Wilson County, Texas

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Wilson County
The Wilson County Courthouse in Floresville. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 5, 1978.
The Wilson County Courthouse in Floresville. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 5, 1978.
Map of Texas highlighting Wilson County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 29°10′N 98°05′W / 29.17°N 98.09°W / 29.17; -98.09
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1860
Named forJames Charles Wilson
SeatFloresville
Largest cityFloresville
Area
 • Total808 sq mi (2,090 km2)
 • Land804 sq mi (2,080 km2)
 • Water4.7 sq mi (12 km2)  0.6%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total49,753
 • Density62/sq mi (24/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts15th, 28th
Websitewww.co.wilson.tx.us

Wilson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 49,753.[1] Its county seat is Floresville.[2] The county is named after James Charles Wilson. Wilson County is part of the San AntonioNew Braunfels, Texas, metropolitan statistical area.

History[edit]

Native Americans[edit]

Archeological evidence in the Wilson County area reveals early habitation from the paleo-Indians hunter-gatherers period.[3][4] Later, the area was a hunting range for Tonkawa, Karankawa. Tawakoni, Lipan Apache, and Comanche who lived in the area.[citation needed]

Explorations and county established[edit]

In September 1718 Martín de Alarcón crossed the area on his way to explore the bay of Espíritu Santo. Pedro de Rivera y Villalón crossed the county in 1727 as part of an expedition to inspect the frontier defenses of New Spain.[5] In 1766–67 the Marqués de Rubí included the area in his inspection of the Spanish frontier,[6] and the 1798 explorations of the coast by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado[7] skirted the area.

The first two land grants in the area were to Luis Menchaca and Andrés Hernández,[8] who established ranches circa 1832–1833.

Anglos began arriving in the 1840s,[6] and Southern planters in 1850 and 1860, followed by German and Polish immigrants from other counties.

Wilson County was formed in 1860 from Bexar County and Karnes County. Sutherland Springs[9] was designated the county seat.

Wilson County voted in favor of secession[6] from the Union, and sent several military units to serve. Wartime hardships were compounded by a three-year drought.

Following the civil war, the county seat[10] was moved to Floresville. The 1872 courthouse was destroyed by fire and replaced in 1884 with a new building[11] designed by Alfred Giles.

Fence Cutting Wars in Texas lasted for approximately five years, 1883–1888. The 40,000-acre (160 km2) ranch of Houston and Dilworth became the focal point in Wilson County. As farmers and ranchers began to compete for precious land and water, cattlemen found it more difficult to feed their herds, prompting cowboys to cut through fences. Texas Governor John Ireland[12] prodded a special assembly to order the fence cutters to cease. In response, the legislature made fence-cutting and pasture-burning crimes punishable with prison time, while at the same time regulating fencing. The practice abated with sporadic incidents of related violence 1888.

The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway[13] reached Floresville in 1886. In 1898 the San Antonio and Gulf Railroad[14] was extended to Stockdale.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 808 square miles (2,090 km2), of which 804 square miles (2,080 km2) are land and 4.7 square miles (12 km2) (0.6%) are covered by water.[15]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18702,556
18807,118178.5%
189010,65549.7%
190013,96131.0%
191017,06622.2%
192017,2891.3%
193017,6061.8%
194017,066−3.1%
195014,672−14.0%
196013,267−9.6%
197013,041−1.7%
198016,75628.5%
199022,65035.2%
200032,40843.1%
201042,91832.4%
202049,75315.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]>
1850–2010[17] 2010[18] 2020[19]
Wilson County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[18] Pop 2020[19] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 25,186 27,877 58.68% 56.03%
Black or African American alone (NH) 644 693 1.50% 1.39%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 125 148 0.29% 0.30%
Asian alone (NH) 143 229 0.33% 0.46%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 9 24 0.02% 0.05%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 25 187 0.06% 0.38%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 374 1,363 0.87% 2.74%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 16,412 19,232 38.24% 38.65%
Total 42,918 49,753 100.00% 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[20] of 2000, there were 32,408 people, 11,038 households, and 8,830 families residing in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (16/km2). There were 12,110 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 81.19% White, 1.21% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 14.25% from other races, and 2.43% from two or more races. 36.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,038 households, out of which 40.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.50% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.00% were non-families. 17.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 29.20% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,006, and the median income for a family was $45,681. Males had a median income of $31,716 versus $23,582 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,253. About 9.20% of families and 11.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.40% of those under age 18 and 15.80% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

Education[edit]

School districts include:[21]

All of the county is in the service area of Alamo Community College District.[22]

Notable people[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Politics[edit]

Wilson County is a strongly Republican county in presidential elections. It last voted for a Democrat in 1976, when it supported Georgia's Jimmy Carter. More recently, in 2020, it gave a quarter of its vote to Democratic candidate Joe Biden. The last time a Democratic candidate won 35% or more of Wilson County's vote was in 1996.

United States presidential election results for Wilson County, Texas[23]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 18,463 73.81% 6,350 25.39% 200 0.80%
2016 13,998 72.17% 4,790 24.70% 607 3.13%
2012 12,218 71.01% 4,821 28.02% 166 0.96%
2008 10,904 66.63% 5,362 32.76% 100 0.61%
2004 10,400 69.87% 4,409 29.62% 76 0.51%
2000 7,509 64.19% 3,997 34.17% 192 1.64%
1996 4,530 49.96% 3,713 40.95% 824 9.09%
1992 3,766 39.13% 3,711 38.56% 2,148 22.32%
1988 4,436 52.65% 3,953 46.92% 36 0.43%
1984 4,588 61.72% 2,829 38.05% 17 0.23%
1980 3,443 51.91% 3,097 46.70% 92 1.39%
1976 1,926 32.63% 3,973 67.32% 3 0.05%
1972 2,953 58.68% 2,072 41.18% 7 0.14%
1968 1,321 31.46% 2,336 55.63% 542 12.91%
1964 718 17.12% 3,472 82.77% 5 0.12%
1960 1,248 30.02% 2,905 69.88% 4 0.10%
1956 1,519 41.30% 2,149 58.43% 10 0.27%
1952 1,823 45.40% 2,187 54.47% 5 0.12%
1948 593 19.64% 2,313 76.59% 114 3.77%
1944 676 19.13% 2,666 75.46% 191 5.41%
1940 605 18.01% 2,750 81.87% 4 0.12%
1936 286 9.99% 2,573 89.84% 5 0.17%
1932 174 6.66% 2,435 93.22% 3 0.11%
1928 622 29.33% 1,499 70.67% 0 0.00%
1924 495 20.17% 1,633 66.54% 326 13.28%
1920 820 46.09% 753 42.33% 206 11.58%
1916 346 27.64% 869 69.41% 37 2.96%
1912 95 9.18% 778 75.17% 162 15.65%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wilson County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Native Peoples of the South Texas Plains During Early Historic Times". Texas Beyond History. Retrieved May 13, 2010. UT Texas at Austin
  4. ^ "Artistic Expression". Texas Beyond History. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  5. ^ Blake, Robert Bruce: Pedro de Rivera y Villalón from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 13 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  6. ^ a b c Long, Christopher: Wilson County from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 13 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  7. ^ Flint, Richard; Flint, Shirley Cushing (2004). The Coronado Expedition to Tierra Nueva: The 1540–1542 Route Across the Southwest. University Press of Colorado. ISBN 978-0-87081-766-3.
  8. ^ "Menchaca-Hernández Compromise" (PDF). Texas General Land Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2010.[permanent dead link] Texas General Land Office
  9. ^ "Sutherland Springs, Texas". Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved May 13, 2010. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC.
  10. ^ "Floresville, Texas". Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved May 13, 2010. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC.
  11. ^ "Wilson County Courthouse". Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved May 13, 2010. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC.
  12. ^ "Fence Cutting Wars, Texas Adjutant General R.N. Steagal Letter To John Ireland March 31, 1884". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved May 13, 2010. Texas State Library and Archives Commission
  13. ^ "San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway". Archived from the original on September 12, 2006. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  14. ^ Williams, Howard C: Texas and New Orleans Railroad from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 13 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  15. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  16. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  17. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Wilson County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  19. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Wilson County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  20. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  21. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Wilson County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved June 30, 2022. - Text list
  22. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.162. ALAMO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA..
  23. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 5, 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°10′N 98°05′W / 29.17°N 98.09°W / 29.17; -98.09