Roberts County courthouse in Miami
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Oran Milo Roberts|
|o Total||924 sq mi (2,390 km2)|
|o Land||924 sq mi (2,390 km2)|
|o Water||0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2) 0.01%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||1/sq mi (0.4/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Roberts County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 929, making it the seventh-least populous county in Texas. Its county seat is Miami, which is also the county's only incorporated community. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1889. It is named for Oran Milo Roberts, a governor of Texas. Roberts County is one of six prohibition, or entirely dry, counties in the state of Texas.
The Plains Apache inhabited the Texas Panhandle until they were displaced by the Comanche who dominated the area until the 1870s. The Comanche hunted the large herds of buffalo, which grazed on the prairie. In the Red River War of 1874-75, United States Army troops led by Ranald S. Mackenzie drove out the Comanches. Simultaneously, buffalo hunters killed the large herds in the area, destroying the food supply and livelihood of the Plains tribes, making way for permanent settlement by Anglo-Americans and other whites.
Roberts County is the scene of a recent battle for water rights, where the City of Amarillo, Texas, the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, and T. Boone Pickens have sought to purchase the water rights within the county. Between the three, they own 80% of the water rights.
The county is relatively flat except for the Canadian River valley. Most of the land is used for cattle ranching. The county also contains the 68,000-acre (280 km2) Mesa Vista Ranch, which seeks to protect quail, dove and pheasant habitat along the creek beds south of the Canadian River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 887 people, 362 households, and 275 families residing in the county. The population density was less than 1/km² (1/sq mi). There were 449 housing units at an average density of 0 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.51% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 1.35% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 3.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. In terms of ancestry, 26,4% were of German, 19,3% were of Irish, 19,2% were of English, 8,5% were of French, 7,5% were of Belgian, 4,2% were of Scottish, 3,8% were of Dutch.
There were 362 households out of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.70% were married couples living together, 3.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.00% were non-families. 23.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.00% under the age of 18, 4.80% from 18 to 24, 24.80% from 25 to 44, 30.90% from 45 to 64, and 14.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $44,792, and the median income for a family was $50,400. Males had a median income of $33,125 versus $23,611 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,923. About 5.00% of families and 7.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.50% of those under age 18 and 5.50% of those age 65 or over.
Roberts County was one of the earliest counties in Texas to turn Republican. The last Democrat to win the county in a Presidential election was Harry S. Truman in 1948, and although Truman won 75.84 percent of the county's ballots at that election, no Democrat since has passed the forty percent of the vote recorded by Texas native Lyndon Johnson in his landslide national victory over Barry Goldwater. Jimmy Carter in 1976 was the last Democrat to pass thirty percent of the county's vote.
In recent years, Roberts County has become almost unanimously Republican. In 2008, 92 percent of voters voted for Republican John McCain versus only 7.92% for Democrat Barack Obama making it one of the most Republican counties in the United States. In the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump received 94.58 percent of the vote, the largest margin in a county for a Republican in the U.S. that election.
The county is governed by an elected County Judge and four Commissioners (each elected by a precinct with the county).