Washington County, Texas
The Washington County Courthouse in Brenham
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||George Washington|
|• Total||622 sq mi (1,610 km2)|
|• Land||604 sq mi (1,560 km2)|
|• Water||18 sq mi (50 km2) 2.9%%|
|• Density||56/sq mi (22/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Washington County is a county in Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,718. Its county seat is Brenham, which is located is along U.S. Highway 290 seventy-two miles northwest of Houston. The county was created in 1835 as a municipality of Mexico and organized as a county in 1837. It is named for George Washington, the first president of the United States.
Washington-on-the-Brazos in the county is notable as the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence during the Convention of 1836. Reflecting the county's history as a destination of mid-19th-century German immigrants who came after the 1848 German revolutions, in the 2000 US Census more than one-third of residents identified as being of German ancestry.
In 2013, the syndicated television series, Texas Country Reporter, hosted by Bob Phillips, declared the highways between Brenham and Chappel Hill as the No. 2 site for the viewing of wildflowers within Texas. The first ranking went to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.
- Brazos County (north)
- Grimes County (northeast)
- Waller County (east)
- Austin County (south)
- Fayette County (southwest)
- Lee County (west)
- Burleson County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 30,373 people, 11,322 households, and 7,936 families residing in the county. The population density was 50 people per square mile (19/km2). There were 13,241 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 74.68% White, 18.66% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.21% Asian, 4.02% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 8.71% of the population identified as Hispanic or Latino of any race. 33.6% identified as of German, 6.1% American, 5.7% English, 5.3% Irish and 5.0% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 88.1% spoke English, 8.6% Spanish, and 1.2% German as their first language.
There were 11,322 households, out of which 31.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.80% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.90% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.70% under the age of 18, 11.10% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64, and 16.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $36,760, and the median income for a family was $43,982. Males had a median income of $31,698 versus $21,346 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,384. About 9.80% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.80% of those under age 18 and 14.50% of those age 65 or over.
Since the 1940s, Washington County has been powerfully Republican, with the only Democratic presidential candidate to carry it since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1936 landslide being Hill Country native Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Since 1968 no Democrat has gained 41 percent of the county’s vote, and Bill Clinton in 1996 remains the last to reach thirty percent.
The GOP was competitive in the county during the Third Party System and to a smaller extent during the “System of 1896” era as the county then had a sizeable freedman population, but the county became typically “Solid South” Democratic for a brief period once that freedman population was completely disfranchised. Following the New Deal, the almost entirely white electorate of Washington County – which was being gradually stripped of its freedman population by the Great Migration – was one of the first to turn against FDR, voting for Wendell Willkie in 1940 at a time when most Majority black counties would vote over ninety percent for Democrats due to Reconstruction memories. Washington was one of eleven Texas counties to vote in 1920 for American Party candidate James E. Ferguson, and the solitary county to give a majority to the conservative “Texas Regulars”, which were a predecessor to the numerous “Dixiecrat” movements of the following two decades, in the 1944 election.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Washington County, Texas
- Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Washington County
- "Washington County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- "TSHA | Brenham, TX".
- "Texas: Individual County Chronologies". Texas Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
- "Washington County". Texas Almanac. Texas State Historical Association. 2015-05-19. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
- "Weekend of April 20, 2013". texascountryreporter.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Cedar Creek, TX (Washington County)" by Carole E. Christian in the Handbook of Texas, uploaded 12 June 2010; retrieved 15 December 2015.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- Washington County government's website
- Washington County from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Record Book of Conditional Land Grants for Washington County, 1841, hosted by the Portal to Texas History