiter Experiment Support System recorder (OEX) was found near Hemphill.
A memorial has been erected in Hemphill commemorating the deceased Columbia astronauts. The memorial is located at the intersection of Hwy 87 North and Hwy 83 East.
The Patricia Huffman Smith Museum opened February 1, 2011 in a space next to the J.R. Huffman Public Library. The museum features the permanent "NASA Remembering Columbia" exhibit.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Hemphill has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
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- Climate Summary for Hemphill, Texas
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hemphill, Texas (county seat)
- Hemphill Texas Town Square Walking Tour
- RACE AND JUSTICE: A KILLING IN EAST TEXAS - A SPECIAL REPORT.; Death as a Ripple in Deep Racial Current
- Find a Case THOMAS E. LADNER & JAMES HYDEN v. STATE TEXAS (12/31/93)