Irion County, Texas

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Irion County
The Irion County Courthouse in Mertzon
The Irion County Courthouse in Mertzon
Map of Texas highlighting Irion County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 31°18′N 100°59′W / 31.3°N 100.98°W / 31.3; -100.98
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1889
Named forRobert Anderson Irion
SeatMertzon
Largest cityMertzon
Area
 • Total1,052 sq mi (2,720 km2)
 • Land1,052 sq mi (2,720 km2)
 • Water0.07 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.01%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total1,599
 • Density1.5/sq mi (0.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district11th
Websitewww.co.irion.tx.us

Irion County (/ˈriən/ EYE-ree-ən) is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 1,599.[1] Its county seat is Mertzon.[2] The county is named for Robert Anderson Irion, a secretary of state of the Republic of Texas.

Irion County is included in the San Angelo metropolitan statistical area.

History[edit]

From 1858 to 1861, Butterfield Overland Mail crossed the region.[3]

In 1876, John Arden brought the first flock of sheep from California, and Billy Childress established the Longhorn 7D Ranch.[4]

The Texas Legislature formed Irion County from Tom Green County in 1889. Sherwood became the county seat.[5]

Oil was discovered in Irion County in 1928.[6]

In 1936, Mertzon became the county seat.[7]

Currently, the Old Irion County Courthouse in Sherwood is the only property in the county listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,052 square miles (2,720 km2), of which 1,052 sq mi (2,720 km2) are land and 0.07 square miles (0.18 km2) (0.01%) is covered bywater.[8] The Spraberry Trend, the third-largest oil field in the United States by remaining reserves, underlies much of the county.[9]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890870
1900848−2.5%
19101,28351.3%
19201,61025.5%
19302,04927.3%
19401,963−4.2%
19501,590−19.0%
19601,183−25.6%
19701,070−9.6%
19801,38629.5%
19901,62917.5%
20001,7718.7%
20101,599−9.7%
2019 (est.)1,536[10]−3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1850–2010[12] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[13] of 2000, 1,771 people, 694 households, and 523 were families residing in the county. The population density was two people per square mile (1/km2). The 914 housing units averaged one per square mile (0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.68% White, 0.40% African American, 0.79% Native American, 6.55% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. About 24.62% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 694 households, 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.80% were married couples living together, 6.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.50% were not families. About 21.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55, and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the age distribution was 26.70% under 18, 4.70% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,500, and for a family was $45,458. Males had a median income of $35,642 versus $20,395 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,515. About 8.30% of families and 8.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.20% of those under age 18 and 7.90% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Unincorporated community[edit]

Ghost town[edit]

Notable natives[edit]

Politics[edit]

As of 2017, only Irion County had stated it would refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Many counties started issuing same-sex marriage licenses within hours of the Obergefell ruling on June 26, 2015, while others awaited direction from state officials, local county attorney advice, or issuance of corrected state marriage license forms. Irion County adopted this reason for not issuing licenses. No marriage applications have yet been made by same-sex couples in Irion County.[15][16] Irion County was the sole holdout in Texas, with reports that the situation was still in effect two years later.[17][18][19] When Alabama replaced marriage licenses with marriage certificates and required that all counties issue them, Irion County became the only remaining county in the country that would not allow same-sex couples to marry. As of 2020, Irion County has a new county clerk who has stated she would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[20]

Irion County was one of four Texas counties Ross Perot won in the 1992 presidential election. Otherwise, the county, like most rural areas, is extremely Republican. Democratic candidates have fared poorly here, and the electorate has preferred Republicans since the 1968 presidential election.

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[21]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 85.4% 759 13.5% 120 1.1% 10
2016 86.2% 660 11.8% 90 2.1% 16
2012 84.8% 668 14.2% 112 1.0% 8
2008 78.8% 644 20.1% 164 1.1% 9
2004 82.6% 684 17.0% 141 0.4% 3
2000 78.7% 624 20.4% 162 0.9% 7
1996 55.9% 386 30.9% 213 13.2% 91
1992 34.1% 283 30.8% 256 35.1% 292
1988 62.2% 539 37.6% 326 0.2% 2
1984 75.3% 619 24.2% 199 0.5% 4
1980 63.7% 427 35.7% 239 0.6% 4
1976 50.0% 302 49.2% 297 0.8% 5
1972 76.1% 363 23.3% 111 0.6% 3
1968 43.1% 211 38.2% 187 18.8% 92
1964 36.2% 199 63.8% 351
1960 48.9% 238 50.5% 246 0.6% 3
1956 58.3% 252 41.2% 178 0.5% 2
1952 48.7% 268 51.3% 282
1948 14.3% 63 83.2% 366 2.5% 11
1944 11.9% 54 80.1% 363 8.0% 36
1940 11.6% 74 87.9% 560 0.5% 3
1936 9.3% 49 89.8% 476 0.9% 5
1932 10.3% 47 87.3% 398 2.4% 11
1928 68.5% 259 31.5% 119
1924 25.4% 73 71.2% 205 3.5% 10
1920 20.1% 45 66.1% 148 13.8% 31
1916 3.0% 5 90.4% 150 6.6% 11
1912 0.0% 0 89.8% 132 10.2% 15

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ Hunt, William R; Leffler, John. "Irion County". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  4. ^ Lanning, James and Judy (1995). Texas Cowboys: Memories of the Early Days. TAMU Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-89096-658-7.
  5. ^ "Sherwood, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  6. ^ Warner, C A; Thompson, Ernest O (2007). Texas Oil & Gas Since 1543. Copano Bay Press. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-9767799-5-7.
  7. ^ "Mertzon, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  9. ^ Top 100 Oil and Gas Fields Archived 2009-05-15 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  12. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  14. ^ Magness, Perre, Cohort of Butch, Sundance 'retired' here, Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Jan. 12, 1995, page EC2
  15. ^ Young, Stephen (April 12, 2017). "Texas Senate Approves Recusals For County Clerks Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage". Dallas Observer.
  16. ^ Reinhard, Chelsea (July 9, 2015). "The Last Stand Against Gay Marriage in Irion County, Texas". sanangelolive.com.
  17. ^ "Local government responses to Obergefell v. Hodges". ballotpedia.org. July 1, 2015 – June 26, 2017.
  18. ^ "Irion County clerk cites beliefs, constitution in not issuing same-sex marriage licenses".
  19. ^ "WATCH: The Next 'Kim Davis:' Texas Clerk Molly Criner".
  20. ^ "Irion County Clerk".
  21. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-07-25.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°18′N 100°59′W / 31.30°N 100.98°W / 31.30; -100.98