Terrell County, Texas

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Terrell County
Terrell County Courthouse in Sanderson.
Terrell County Courthouse in Sanderson.
Flag of Terrell County
Map of Texas highlighting Terrell 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°14′N 102°04′W / 30.23°N 102.07°W / 30.23; -102.07
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1905
Named forAlexander W. Terrell
SeatSanderson
Largest communitySanderson
Area
 • Total2,358 sq mi (6,110 km2)
 • Land2,358 sq mi (6,110 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)  0%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total760
 • Density0.32/sq mi (0.12/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district23rd
Websitewww.co.terrell.tx.us

Terrell County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 760,[1] making it the seventh-least populous county in Texas, and the 37th-least populous county in the nation. Its county seat is the census-designated place of Sanderson; no incorporated municipalities are in the county.[2] The county was named for Alexander W. Terrell, a Texas state senator. Terrell County is one of the nine counties in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. It is the setting for Cormac McCarthy's novel No Country for Old Men, and the Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the same name.

History[edit]

Native Americans[edit]

Evidence of the indigenous peoples of Terrell County are found on the county's various ranches – arrowheads, tools, burned-rock middens, caves, and shelters containing Indian pictographs. Pieces of reed sandals, baskets, and evidence of burials have been found in the caves. The most pictographs are on cliff walls above Myers Spring near Dryden, overpainting giving to the theory that several Indian cultures were involved.[3]

Early exploration[edit]

Capt. José de Berroterán in 1729 commanded an expedition on behalf of Spain to explore from Mission San Juan Bautista up the Rio Grande to the mouth of the Rio Conchos.[4] Berroterán crossed the southern border, where at a spring near Dryden, legend has it that he placed a large wooden cross. Six years later, another Spaniard, Blas María de la Garza Falcón, found the cross while conducting an expedition in the area and named the spot Santa Cruz de Maya.[5] Captain Samuel Highsmith, under the command of John Coffee Hays, crossed the county in 1848 in an ill-fated expedition to open a road from San Antonio to El Paso.[6] In 1851 Army officer and geographer Lt. Nathaniel Michler, working under Major William H. Emory, mapped this portion of the boundary between Mexico and the United States.[7] Under Lt. William Echols in 1859, caravans of the U.S. Camel Corps crossed the county searching for a shorter route to Fort Davis.[8]

County established and growth[edit]

In 1905, Terrell County was created by the Texas Legislature by carving about 1,500,000 acres (6,100 km2) out of Pecos County. It was organized the same year. Sanderson became the county seat. In 1881, Texas and New Orleans Railroad surveyors reached the site of present-day Sanderson. Originally named Strawbridge by founder Cyrus W. “Charley” Wilson, the name was later changed in honor of railroad Engineer Joseph P. Sanderson.[9] Charles Downie, a Scot, homesteaded in 1881 and became the first permanent sheepman in the area. Together, the railroad, cattle, and sheep industries were the major economic assets. Ranges were still unfenced. Dryden became a large shipping point for cattle ranchers. Terrell County became one of the biggest sheep and wool producers in the U.S. In 1926, 11,000 lambs averaging $6 per head were sold in one of the largest lamb sales in history. Thousands of pounds of wool and mohair were sold annually through the Sanderson Wool Commission.[3] Dryden, the only town besides Sanderson in the county, was also started in 1882, but is now a ghost town.[10] Judge Roy Bean is said to have operated a saloon at Sanderson.[11] The oil and gas industry became increasingly important to Terrell County's economy after 1957, when the Brown-Bassett gas field was discovered in the northeast part of the county. Only gas was produced until the 1970s, when high petroleum prices encouraged limited oil production, as well.[12] Sanderson was struck by a flood on June 11, 1965, in which 28 people died. Two of them were never found.[13] The Texas State Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 1, 76th Legislature, Regular Session (1999) declared Sanderson and Terrell County the "Cactus Capital of Texas."[14]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,358 square miles (6,110 km2), virtually all of which is land.[15]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties and municipios[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Climate[edit]

Map this section's coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML

Most of Terrell County consists of semiarid steppes with 85.7% of the county's area described as having a hot steppe climate (Köppen BSh) and 2.6% having a cold steppe climate (Köppen BSk). The remaining 11.7% of the county experiences a hot arid desert climate (Köppen BWh).[16]

Dryden
Climate data for Dryden, Texas (Jun 1, 1966–Oct 31, 1994)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 60.2
(15.7)
65.0
(18.3)
74.3
(23.5)
82.7
(28.2)
88.8
(31.6)
94.5
(34.7)
95.5
(35.3)
94.8
(34.9)
88.8
(31.6)
79.9
(26.6)
69.2
(20.7)
61.8
(16.6)
79.6
(26.5)
Average low °F (°C) 32.7
(0.4)
36.0
(2.2)
44.0
(6.7)
53.4
(11.9)
61.6
(16.4)
68.6
(20.3)
70.6
(21.4)
69.4
(20.8)
63.8
(17.7)
52.6
(11.4)
41.7
(5.4)
33.8
(1.0)
52.4
(11.3)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.53
(13)
1.03
(26)
0.57
(14)
0.99
(25)
1.75
(44)
1.02
(26)
1.27
(32)
1.85
(47)
2.64
(67)
1.40
(36)
0.74
(19)
0.45
(11)
14.24
(360)
Source: Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute[18]


Sanderson
Climate data for Sanderson, Texas (Jan 1, 1897–Mar 31, 2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 60.8
(16.0)
64.5
(18.1)
72.9
(22.7)
81.5
(27.5)
87.3
(30.7)
92.0
(33.3)
92.6
(33.7)
92.4
(33.6)
86.9
(30.5)
78.8
(26.0)
69.2
(20.7)
61.3
(16.3)
78.4
(25.8)
Average low °F (°C) 31.4
(−0.3)
34.8
(1.6)
42.3
(5.7)
51.7
(10.9)
60.2
(15.7)
67.3
(19.6)
69.4
(20.8)
68.4
(20.2)
62.3
(16.8)
51.4
(10.8)
40.2
(4.6)
32.3
(0.2)
51.0
(10.5)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.46
(12)
0.54
(14)
0.42
(11)
0.79
(20)
1.62
(41)
1.73
(44)
1.42
(36)
1.50
(38)
2.14
(54)
1.49
(38)
0.59
(15)
0.42
(11)
13.12
(334)
Source: Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute[19]


Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19101,430
19201,59511.5%
19302,66066.8%
19402,95211.0%
19503,1898.0%
19602,600−18.5%
19701,940−25.4%
19801,595−17.8%
19901,410−11.6%
20001,081−23.3%
2010984−9.0%
2020760−22.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]
1850–2010[21] 2010[22] 2020[23]
Terrell County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[22] Pop 2020[23] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 495 352 50.30% 46.32%
Black or African American alone (NH) 6 8 0.61% 1.05%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 7 0 0.71% 0.00%
Asian alone (NH) 4 5 0.41% 0.66%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 0 0.00% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 0 2 0.00% 0.26%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 5 23 0.51% 3.03%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 467 370 47.46% 48.68%
Total 984 760 100.00% 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.

As of the census[24] of 2010, 984 people, 443 households, and 295 families resided in the county. The population density was less than 1/km2 (1/sq mi). The 991 housing units averaged less than 1 per square mile (0/km2). About 84.1% of the population were White, 0.9% Native American, 0.7% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 12.3% of some other race and 1.5% of two or more races; 47.5% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

Of the 443 households, 29.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.40% were married couples living together, 7.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% were not families. About 31.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county, the population was distributed as 26.50% under the age of 18, 5.00% from 18 to 24, 23.40% from 25 to 44, 27.50% from 45 to 64, and 17.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $24,219, and for a family was $28,906. Males had a median income of $21,429 versus $15,804 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,721. About 21.20% of families and 25.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.40% of those under age 18 and 31.10% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Politics[edit]

County Offices [27]
Interim Judge Dale Carruthers
Attorney Kenneth D. Bellah
Clerk Raeline Thompson
Treasurer Rebecca Luevano
Interim Tax Assessor-Collector Thad Cleveland
Interim Sheriff Thad Cleveland
Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 and 2 Corina Arredondo
Interim Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 and 4 Kelli Ellis
United States presidential election results for Terrell County, Texas[28]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 334 72.93% 119 25.98% 5 1.09%
2016 288 65.75% 140 31.96% 10 2.28%
2012 358 64.50% 184 33.15% 13 2.34%
2008 323 62.24% 186 35.84% 10 1.93%
2004 306 65.25% 159 33.90% 4 0.85%
2000 243 50.94% 219 45.91% 15 3.14%
1996 185 35.65% 278 53.56% 56 10.79%
1992 176 27.89% 325 51.51% 130 20.60%
1988 296 42.96% 390 56.60% 3 0.44%
1984 407 58.31% 289 41.40% 2 0.29%
1980 411 59.91% 260 37.90% 15 2.19%
1976 317 49.38% 321 50.00% 4 0.62%
1972 467 79.02% 124 20.98% 0 0.00%
1968 250 41.60% 201 33.44% 150 24.96%
1964 294 44.68% 364 55.32% 0 0.00%
1960 291 45.05% 352 54.49% 3 0.46%
1956 350 61.51% 217 38.14% 2 0.35%
1952 426 59.00% 295 40.86% 1 0.14%
1948 78 29.43% 171 64.53% 16 6.04%
1944 156 30.95% 329 65.28% 19 3.77%
1940 133 24.18% 417 75.82% 0 0.00%
1936 84 20.59% 324 79.41% 0 0.00%
1932 133 21.70% 479 78.14% 1 0.16%
1928 364 80.71% 85 18.85% 2 0.44%
1924 122 38.61% 109 34.49% 85 26.90%
1920 95 35.45% 155 57.84% 18 6.72%
1916 59 24.38% 181 74.79% 2 0.83%
1912 36 18.37% 118 60.20% 42 21.43%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Terrell County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Downie, Walter G (June 15, 2010). "Terrell County Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  4. ^ Johnson, John G (June 12, 2010). "José de Berroterán". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  5. ^ Garcia, Clotide P (June 15, 2010). "Blas María de la Garza Falcón". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  6. ^ Cutrer, Thomas W (June 15, 2010). "Samuel Highsmith". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  7. ^ Wagner, Frank (June 15, 2010). "Nathaniel Michler". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  8. ^ Faulk, Odie B; Emmett, Chris (June 12, 2010). "Camels". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  9. ^ "Sanderson, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  10. ^ "Dryden, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  11. ^ Skiles, Jack; Kelton, Elmer (1996). Judge Roy Bean Country. Texas Tech University Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-89672-369-6.
  12. ^ Chandler, Charlena (2004). On Independence Creek: The Story of a Texas Ranch. Texas Tech University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-89672-524-9.
  13. ^ Burnett, Jonathan (2008). "Sanderson Flash Floor". Flash Floods in Texas. TAMU Press. pp. 173–185. ISBN 978-1-58544-590-5.
  14. ^ "Official Capital Designations". Texas State Library. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  15. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Kottek, M.; Grieser, J.; Beck, C.; Rudolf, B.; Rubel, F. (2006). "Main Köppen-Geiger Climate Classes for US counties". Schweizerbart Science Publishers. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  17. ^ a b "US COOP Station Map". Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  18. ^ "DRYDEN, TEXAS (412590), Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary". Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  19. ^ "SANDERSON, TEXAS (418022), Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary". Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  20. ^ "Decennial Census by Decade". US Census Bureau.
  21. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  22. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Terrell County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  23. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Terrell County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  24. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  25. ^ Cedar Station at texasescape.com
  26. ^ Dryden, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
  27. ^ "Terrell County Texas". www.co.terrell.tx.us. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  28. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 31, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°14′N 102°04′W / 30.23°N 102.07°W / 30.23; -102.07