Liberty County, Texas

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Liberty County
The Liberty County Courthouse in Liberty
The Liberty County Courthouse in Liberty
Map of Texas highlighting Liberty County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 30°09′N 94°49′W / 30.15°N 94.81°W / 30.15; -94.81
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1837
SeatLiberty
Largest cityLiberty
Area
 • Total1,176 sq mi (3,050 km2)
 • Land1,158 sq mi (3,000 km2)
 • Water18 sq mi (50 km2)  1.5%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total91,628
 • Density78/sq mi (30/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district36th
Websitewww.co.liberty.tx.us

Liberty County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 91,628.[1] The county seat is Liberty.[2] The county was created in 1831 as a municipality in Mexico and organized as a county in 1837.[3][4] It is named for the popular American ideal of liberty.[5]

Liberty County is included in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX metropolitan statistical area.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,176 sq mi (3,050 km2), of which 18 sq mi (47 km2) (1.5%) are covered by water.[6]

The Trinity River flows through this county, dividing the county roughly in half. The river begins on the northern border of Liberty County, forming the San Jacinto - Polk County line through the Liberty County line. The east fork of the San Jacinto River flows through far northeast parts of the county, flowing through Cleveland. Tarkington Bayou begins in the Sam Houston National Forest in San Jacinto County, working its way south through northeast and east Liberty County and joining other feeders, before traveling into Harris County and emptying into Galveston Bay. The highest point in Liberty County is "Davis Hill", the roof of a salt dome in the northern part of the county.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18502,522
18603,18926.4%
18704,41438.4%
18804,99913.3%
18904,230−15.4%
19008,10291.5%
191010,68631.9%
192014,63737.0%
193019,86835.7%
194024,54123.5%
195026,7298.9%
196031,59518.2%
197033,0144.5%
198047,08842.6%
199052,72612.0%
200070,15433.1%
201075,6437.8%
202091,62821.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1850–2010[8] 2010[9] 2020[10]

2020 census[edit]

Liberty County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[9] Pop 2020[10] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 52,321 50,044 69.17% 54.62%
Black or African American alone (NH) 8,074 7,024 10.67% 7.67%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 289 291 0.38% 0.32%
Asian alone (NH) 337 466 0.45% 0.51%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 23 12 0.03% 0.01%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 120 329 0.16% 0.36%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 877 2,665 1.16% 2.91%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 13,602 30,797 17.98% 33.61%
Total 75,643 91,628 100.00% 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[11] of 2000, 70,154 people, 23,242 households, and 17,756 families resided in the county. The population density was 60 people per square mile (23/km2). The 26,359 housing units averaged 23 per square mile (9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 78.90% White, 12.82% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 6.06% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. About 10.92% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 23,242 households, 38.10% had children under 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.60% were not families. About 20.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the county, the population was distributed as 27.60% under18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 31.60% from 25 to 44, 21.40% from 45 to 64, and 10.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,361, and for a family was $43,744. Males had a median income of $37,957 versus $22,703 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,539. About 11.10% of families and 14.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.30% of those under age 18 and 15.00% of those age 65 or over.

Of Liberty County's residents, 8.8% have a college degree, the lowest percentage of any U.S. county with a population exceeding 50,000.[12]

Government and politics[edit]

Liberty County, formerly strongly Democratic like much of the rest of Texas before the mid-20th century, has trended sharply Republican in recent years. As is the case with most rural Texas counties, the Republican margin of victory has grown explosively and exponentially since Bill Clinton won the county in the 1990s.

United States presidential election results for Liberty County, Texas[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 23,302 79.44% 5,785 19.72% 247 0.84%
2016 18,892 77.85% 4,862 20.04% 513 2.11%
2012 17,323 76.16% 5,202 22.87% 221 0.97%
2008 15,448 71.23% 5,991 27.62% 248 1.14%
2004 14,821 68.33% 6,780 31.26% 90 0.41%
2000 12,458 62.05% 7,311 36.41% 308 1.53%
1996 7,784 46.41% 6,877 41.00% 2,112 12.59%
1992 6,959 37.95% 7,036 38.37% 4,344 23.69%
1988 8,524 50.22% 8,343 49.15% 106 0.62%
1984 10,504 62.28% 6,292 37.31% 70 0.42%
1980 6,470 47.71% 6,810 50.22% 281 2.07%
1976 4,552 38.89% 7,086 60.54% 66 0.56%
1972 6,111 64.79% 3,311 35.10% 10 0.11%
1968 2,746 28.58% 3,469 36.11% 3,393 35.31%
1964 2,884 34.93% 5,357 64.88% 16 0.19%
1960 3,361 45.76% 3,902 53.12% 82 1.12%
1956 4,129 63.49% 2,318 35.65% 56 0.86%
1952 4,106 53.01% 3,632 46.89% 8 0.10%
1948 735 18.76% 2,199 56.14% 983 25.10%
1944 336 9.73% 2,561 74.12% 558 16.15%
1940 497 12.53% 3,458 87.19% 11 0.28%
1936 244 7.95% 2,813 91.69% 11 0.36%
1932 247 8.83% 2,527 90.38% 22 0.79%
1928 1,070 53.63% 918 46.02% 7 0.35%
1924 639 29.19% 1,506 68.80% 44 2.01%
1916 235 22.93% 704 68.68% 86 8.39%
1912 81 9.52% 584 68.63% 186 21.86%


United States Congress[edit]

Senators Name Party First Elected Level
  Senate Class 1 John Cornyn Republican 2002 Senior Senator
  Senate Class 2 Ted Cruz Republican 2012 Junior Senator
Representatives Name Party First Elected Area(s) of Liberty County Represented
  District 36 Brian Babin Republican 2014 Countywide

Texas Legislature[edit]

Texas Senate[edit]

Texas House of Representatives[edit]

District 18: Ernest Bailes (R) - first elected in 2016

Liberty County elected officials[edit]

Position Official Party
County Judge Jay Knight Republican
County Commissioner Precinct 1 Bruce Karbowski Republican
County Commissioner Precinct 2 Greg Arthur Republican
County Commissioner Precinct 3 David Whitmire Republican
County Commissioner Precinct 4 Leon Wilson Republican
County Attorney Matthew Poston Republican
County Clerk Lee Haidusek Chambers Republican
District Attorney Jennifer Bergman Republican
District Clerk Donna Brown Republican
Sheriff Bobby Rader Republican
Assessor-Collector Ricky Brown Republican
County Treasurer Kim Harris Republican
Constable Precinct 1 Tammy Bishop Republican
Constable Precinct 2 Leslie Hulsey Democrat
Constable Precinct 3 Mark "Mad Dog" Davison Republican
Constable Precinct 4 Robbie Thornton Republican
Constable Precinct 5 David Hunter Republican
Constable Precinct 6 Zack Harkness Republican
Justice Of The Peace Precinct 1 Stephen Hebert Republican
Justice Of The Peace Precinct 2 Ronnie E. Davis Democrat
Justice Of The Peace Precinct 3 Cody Parrish Democrat
Justice Of The Peace Precinct 4 Larry Wilburn Republican
Justice Of The Peace Precinct 5 Wade Brown Republican
Justice Of The Peace Precinct 6 Ralph Fuller Republican

Economy[edit]

Around 1995, the economy of Liberty County was mainly focused on agriculture and oil. As of that year, the economy of Liberty County was struggling. At that time, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice had established four correctional facilities (Cleveland, Henley, Hightower, and Plane) in the county within a six-year span. As of 1995, the facilities employed 1,045 employees and contributed $22 million in the county's annual payroll. Since Cleveland is a privately operated facility, the county receives tax revenue from the prison's operation.[14]

Education[edit]

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, operated by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, is located 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Liberty in an unincorporated area. Judge and Mrs. Price Daniel donated 114 acres (46 ha) of land for the purpose of establishing a library on September 27, 1973. Construction began in the fall of 1975; by then, $700,000 had been raised through private donations. The library opened on May 14, 1977.[15]

Infrastructure[edit]

Outside of the city limits, ambulance services are provided by contract through Allegiance EMS. Fire protection is provided mostly through volunteer fire departments, four of which in Liberty County are funded by emergency services districts.[16]

Police services[edit]

The headquarters of the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, which serves unincorporated areas and supplements police forces of incorporated areas, is within the city of Liberty. Most incorporated areas operate their own police departments, including Cleveland, Daisetta, Dayton, Kenefick, and Liberty.

Liberty County also has a constable for each of its six precincts and deputies assigned to each.

Fire services[edit]

Incorporated cities of Cleveland and Liberty operate their own fire departments staffed by a combination of paid and volunteer members. Both departments cover territory outside their respective city limits.

Fire departments serving unincorporated areas:

  • Ames VFD 1 station
  • Cleveland VFD 2 stations (Covering areas inside the City of Cleveland and North Cleveland, and unincorporated Liberty County)
  • Cypress Lakes VFD 1 station
  • Dayton VFD 2 stations (covering areas inside the City of Dayton, and unincorporated Liberty County)
  • Devers VFD 1 station
  • Hardin VFD 1 station (covering areas inside the City of Hardin, and unincorporated Liberty County)
  • Highway 321 VFD 1 station
  • Hull-Daisetta VFD 1 station (covering areas inside the City of Daisetta, and unincorporated Liberty County)
  • Kenefick VFD 1 station (covering areas inside the City of Kenefick, and unincorporated Liberty County)
  • Liberty VFD 1 station (covering areas inside the City of Liberty, and unincorporated Liberty County)
  • Moss Bluff VFD 1 station
  • North Liberty County VFD 1 station
  • Plum Grove VFD 1 station (covering areas inside the City of Plum Grove, and unincorporated Liberty County)
  • Raywood VFD 1 Station
  • Tarkington VFD 2 stations
  • Westlake VFD 1 station
  • Woodpecker VFD 1 station

Emergency medical services[edit]

Emergency medical services are provided by Allegiance EMS, with the only exception being inside the City of Liberty, for which service is provided by the City of Liberty Fire and EMS Department.

Corrections[edit]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates one women's prison and two women's state jails, all co-located in an unincorporated area. The L.V. Hightower Unit prison and the Dempsie Henley Unit and Lucille G. Plane Unit jails are 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Dayton.[17][18][19] The Cleveland Unit, a prison for men privately operated by the GEO Group, Inc. on behalf of the TDCJ, is in Cleveland.[20]

Cleveland opened in September 1989.[20] Hightower opened in March 1990.[17] Henley and Plane opened in May 1995.[18][19] Also, in 1992 Community Education Centers opened a private detention center under federal contract with the United States Marshals Service for 372 beds, co-located at the old decommissioned Liberty County Jail.[21]

As of 1995, of all Texas counties, Liberty County had the fourth-largest number of state prisons and jails, after Walker, Brazoria, and Coryell Counties.[14]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Aviation[edit]

Two general aviation airports are located in unincorporated sections of the county.

The Houston Airport System stated that Liberty County is within the primary service area of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, an international airport in Houston in Harris County.[22]

Toll roads[edit]

Liberty County Toll Road Authority
Authority overview
FormedJuly 2007 (2007-07)[23]
JurisdictionLiberty County, Texas
HeadquartersLiberty County Commissioners Court

The Liberty County Toll Road Authority does not operate any toll roads at present. In July, 2007, Liberty County created the Liberty County Toll Road Authority to have a say in any and all future toll-road projects located within the county.[23]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Town[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Liberty County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Texas: Individual County Chronologies". Texas Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "Liberty County". Texas Almanac. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 186.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  8. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Liberty County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  10. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Liberty County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  12. ^ Silver, Nate. "Education, Not Income, Predicted Who Would Vote For Trump". FiveThirtyEight. November 22, 2016.
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Horswell, Cindy. "For hard-hit economy of Liberty County, crime officially pays." Houston Chronicle. Thursday June 29, 1995. A30. Retrieved on July 23, 2010.
  15. ^ "Sam Houston Center." Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  16. ^ What is an Emergency Services District?.
  17. ^ a b "Hightower Unit Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  18. ^ a b "Henley Unit Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  19. ^ a b "Plane Unit Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  20. ^ a b "Cleveland Unit Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 15, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Master Plan Executive Summary Archived July 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." George Bush Intercontinental Airport Master Plan. [[Houston Airport System]]. December 2006. 2-1 (23/130). Retrieved on December 14, 2010.
  23. ^ a b Mike George (October 1, 2007). "Creation of local toll authority set in motion". Chron.com. Retrieved May 24, 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°09′N 94°49′W / 30.15°N 94.81°W / 30.15; -94.81