Wise County, Texas

Wise County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 59,127.[1] Its county seat is Decatur.[2] 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.[3]

Wise County
The Wise County Courthouse in Decatur, a Romanesque Revival structure, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The Wise County Courthouse in Decatur, a Romanesque Revival structure, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Map of Texas highlighting Wise County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 33°13′N 97°39′W / 33.22°N 97.65°W / 33.22; -97.65
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1856
Named forHenry Alexander Wise
SeatDecatur
Largest cityDecatur
Area
 • Total923 sq mi (2,390 km2)
 • Land904 sq mi (2,340 km2)
 • Water18 sq mi (50 km2)  2.0%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total59,127
 • Estimate 
(2018)
68,305
 • Density64/sq mi (25/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts12th, 13th
Websitewww.co.wise.tx.us

HistoryEdit

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 Texas 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.[4]

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.

Hydraulic fracturingEdit

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.[5] In April 2014, the Parrs won a $2.9 million award from a Dallas jury.[6]

GeographyEdit

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.[7]

Adjacent countiesEdit

National protected areaEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
18603,160
18701,450−54.1%
188016,6011,044.9%
189024,13445.4%
190027,11612.4%
191026,450−2.5%
192023,363−11.7%
193019,178−17.9%
194019,074−0.5%
195016,141−15.4%
196017,0125.4%
197019,68715.7%
198026,57535.0%
199034,67930.5%
200048,79340.7%
201059,12721.2%
Est. 201969,984[8]18.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1850–2010[10] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[11] 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.

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found about 3.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.[12]

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.

PoliticsEdit

Wise County, like most rural counties in Texas, votes reliably for Republican candidates in statewide and national elections.

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 83.4% 20,670 13.8% 3,412 2.8% 694
2012 83.0% 17,207 15.5% 3,221 1.5% 317
2008 77.4% 15,973 21.7% 4,471 0.9% 195
2004 75.7% 15,177 23.9% 4,783 0.4% 87
2000 68.6% 11,234 29.5% 4,830 1.9% 304
1996 48.8% 6,330 39.0% 5,056 12.2% 1,582
1992 33.6% 4,555 33.0% 4,478 33.4% 4,535
1988 53.2% 6,064 46.4% 5,288 0.4% 43
1984 64.1% 6,958 35.5% 3,856 0.4% 39
1980 47.3% 4,350 50.8% 4,674 2.0% 181
1976 35.6% 2,856 64.1% 5,133 0.3% 24
1972 70.4% 4,230 29.0% 1,741 0.6% 35
1968 33.8% 1,983 47.3% 2,774 18.9% 1,107
1964 26.5% 1,386 73.5% 3,852 0.1% 3
1960 50.7% 2,562 48.9% 2,470 0.4% 19
1956 45.5% 2,058 54.0% 2,443 0.5% 23
1952 42.5% 2,309 57.4% 3,121 0.1% 4
1948 11.9% 448 81.1% 3,064 7.0% 266
1944 11.2% 444 78.3% 3,114 10.6% 421
1940 11.7% 498 88.2% 3,751 0.1% 2
1936 11.3% 348 88.6% 2,737 0.2% 5
1932 9.6% 286 90.0% 2,681 0.4% 13
1928 66.2% 2,141 33.8% 1,093
1924 14.6% 532 81.2% 2,958 4.2% 151
1920 21.3% 579 74.5% 2,031 4.2% 115
1916 10.7% 263 82.6% 2,023 6.7% 164
1912 6.8% 156 80.1% 1,842 13.2% 303

EducationEdit

These school districts lie entirely within Wise County:

This private educational institution serves Wise County:

This higher education institution serves Wise County:

TransportationEdit

Major highwaysEdit

AirportsEdit

These public-use airports are located in the county:[14]

CommunitiesEdit

CitiesEdit

TownsEdit

Census-designated placesEdit

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ WCMessenger.com: Wise Eyes expands its vision[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Wise County, Texas". www.co.wise.tx.us. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Wise County Family Sues over Natural Gas Fracking", CBS.com, 8 March 2011
  6. ^ "Wise County pair wins $3 million jury award in drilling lawsuit". Star-Telegram (Fort Worth TX). Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  8. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  10. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  12. ^ Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin (June 26, 2015), "Where Same-Sex Couples Live", The New York Times, retrieved July 6, 2015
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Wise County Public and Private Airports". www.tollfreeairline.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 33°13′N 97°39′W / 33.22°N 97.65°W / 33.22; -97.65