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Henderson, Texas

Not to be confused with Henderson County, Texas.
Henderson, Texas
Streetscape of historic downtown Henderson
Streetscape of historic downtown Henderson
Location of Henderson, Texas
Location of Henderson, Texas

Coordinates: 32°9′14″N 94°48′10″W / 32.15389°N 94.80278°W / 32.15389; -94.80278Coordinates: 32°9′14″N 94°48′10″W / 32.15389°N 94.80278°W / 32.15389; -94.80278{{#coordinates:32|9|14|N|94|48|10|W|type:city(11727)_region:US-TX |primary |name=

Country 23x15pxUnited States
State 23x15pxTexas
County Rusk
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor J.W. "Buzz" Fullen
Scott Lee
Reginald Weatherton
Thomas Ward
Melissa Morton
Pat Brack
 • City Manager Mike Barrow
 • Total 12.0 sq mi (31.1 km2)
 • Land 11.9 sq mi (30.8 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 512 ft (156 m)
Population (2005)
 • Total 11,727
 • Density 947.6/sq mi (365.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75652-75654
Area code(s) 903/430
FIPS code 48-33212[1]
GNIS feature ID 1337593[2]

Henderson is a city in Rusk County, Texas, United States. The population was 13,712 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Rusk County.[3] Henderson is named for James Pinckney Henderson, the first governor of Texas.

The city has functioned as a major crossroads in Northeast Texas over the last two centuries, with several major highways passing through the business district of the town, including U.S. Route 259, Texas State Highway 64, U.S. Route 79, Texas State Highway 43, Texas State Highway 42 and Texas State Highway 64.

Annual events in the city of Henderson include the Heritage Syrup Festival in November, celebrating the east Texas tradition of syrup making, and the East Texas Sacred Harp Convention in August.

The city has a vibrant Historical District, with many buildings dating back to before the American Civil War. The city has 19 historical markers, including homes dating from the 1880s, churches, and colleges. Downtown Henderson is one of the most dramatic and charming downtowns in the East Texas area. Colorful, canvas awnings highlight the ornate buildings which house Henderson's downtown merchants and offer shade to downtown shoppers visiting the various antiques stores, clothing stores, and dining facilities lining the Main Streets.


Another look at downtown Henderson

The city of Henderson is older than the State of Texas itself. Founded on land donated by W.B. Ochiltree and James Smith, the city became the county seat of Rusk County when an act of legislature created Rusk County on January 16, 1843. First Baptist and First Methodist churches were established in 1845 and 1842 respectively. The first courthouse, made of wood, was completed in 1849. After the Civil War, the International and Great Northern Railroad crossed through Rusk County but missed Henderson. In 1874, the Henderson and Overton Branch Railroad Company built a stretch of railroad connecting Henderson to the tracks running through Overton. This stretch of railroad was later sold to Missouri Pacific Railroad (now Union Pacific) and remains in use to this day.

In 1878, a small fire destroyed the courthouse, and a brick courthouse was built in its place. This encouraged the construction of several other brick buildings, including the Howard Dickinson House, now a historical site.

In 1930, C. M. "Dad" Joiner brought in the Daisy Bradford #3 Discovery Well six miles northwest of Henderson. The discovery of oil in October 1930 created a booming economy in the area, with the population of Henderson increasing from 2,000 to over 10,000 in a few months. The oil fields in and surrounding Henderson, part of the hugely producing five-county East Texas Oil Field, continue to provide a large part of the wealth of the town, county and region.

1860 Henderson Fire

On August 5, 1860, a fire broke out and burned most of the booming town of Henderson. Forty-three buildings, including two hotels, were destroyed in the fire, for a loss of 220,000.

According to the Depot Museum,[4] a man named John Crow recalled the fire as follows:

"I was about eight years old when Henderson burned. I went to town with my father the day after the fire. It burned every house as well as I recollect, except the Flanagan Brick Building. I remember I was barefooted and careful not to burn my feet. My father said at the time they thought a fellow named Green Herndon, a union man, had hired a negro woman to burn Henderson. Herndon was a northerner and was a pronounced opponent of secession. On the negro woman's testimony, a mob gathered, threw a loop around his neck, tied it to a saddle horse which went around the public square dragging Herndon to death. Then they hung the boy to a tree and shot it full of holes…War was in preparation and people were in fits of anger. When the war broke out, the men got all the files they could find and went to the blacksmith shops and made knives and swords. There was much laughter and I remember they said, "We'll whip those damn Yankees with axes and butcher knives. Everyone was anxious to go."


Henderson is located at 32°9′14″N 94°48′10″W / 32.15389°N 94.80278°W / 32.15389; -94.80278{{#coordinates:32|9|14|N|94|48|10|W|type:city | |name= }} (32.153938, -94.802732).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of Script error: No such module "convert"., of which, Script error: No such module "convert". of it is land and Script error: No such module "convert". of it (0.92%) is water.

Major highways


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 11,273 people, 4,350 households, and 2,971 families residing in the city. The population density was 947.6 people per square mile (365.8/km²). There were 4,831 housing units at an average density of 406.1 per square mile (156.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.98% White, 22.34% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 6.80% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.80% of the population.

There were 4,350 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.3% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,766, and the median income for a family was $38,095. Males had a median income of $31,285 versus $19,473 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,491.


Local government

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:[6]

Department Director
Mayor Pat Brack
City Council Melissa Morton, Steve Higginbotham, Thomas Ward, Scott Lee, Reginald Weatherton
City Manager Mike Barrow
Municipal Court Judge Rickey Turner
City Attorney David Brown
City Secretary Stephanie Riddle
Police Chief Ronnie Walker
Fire Chief Rusty Chote
Public Service Operations Director Davis Brown
Public Utilities Director Randy Boyd
Finance Director Trina Freeman
Tourism/Main St. Director Suzanne Cross
Community Development Director Paul Duncan

State government

Henderson is represented in the Texas Senate by Republican Kevin Eltife, District 1, and in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Chuck L. Hopson, District 11.

Federal government

At the Federal level, the two U.S. Senators from Texas are Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz; Henderson is part of Texas' US Congressional 1st District, which is currently represented by Republican Louie Gohmert.


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The Henderson Independent School District includes five campuses, Wylie Primary School, Wylie Elementary School, Northside Intermediate School, Henderson Middle School, and Henderson High School. The school mascot of Henderson is a lion, and the school colors are red and blue. School sports are an important part of Henderson, TX culture. A 3-A school, the Henderson Lions football team beat Chapel Hill, Texas to become state champions in 2010. Many students are a member of one or more athletic organizations, including Cheering Squad, Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Softball, Volleyball, Powerlifting, Baseball, Wrestling, Tennis, Track, and Majorette Squad.

A very small portion of the City of Henderson falls within the West Rusk ISD.[7]

Private schools

The City of Henderson is also served by Full Armor Christian Academy, a non-denominational private school.


File:Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary in Henderson IMG 2981.JPG
Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary at 1300 Longview Avenue in Henderson

Henderson is the home of the Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary, a Missionary Baptist institution.[8]


There are currently 7 media outlets and one newspaper located in Henderson, as well as many more in the surrounding areas.



AM stations

Frequency Call letters Format Name
Stations Broadcast from Henderson
1470 KWRD News/Talk

FM stations

Frequency Call letters Format Name
Stations Broadcast from Henderson
100.7 KPXI Sports/Talk ESPN

Notable people

In popular culture

The 1970 science-fiction film, Colossus: The Forbin Project, mentions Henderson as the site of the fictitious Henderson Air Force Base, the target of a retaliatory ICBM fired by Colossus' Soviet counterpart, the defense supercomputer "Guardian".


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Henderson has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[9]


External links