Happy, Texas

Happy is a town in Randall and Swisher Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 678 at the 2010 census. The Randall County portion of Happy is part of the Amarillo, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Happy, Texas
Downtown Happy, Texas
Downtown Happy, Texas
The Town Without A Frown
Location of Happy, Texas
Location of Happy, Texas
Swisher County Happy.svg
Coordinates: 34°44′38″N 101°51′25″W / 34.74389°N 101.85694°W / 34.74389; -101.85694Coordinates: 34°44′38″N 101°51′25″W / 34.74389°N 101.85694°W / 34.74389; -101.85694
CountryUnited States
CountiesSwisher, Randall
 • Total1.06 sq mi (2.75 km2)
 • Land1.06 sq mi (2.75 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
3,615 ft (1,102 m)
 • Total678
 • Estimate 
 • Density629.59/sq mi (243.06/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)806
FIPS code48-32156[3]
GNIS feature ID1358748[4]


Happy derives its name from Happy Draw, a stream named in the 19th century by the team of cowboys who were happy to find water there.[5] It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.[6] The town's motto is "The Town Without A Frown".[5]


Happy is located at 34°44′38″N 101°51′25″W / 34.74389°N 101.85694°W / 34.74389; -101.85694,[7] primarily within Swisher County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)668[2]−1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[3] of 2010, 678 people, 267 households, and 182 families resided in the town. The population density was 607.5 people per square mile (233.5/km2). The 295 housing units averaged 277.0 per square mile (106.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 88.05% White, 0.29% African American, 1.77% Native American, 8.11% from other races, and 1.77% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 17.31% of the population.

Of the 267 households, 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were not families; 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42, and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town, the population was distributed as 25.8% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $28,393, and for a family was $39,375. Males had a median income of $26,964 versus $17,917 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,618. About 10.9% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.

The population is decreasing by 10% annually because of water shortage.[9]


The City of Happy is served by the Happy Independent School District and home to the Happy High School Cowboys.

Notable citizensEdit

Happy is the birthplace of Rockabilly musician Buddy Knox. Fictional 24 character George Avila was from Happy, Texas.

Barry Clark, one of the pioneers of the Very Large Array, was born in Happy.

The Uncle Sam BandEdit

Happy is the home of the Uncle Sam Band[10] which was organized in the 1930s and directed by Happy High School Band Director James Douglass Forbus. The Uncle Sam Band led a parade in Amarillo, Texas, during a visit by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[11]

Famous sportsmanEdit

Happy is the home town of Joe Cephis Fortenberry, who was the captain, high scorer and MVP of the first U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team. They won the first gold medal ever awarded in the sport. He also won two AAU national championships, one with the Globe Refiners of McPherson, Kansas, and one with the Phillips 66ers. He was AAAU All America four times. He is credited with inventing the dunk shot, ending the jump ball after made goals, and causing the goaltending rule to be instituted.[citation needed]


According to the Köppen climate classification system, Happy has a semiarid climate, BSk on climate maps.[12]


The former Attebury Grain Storage Facility within the town was added to the Superfund National Priorities List by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in April, 2009 because hazardous chemicals were found in the soil and groundwater. Carbon tetrachloride, which was used to extinguish a fire at the storage facility in 1962, was found in a municipal water well, and several private wells.[13]

In popular cultureEdit

The film Happy, Texas, which was named for the town and set there, was not filmed there.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ a b Vandy, Kate (24 January 2014). "Welcome to Happy, Texas". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  6. ^ Parker, Quentin (2010). Welcome to Horneytown, North Carolina, Population: 15: An insider's guide to 201 of the world's weirdest and wildest places. Adams Media. pp. x. ISBN 9781440507397.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ US farmers fear the return of the Dust Bowl The Telegraph, 2011.
  10. ^ The Happy Texas High School Band[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Franklin D. Roosevelt: Address at Ellwood Park, Amarillo, Texas
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Happy, Texas
  13. ^ EPA Records Collection

External linksEdit