Washington County, Texas

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Washington County
The Washington County Courthouse in Brenham
The Washington County Courthouse in Brenham
Map of Texas highlighting Washington 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°13′N 96°25′W / 30.21°N 96.41°W / 30.21; -96.41
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1837
Named forGeorge Washington
SeatBrenham
Largest cityBrenham
Area
 • Total622 sq mi (1,610 km2)
 • Land604 sq mi (1,560 km2)
 • Water18 sq mi (50 km2)  2.9%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total35,805
 • Density58/sq mi (22/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district10th
Websitewww.co.washington.tx.us
Brenham Heritage Museum

Washington County is a county in Texas. As of the 2020 census, the population was 35,805.[1] Its county seat is Brenham, which is located along U.S. Highway 290, 72 miles northwest of Houston.[2] The county was created in 1835 as a municipality of Mexico and organized as a county in 1837.[3][4] It is named for George Washington, the first president of the United States.

Washington County comprises the Brenham, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Houston-The Woodlands, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area.

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.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 622 square miles (1,610 km2), of which 604 square miles (1,560 km2) is land and 18 square miles (47 km2) (2.9%) is water.[5]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18505,983
186015,215154.3%
187023,10451.9%
188027,56519.3%
189029,1615.8%
190032,93112.9%
191025,561−22.4%
192026,6244.2%
193025,394−4.6%
194025,3870.0%
195020,542−19.1%
196019,145−6.8%
197018,842−1.6%
198021,99816.7%
199026,15418.9%
200030,37316.1%
201033,71811.0%
202035,8056.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1850–2010[7] 2010[8] 2020[9]
Washington County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[8] Pop 2020[9] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 22,394 22,023 66.42% 61.51%
Black or African American alone (NH) 5,861 5,555 17.38% 15.51%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 61 75 0.18% 0.21%
Asian alone (NH) 432 547 1.28% 1.53%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 7 14 0.02% 0.04%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 34 140 0.10% 0.39%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 288 1,026 0.85% 2.87%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 4,641 6,425 13.76% 17.94%
Total 33,718 35,805 100.00% 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[10] 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.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Historic communities[edit]

As part of a San Jacinto Day speech in 1900, Hon. Harry Haynes said, "this grand old county, the birthplace and cradle of Texas liberty, is in a sense a vast town cemetery. Tiger Point, Union Hill, Long Point, Sandtown, Old Gay Hill, Mt. Vernon, Turkey Creek, Mt. Gilead, Rock Island, Jacksonville, Mustang, all by the inexorable decrees of new conditions and changes wrought in the course of human events have been blotted from the face of this beautiful earth."[13]

Politics[edit]

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 1980 no Democrat has gained more than 40 percent of the county’s vote

United States presidential election results for Washington County, Texas[23]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 12,959 74.27% 4,261 24.42% 229 1.31%
2016 10,945 73.79% 3,382 22.80% 505 3.40%
2012 10,857 75.41% 3,381 23.48% 159 1.10%
2008 10,176 70.78% 4,034 28.06% 167 1.16%
2004 9,597 73.47% 3,389 25.94% 77 0.59%
2000 8,645 73.21% 2,996 25.37% 168 1.42%
1996 6,319 60.65% 3,460 33.21% 640 6.14%
1992 5,817 53.60% 3,283 30.25% 1,753 16.15%
1988 6,041 66.85% 2,960 32.75% 36 0.40%
1984 6,506 72.32% 2,483 27.60% 7 0.08%
1980 4,821 64.32% 2,518 33.60% 156 2.08%
1976 3,820 58.77% 2,635 40.54% 45 0.69%
1972 3,862 74.30% 1,323 25.45% 13 0.25%
1968 3,244 57.86% 1,686 30.07% 677 12.07%
1964 2,019 40.69% 2,938 59.21% 5 0.10%
1960 2,613 58.21% 1,864 41.52% 12 0.27%
1956 2,975 75.83% 933 23.78% 15 0.38%
1952 3,519 72.17% 1,354 27.77% 3 0.06%
1948 1,904 50.88% 1,647 44.01% 191 5.10%
1944 534 13.27% 1,387 34.46% 2,104 52.27%
1940 1,868 56.32% 1,449 43.68% 0 0.00%
1936 176 8.10% 1,993 91.72% 4 0.18%
1932 99 2.79% 3,443 97.12% 3 0.08%
1928 275 9.94% 2,491 90.06% 0 0.00%
1924 496 11.99% 3,568 86.25% 73 1.76%
1920 684 21.24% 796 24.72% 1,740 54.04%
1916 1,306 53.72% 1,119 46.03% 6 0.25%
1912 546 29.43% 1,111 59.89% 198 10.67%

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.

Education[edit]

School districts:

Blinn College is the designated community college for all of the county.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Washington County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "TSHA | Brenham, TX".
  3. ^ "Texas: Individual County Chronologies". Texas Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  4. ^ "Washington County". Texas Almanac. Texas State Historical Association. May 19, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  6. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  7. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Washington County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  9. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Washington County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  11. ^ Christian, Carole E. "Rehburg Settlement, TX". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  12. ^ Lehmann, Elizabeth. "Salem, TX (Washington County)". Handbook of Texas. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  13. ^ "History of Washington County". The Houston Post. April 29, 1900. p. 21 col. 2. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  14. ^ "Ayres, TX". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "Cedar Creek, TX (Washington County)" by Carole E. Christian in the Handbook of Texas, uploaded 12 June 2010; retrieved 15 December 2015.
  16. ^ "John P. Coles". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  17. ^ "Graball, TX". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  18. ^ Christian, Carole E. "Mount Vernon, TX (Washington County)". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  19. ^ Lehmann, Elizabeth. "Muellersville, TX". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  20. ^ "Winklemann, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  21. ^ "Yegua, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  22. ^ Christian, Carole E. "Zionville, TX". Handbook of Texas. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  23. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  24. ^ Texas Education Code Sec. 130.168. BLINN JUNIOR COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°13′N 96°25′W / 30.21°N 96.41°W / 30.21; -96.41