Wise County, Texas
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Henry Alexander Wise|
|• Total||923 sq mi (2,390 km2)|
|• Land||904 sq mi (2,340 km2)|
|• Water||18 sq mi (50 km2) 2.0%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||64/sq mi (25/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|Congressional districts||12th, 13th|
Wise County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 59,127. Its county seat is Decatur. Wise County is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area. Its Wise Eyes crime-watch program, eventually adopted by mostly rural counties in several states, was started in 1993 by then-Sheriff Phil Ryan.
On November 10, 1837, the Battle of the Knobs was fought in what is now Wise County between about 150 Native American warriors and 18 Republic of Texas soldiers under Lieutenant A. B. Benthuysen. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Texan soldiers held their ground, killing or wounding an estimated 50 Native Americans and losing 10 of their own men. More settlers began coming into the area not long afterward, with people relocating from both the Upper South and Deep South. Wise County was not founded until 1856. It was named after Virginia Congressman Henry A. Wise, who had supported annexation of Texas by the United States. He was elected governor of Virginia in 1856.
As few residents of Wise County were slaveholders, opinions were mixed at the time of the Civil War, and many people opposed secession. Unionists were persecuted in North Texas, and some were lynched. Forty-two men were murdered in the Great Hanging at Gainesville in October 1862, over the course of several days in neighboring Cooke County. This was one of the worst examples of vigilante justice in American history.
In recent years, Wise County allowed an increase in hydraulic fracturing. In 2011, the Parr family and others filed a lawsuit against several energy companies, including Republic Energy, Inc. and Ryder Scott Petroleum, claiming the extracting processes have created health complications for their family and neighbors. In April 2014, the Parrs won a $2.9 million award from a Dallas jury.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 923 square miles (2,390 km2), of which 904 square miles (2,340 km2) are land and 18 square miles (47 km2) (2.0%) are covered by water.
- Montague County (north)
- Cooke County (northeast)
- Denton County (east)
- Tarrant County (southeast)
- Parker County (south)
- Jack County (west)
National protected area
- Lyndon B. Johnson National Grassland (majority)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, 48,793 people, 17,178 households, and 13,467 families were residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km2). The 19,242 housing units averaged 21 per mi2 (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 91.01% White, 1.23% Black, 0.75% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 5.07% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. About 10.76% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 17,178 households, 38.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.10% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.60% were not families. About 18.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77, and the average family size was 3.14.
In the county, the age distribution was 28.30% under 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 30.20% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,933, and for a family was $47,909. Males had a median income of $35,913 versus $23,434 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,729. About 7.50% of families and 9.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.30% of those under age 18 and 10.60% of those age 65 or over.
Wise County, like most rural counties in Texas, votes reliably for Republican candidates in statewide and national elections.
These school districts lie entirely within Wise County:
- Alvord Independent School District
- Boyd Independent School District
- Bridgeport Independent School District
- Chico Independent School District
- Decatur Independent School District
- Paradise Independent School District
- Northwest Independent School District
- Slidell Independent School District
This private educational institution serves Wise County:
This higher education institution serves Wise County:
- U.S. Highway 81
- U.S. Highway 287
- U.S. Highway 380
- State Highway 101
- State Highway 114
- State Highway 199
These public-use airports are located in the county:
- Bishop Airport (76T)
- Bridgeport Municipal Airport (XBP)
- Decatur Municipal Airport (LUD)
- Heritage Creek Airstrip (58T)
- Rhome Meadows Airport (T76)
- List of museums in North Texas
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Wise County, Texas
- Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Wise County
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- WCMessenger.com: Wise Eyes expands its vision[permanent dead link]
- "Wise County, Texas". www.co.wise.tx.us. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "Wise County Family Sues over Natural Gas Fracking", CBS.com, 8 March 2011
- "Wise County pair wins $3 million jury award in drilling lawsuit". Star-Telegram (Fort Worth TX). Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "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.
- Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin (June 26, 2015), "Where Same-Sex Couples Live", The New York Times, retrieved July 6, 2015
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "Wise County Public and Private Airports". www.tollfreeairline.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1879 American Cyclopædia article Wise.|
- Wise County Genealogy Resources
- Wise County on the Web
- Wise County government's website
- "Liberally Lean From The Land of Dairy Queen" - A Local Blog About Wise County
- Wise County in Handbook of Texas Online at the University of Texas