Irion County, Texas
Irion County (// EYE-ree-ən) is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 1,599. Its county seat is Mertzon. The county is named for Robert Anderson Irion, a secretary of state of the Republic of Texas.
The Irion County Courthouse in Mertzon
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Robert Anderson Irion|
|• Total||1,052 sq mi (2,720 km2)|
|• Land||1,052 sq mi (2,720 km2)|
|• Water||0.07 sq mi (0.2 km2) 0.01%%|
|• Density||1.5/sq mi (0.6/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
- First inhabitants Tonkawa and Kickapoo.
- 1650 Captains Hernán Martín and Diego del Castillo explore the region.
- 1684 Juan Domínguez de Mendoza and Nicolás López report on local Indians.
- 1761 Spanish soldier Felipe Rábago y Terán passes through the area.
- 1858—1861 Butterfield Overland Mail crosses the region.
- 1876 John Arden brings the first flock of sheep from California. Billy Childress establishes the longhorn 7D Ranch.
- 1889 The Texas legislature forms Irion County from Tom Green County. Sherwood becomes the county seat.
- 1928 Oil is discovered in Irion County.
- 1936 Mertzon becomes county seat.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,052 square miles (2,720 km2), of which 1,052 square miles (2,720 km2) is land and 0.07 square miles (0.18 km2) (0.01%) is water. The Spraberry Trend, the third-largest oil field in the United States by remaining reserves, underlies much of the county.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,771 people, 694 households, and 523 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 914 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.68% White, 0.40% Black or African American, 0.79% Native American, 6.55% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. 24.62% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 694 households out of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.80% were married couples living together, 6.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.50% were non-families. 21.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.70% under the age of 18, 4.70% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 100.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $37,500, and the median income for a family was $45,458. Males had a median income of $35,642 versus $20,395 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,515. About 8.30% of families and 8.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.20% of those under age 18 and 7.90% of those age 65 or over.
This county is overwhelmingly Republican, although independent Ross Perot won here in 1992. Hillary Clinton only had 90 votes in the entire county for 11.8% of the vote in 2016, the worst ever by a Democrat in this county. Lyndon Johnson was the last Democrat to win this county in his 1964 landslide. Since Alabama replaced marriage licenses with marriage certificates in 2019 and required that all counties issue them, Irion County, Texas is the only remaining county in the country that does not allow same-sex couples to marry.
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