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
 (2020)
 • Total1,513
 • Density1.4/sq mi (0.56/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 2020 census, its population was 1,513.[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 by water.[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%
20201,513−5.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1850–2010[11] 2010[12] 2020[13]

2020 census[edit]

Irion County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[12] Pop 2020[13] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 1,153 1,112 72.11% 73.50%
Black or African American alone (NH) 11 6 0.69% 0.40%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 7 9 0.44% 0.59%
Asian alone (NH) 3 0 0.19% 0.00%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 1 0.00% 0.07%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 0 1 0.00% 0.07%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 18 35 1.13% 2.31%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 407 349 25.45% 23.07%
Total 1,599 1,513 100.00% 100.00%

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.

2000 Census[edit]

As of the census[14] 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]

Notable native[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.[16][17] Irion County was the sole holdout in Texas, with reports that the situation was still in effect two years later.[18][19][20] 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.[21]

Irion County was one of four Texas counties Ross Perot won in the 1992 presidential election. Otherwise, the county, like most of rural Texas, is extremely Republican. It has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson won a statewide and national landslide in 1964.

United States presidential election results for Irion County, Texas[22]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 759 85.38% 120 13.50% 10 1.12%
2016 660 86.16% 90 11.75% 16 2.09%
2012 668 84.77% 112 14.21% 8 1.02%
2008 644 78.82% 164 20.07% 9 1.10%
2004 684 82.61% 141 17.03% 3 0.36%
2000 624 78.69% 162 20.43% 7 0.88%
1996 386 55.94% 213 30.87% 91 13.19%
1992 283 34.06% 256 30.81% 292 35.14%
1988 539 62.17% 326 37.60% 2 0.23%
1984 619 75.30% 199 24.21% 4 0.49%
1980 427 63.73% 239 35.67% 4 0.60%
1976 302 50.00% 297 49.17% 5 0.83%
1972 363 76.10% 111 23.27% 3 0.63%
1968 211 43.06% 187 38.16% 92 18.78%
1964 199 36.18% 351 63.82% 0 0.00%
1960 238 48.87% 246 50.51% 3 0.62%
1956 252 58.33% 178 41.20% 2 0.46%
1952 268 48.73% 282 51.27% 0 0.00%
1948 63 14.32% 366 83.18% 11 2.50%
1944 54 11.92% 363 80.13% 36 7.95%
1940 74 11.62% 560 87.91% 3 0.47%
1936 49 9.25% 476 89.81% 5 0.94%
1932 47 10.31% 398 87.28% 11 2.41%
1928 259 68.52% 119 31.48% 0 0.00%
1924 73 25.35% 205 71.18% 10 3.47%
1920 45 20.09% 148 66.07% 31 13.84%
1916 5 3.01% 150 90.36% 11 6.63%
1912 0 0.00% 132 89.80% 15 10.20%


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Irion County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Hunt, William R; Leffler, John. "Irion County". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved November 29, 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 November 29, 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 November 29, 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. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  11. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Irion County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Irion County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  15. ^ Magness, Perre, Cohort of Butch, Sundance 'retired' here, Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Jan. 12, 1995, page EC2
  16. ^ Young, Stephen (April 12, 2017). "Texas Senate Approves Recusals For County Clerks Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage". Dallas Observer.
  17. ^ Reinhard, Chelsea (July 9, 2015). "The Last Stand Against Gay Marriage in Irion County, Texas". sanangelolive.com.
  18. ^ "Local government responses to Obergefell v. Hodges". ballotpedia.org. July 1, 2015 – June 26, 2017.
  19. ^ "Irion County clerk cites beliefs, constitution in not issuing same-sex marriage licenses".
  20. ^ "WATCH: The Next 'Kim Davis:' Texas Clerk Molly Criner".
  21. ^ "Irion County Clerk".
  22. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 25, 2018.

External links[edit]

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