The Hale County Courthouse in Plainview
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|o Total||1,005 sq mi (2,600 km2)|
|o Land||1,005 sq mi (2,600 km2)|
|o Water||0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2) 0.01%%|
|o Density||36/sq mi (14/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Hale County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 36,273. The county seat is Plainview. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1888. It is named for Lt. John C. Hale, a hero of the Battle of San Jacinto. Hale County comprises the Plainview, Texas micropolitan statistical area.
In 7000 BC, Paleo-Indians were the first county inhabitants. Later Native American inhabitants included the Comanche. The Texas Legislature formed Hale County from Bexar County in 1876. A few years later (1881), brothers T.W. and T.N. Morrison, and W.D. Johnson, established the Cross L Ranch and the XIT to raise cattle. In 1883, New York Methodist minister Horatio Graves became the first white permanent settler in the county.
The city of Plainview has its beginnings in 1886 when rancher Zachery Taylor Maxwell moved his family and 2,000 sheep from Floyd County to the site of two hackberry groves on the old military trail established by Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie. The city's name comes from the area's vista. The county was organized in 1888, with Plainview as the county seat. By 1900, the county had 259 farms and ranches, with a population of 1,680.
The Santa Fe Railway came to Plainview in 1906, and Wayland Baptist College was founded the same year. In 1909, businessman Levi Schick opened the Schick Opera House. The county's first motor-driven irrigation well was drilled five years later. The Texas Land and Development Company was organized in Plainview in 1912. Its purpose was to entice settlers by dividing a large tract of land into individual farms, and preparing each farm for occupancy.
Country artist Jimmy Dean, his brother Don Dean, and cousin-in-law Troy Pritchard founded the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company and opened the Jimmy Dean Meat Company in 1969. As of 2010, Hale County was one of 62 counties in Texas still legally barring the sale of alcohol.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,005 square miles (2,600 km2), of which 1,005 square miles (2,600 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.01%) is covered by water.
As of the census of 2000, 36,602 people, 11,975 households, and 9,136 families resided in the county. The population density was 36 people per mi2 (14/km2). The 13,526 housing units averaged 14 per mi2 (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 66.77% White, 5.79% African American, 0.92% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 23.80% from other races, and 2.42% from two or more races. About 47.90% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 11,975 households, 40.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.30% were married couples living together, 11.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.70% were not families. About 21% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the county, the population was distributed as 30.20% under the age of 18, 11.40% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 18.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 102.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,280, and for a family was $35,250. Males had a median income of $26,007 versus $20,057 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,655. About 14.30% of families and 18.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.30% of those under age 18 and 14.80% of those age 65 or over.