Henderson County, Texas

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Not to be confused with Henderson, Texas.
Henderson County, Texas
Henderson courthouse tx 2010.jpg
Map of Texas highlighting Henderson County
Location in the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded 1846
Named for James Pinckney Henderson
Seat Athens
Largest city Athens
 • Total 948 sq mi (2,455 km2)
 • Land 874 sq mi (2,264 km2)
 • Water 75 sq mi (194 km2), 7.9%
 • (2010) 78,532
 • Density 233/sq mi (90/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.co.henderson.tx.us
"Courts Under the Oaks" in Athens
Henderson County Peace Officers Association monument
The Fiddlers Association monument in Athens

Henderson County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 78,532.[1] The county seat is Athens.[2] The county is named in honor of James Pinckney Henderson, the first Attorney General of the Republic of Texas, and Secretary of State for the republic.[3] He later served as the first Governor of Texas.

Henderson County was established in 1846, the year after Texas statehood. Its first town was Buffalo, laid out in 1847.[4] The county boundaries were set in 1850, with some reduction from the previous size. The restructuring resulted in the need for a new county seat. In an election, Athens was chosen as the site for the "courthouse under the oaks."[5]

Henderson County comprises the Athens, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK Combined Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 948 square miles (2,460 km2), of which 874 square miles (2,260 km2) is land and 75 square miles (190 km2) (7.9%) is water.[6]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,237
1860 4,595 271.5%
1870 6,786 47.7%
1880 9,735 43.5%
1890 12,285 26.2%
1900 19,970 62.6%
1910 20,131 0.8%
1920 28,327 40.7%
1930 30,583 8.0%
1940 31,822 4.1%
1950 23,405 −26.5%
1960 21,786 −6.9%
1970 26,466 21.5%
1980 42,606 61.0%
1990 58,543 37.4%
2000 73,277 25.2%
2010 78,532 7.2%
Est. 2015 79,545 [7] 1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1850–2010[9] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 73,277 people, 28,804 households, and 20,969 families residing in the county. The population density was 84 people per square mile (32/km²). There were 35,935 housing units at an average density of 41 per square mile (16/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.50% White, 6.61% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.72% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 6.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 28,804 households out of which 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.70% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.40% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 25.00% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 18.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,533, and the median income for a family was $38,255. Males had a median income of $31,847 versus $21,650 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,772. About 11.70% of families and 15.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.60% of those under age 18 and 11.80% of those age 65 or over.


  • County Judge: Richard Sanders
  • Commissioner 1: Scotty Thomas
  • Commissioner 2: Wade McKinney
  • Commissioner 3: Ronny Lawrence
  • Commissioner 4: Ken Geeslin
  • County Clerk: Mary Margret Wright
  • District Clerk: Betty Herriage
  • County Attorney: Clint Davis
  • District Attorney: R. Scott McKee
  • County Auditor: Ann Marie Lee
  • County Treasurer: Michael Bynum
  • County Court at Law Judge: Scott Williams
  • County Court at Law 2 Judge: Nancy Perryman
  • 3rd District Judge: Mark Calhoon
  • 173rd District Judge: Dan Moore
  • 392nd District Judge: Carter Tarrance
  • JP 1: Randy Daniel
  • Constable 1: Daryl Graham
  • JP 2: Kevin Pollock
  • Constable 2: Norman Terry
  • JP 3: James Duncan
  • Constable 3: David Grubbs
  • JP 4: Milton Adams
  • Constable 4: Rick Stewart
  • JP 5: Tommy Barnett
  • Constable 5: Brad Miers
  • Sheriff: Botie Hillhouse
  • Tax Assessor/Collector: Peggy Goodall
  • Elections Administrator: Denise Hernandez
  • Emergency Management Coordinator: Joy Kimbrough
  • Fire Marshal: Shane Renburg

James C. Spencer, a former member of the Texas House of Representatives from Henderson County, 1939-1941, 1947-1949,[11] later served as Henderson county judge from 1949 into the 1950s. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March in the Philippine Islands.


Henderson County is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth DMA. Local media outlets are: KDFW-TV, KXAS-TV, WFAA-TV, KTVT-TV, KERA-TV, KTXA-TV, KDFI-TV, KDAF-TV, and KFWD-TV. Other nearby stations that provide coverage for Henderson County come from the Tyler/Longview/Jacksonville market and they include: KLTV, KTRE-TV, KYTX-TV, KFXK-TV, KCEB-TV, and KETK-TV.

Newspaper coverage of the area can be found in the Athens Daily Review, based in Athens; The Monitor is published in Mabank, which is primarily in Kaufman County, but also covers news in parts of Henderson County as well.


Paul Knight of the Houston Press said in a 2009 article that some people blamed the development of the artificial Cedar Creek Lake, which opened in 1965, and development of the area surrounding the lake for the initial influx of crime and recreational drugs into the county and the East Texas region. Carroll Dyson, a retired pilot and Henderson County resident interviewed by the Houston Press, said in 2009 that the lake attracted "white flight" from metropolitan areas.[12] Dyson added, "When all your rich people from Dallas and Houston move out here, the thieves are just drawn to them. Thieves are just wired that way. You used to not have to lock your door in Henderson County." Ray Nutt, the sheriff of Henderson County, said in the same article that when the lake first opened, there was no zoning and "a lot of elderly people bought a mobile home and moved in; it was nice. Then they passed away and family members sold them off or just let them go down." Nutt added that the area around the lake has "a lot of good people," yet it also where "a lot of criminals tend to flow."[13]




Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 154. 
  4. ^ A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. 1893. p. 199. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Texas Historical Commission, historical marker, Henderson County Courthouse, Athens, Texas
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  11. ^ "Legislative Reference Library of Texas: James C. Spencer". lrl.state.tx.us. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  12. ^ Knight, Paul. "Superthief." September 22, 2009. 1. Retrieved on September 28, 2009.
  13. ^ Knight, Paul. "Superthief." September 22, 2009. 2. Retrieved on September 28, 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°13′N 95°51′W / 32.21°N 95.85°W / 32.21; -95.85