Rusk County, Texas

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Rusk County
Rusk County Courthouse in Henderson
Rusk County Courthouse in Henderson
Map of Texas highlighting Rusk County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°07′N 94°46′W / 32.11°N 94.76°W / 32.11; -94.76
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1843
Named forThomas Jefferson Rusk
SeatHenderson
Largest cityHenderson
Area
 • Total938 sq mi (2,430 km2)
 • Land924 sq mi (2,390 km2)
 • Water14 sq mi (40 km2)  1.5%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total52,214
 • Density56/sq mi (21/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitewww.co.rusk.tx.us
Rusk County Library in downtown Henderson
Rusk County Tax Office in Henderson

Rusk County is a county located in Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 52,214.[1] Its county seat is Henderson.[2] The county is named for Thomas Jefferson Rusk, a secretary of war of the Republic of Texas.

Rusk County is part of the Longview, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Longview–Marshall, TX Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Prior to Texas annexation in 1845, the land while from time to time occupied by Caddoan peoples, was generally unpopulated until 1819 when Cherokee Indians, led by The Bowl settled in what is now Rusk County.[3] The Treaty of Bowles Village on February 23, 1836, between the Republic of Texas and the Cherokee and twelve affiliated tribes, gave parts of western Rusk County along with parts of today's Gregg and Van Zandt counties, in addition to the whole areas of Cherokee and Smith counties to the tribes.[4] They remained on these lands until the Cherokee War in the summer of 1839. Thus the Cherokee were driven out of Rusk County only to return in 1844 and 1845 with the purchase of 10,000 acres of land by Benjamin Franklin Thompson a white man married to a Cherokee. This established the Mount Tabor Indian Community,[5] some six miles south of present-day Kilgore that later spread to incorporate areas near Troup, Arp and Overton, Texas. Originally organized as a part of Nacogdoches County, Rusk was established as its own county by the Congress of the Republic of Texas on January 16, 1843. By 1850, it was the second-most populous county in Texas of the 78 counties that had been organized at that time, according to the 1850 census. Rusk County's population was 8,148 then; it was surpassed only by Harrison County with 11,822 people.

With the discovery of oil in Joinerville in October 1930, an oil boom began that caused county population to nearly double during the next decade, and caused dramatic changes in the county towns. Rusk is one of the five counties that are part of the East Texas Oil Field, whose production has been a major part of the economy since that time.[6]

Rusk County was one of 25 entirely dry counties in Texas until January 2012. The city of Henderson at that time opted to allow selling and serving beer and wine.[7]

America's worst school disaster happened in Rusk County in 1937, when nearly 300 people, most of them children, were killed in a natural gas explosion at the London Independent School District (which has since consolidated into West Rusk County Consolidated Independent School District).

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 938 square miles (2,430 km2), of which 924 square miles (2,390 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (1.5%) is covered by water.[8]

Major highways[edit]

under construction and will follow the current route of U.S. 59 in most places.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18508,148
186015,80393.9%
187016,9167.0%
188018,98612.2%
189018,559−2.2%
190026,09940.6%
191026,9463.2%
192031,68917.6%
193032,4842.5%
194051,02357.1%
195042,348−17.0%
196036,421−14.0%
197034,102−6.4%
198041,38221.3%
199043,7355.7%
200047,3728.3%
201053,33012.6%
202052,214−2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1850–2010[11] 2010[12] 2020[13]

2020 Census[edit]

Demographic Profile of Rusk County, Texas
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[12] Pop 2020[13] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 35,237 32,022 66.07% 61.33%
Black or African American alone (NH) 9,359 8,240 17.55% 15.78%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 199 195 0.37% 0.37%
Asian alone (NH) 203 231 0.38% 0.44%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 14 18 0.03% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 50 162 0.09% 0.31%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 659 1,767 1.24% 3.38%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 7,609 9,579 14.27% 18.35%
Total 53,330 52,214 100.00% 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.

In 2020, its population was 52,214.[13]

2000 Census[edit]

According to the 2000 census, 47,372 people, 17,364 households, and 12,727 families resided in the county.[14] The population density was 51 people per square mile (20/km2). The 19,867 housing units averaged 22 per square mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 74.89% White, 19.21% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 4.22% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. About 8.44% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 17,364 households, 32.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 11.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.70% were not families. About 24.20% of all households was made up of individuals, and 12.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county, the population was distributed as 24.90% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,898, and for a family was $39,185. Males had a median income of $30,956 versus $19,749 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,674. About 10.90% of families and 14.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.80% of those under age 18 and 13.00% of those age 65 or over.

Rusk County is home to three privately run facilities for state prisoners: the East Texas Multi-Use Facility for treatment of state inmates, privately operated by the Management and Training Corporation; the Bradshaw State Jail, also private, placed in idle status as of August 2020 because of declining populations;[15] and the Billy Moore Correctional Center, also privately run by MTC. [16]

Education[edit]

The following school districts serve Rusk County:

Rusk County's first officially authorized school was the Rusk County Academy.[17]

Politics[edit]

Rusk County is represented by Bryan Hughes, a Republican from Mineola, Texas, in the Texas State Senator for Senate District 1, which includes Rusk County. Travis Clardy, a Republican from Nacogdoches, is the Texas State Representative for House District 11, which includes Rusk County. Trent Ashby, a Republican from Lufkin who was born in Rusk County in 1972, represents District 57, which includes Angelina and several other mostly rural East Texas counties.

United States presidential election results for Rusk County, Texas[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 16,534 77.34% 4,629 21.65% 214 1.00%
2016 14,675 76.70% 3,935 20.57% 524 2.74%
2012 13,924 75.08% 4,451 24.00% 171 0.92%
2008 13,646 72.89% 4,983 26.62% 93 0.50%
2004 13,390 72.99% 4,899 26.71% 55 0.30%
2000 11,611 69.81% 4,841 29.10% 181 1.09%
1996 8,423 54.22% 5,988 38.55% 1,123 7.23%
1992 7,560 45.61% 5,391 32.53% 3,623 21.86%
1988 9,117 63.70% 5,140 35.91% 56 0.39%
1984 11,081 70.40% 4,599 29.22% 61 0.39%
1980 8,705 60.17% 5,582 38.58% 180 1.24%
1976 6,800 52.65% 6,063 46.95% 52 0.40%
1972 8,179 73.87% 2,867 25.89% 26 0.23%
1968 3,739 29.80% 4,078 32.50% 4,729 37.69%
1964 5,488 45.61% 6,528 54.25% 17 0.14%
1960 6,001 55.36% 4,390 40.50% 449 4.14%
1956 5,140 59.96% 3,381 39.44% 52 0.61%
1952 5,634 49.68% 5,694 50.21% 12 0.11%
1948 1,294 17.55% 4,322 58.60% 1,759 23.85%
1944 637 9.31% 5,232 76.45% 975 14.25%
1940 704 8.17% 7,901 91.73% 8 0.09%
1936 433 6.61% 6,107 93.27% 8 0.12%
1932 483 8.68% 5,074 91.16% 9 0.16%
1928 1,033 37.36% 1,732 62.64% 0 0.00%
1924 651 17.06% 3,097 81.18% 67 1.76%
1920 745 26.02% 1,555 54.31% 563 19.66%
1916 521 20.29% 1,849 72.00% 198 7.71%
1912 488 21.86% 1,453 65.10% 291 13.04%


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rusk County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Clarke, Mary Whatley (1971). Chief Bowles and the Texas Cherokees: a history. p. 17.
  4. ^ Winfrey, Day (1825–1916). Indian Papers of Texas, Volume I: Treaty between Texas and the Cherokee Indians. pp. 14–17.
  5. ^ Pynes, Patrick (2007). Historic Origins of the Mount Tabor Indian Community: Northern Arizona University. p. 74.
  6. ^ Olien, Diana; Olien, Roger (2002). Oil in Texas, The Gusher Age, 1895-1945. Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 170–171. ISBN 0292760566.
  7. ^ "TABC map of wet/dry counties as of June 2012". Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  9. ^ Handbook of Texas Online, Megan Biesele, "New Salem, TX (Rusk County)," accessed November 26, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnn16. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  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 May 9, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Rusk County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ a b c "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Rusk County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  15. ^ Hedler, Ken (June 25, 2020). "State to idle Bradshaw State Jail in Henderson; more than 200 workers will be laid off". Longview (Texas) News-Journal. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  16. ^ Guevana, Emily (July 9, 2016). "Chapel Dedication Set Sunday for Bradshaw State Jail". Longview (Texas) News-Journal. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  17. ^ "Rusk County Academy." Handbook of Texas. Retrieved on October 6, 2010.
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 30, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°07′N 94°46′W / 32.11°N 94.76°W / 32.11; -94.76