Duval County, Texas
Duval County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 11,782. The county seat is San Diego. The county was founded in 1858 and later organized in 1876. It is named for Burr H. Duval, a soldier in the Texas Revolution who died in the Goliad Massacre.
The Duval County Courthouse in San Diego
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Coordinates: 27°41′N 98°31′W|
|Named for||Burr H. Duval|
|Largest city||San Diego|
|• Total||1,796 sq mi (4,650 km2)|
|• Land||1,793 sq mi (4,640 km2)|
|• Water||2.1 sq mi (5 km2) 0.1%%|
|• Density||6.6/sq mi (2.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Even though Duval County lies in the United States, it has long been Mexican in character. A Mexican first surveyed it in 1804, Jose Contrerras, surveyor general of San Luis Potosi. Luis Muniz was born there in 1828, the county's first recorded birth. The important colonists came from Mier, Tamaulipas - and Anglos later respected their descendants as the old Mexican families.
The Texas Legislature established Duval County February 1, 1858. The Texas Almanac of 1867 reported that Duval and nearby Dimmit County had only four stock raisers and their population was unlikely to grow much absent the discovery of mineral wealth. Not long after, a wave of Anglo immigrants entered the county to raise sheep. Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Irishmen, and Scots came. During this boom, the county seat enjoyed formal balls and haute cuisine. The Hotel Martinet's Sunday feast drew patrons from Corpus Christi, 50 miles (80 km) to the East. The death rate rivaled Tombstone, Arizona's. Some died under the code duello but more by foul play; the victims were usually Mexican. A vigilante group from Duval and McMullen County found a great pile of cowhides (presumably from stolen animals) near the county line; they lynched 15 Mexicans there. Prosperity in the 1880s eased ethnic animosities. After the Texas-Mexican Railway was built in 1881, its San Diego station was important for hides, wool, and cotton. But in 1886 the sheep began to die, and the boom died.
The corrupt Parr family political machine dominated Duval and nearby Jim Wells counties during the twentieth century, and were instrumental in the 1948 election of Lyndon Johnson to the US Senate, and to some extent the 1960 presidential election which threw Texas to John F Kennedy.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,796 square miles (4,650 km2), of which 1,793 square miles (4,640 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.1%) is water.
U.S. Highway 59 Interstate 69W is currently under construction and will follow the current route of U.S. 59 in most places. State Highway 16 State Highway 44 State Highway 285 State Highway 339 State Highway 359 Farm to Market Road 716 Farm to Market Road 1329 Farm to Market Road 2295 Farm to Market Road 3196
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,782 people residing in the county. 87.0% were White, 0.9% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 9.8% of some other race and 1.7% of two or more races. 88.5% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,120 people, 4,350 households, and 3,266 families residing in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 5,543 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.22% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 15.46% from other races, and 3.11% from two or more races. 87.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,350 households out of which 36.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.20% were married couples living together, 16.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.90% were non-families. 22.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.40.
In the county, the population was spread out with 29.50% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 26.40% from 25 to 44, 20.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 100.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $22,416, and the median income for a family was $26,014. Males had a median income of $25,601 versus $16,250 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,324. About 23.00% of families and 27.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.90% of those under age 18 and 25.30% of those age 65 or over.
Like much of heavily Hispanic South Texas, Duval County is a Democratic stronghold. The last Republican to carry the county was Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. In the 1964, 1968 and 1972 presidential elections, Duval was the most Democratic county in the country. In the 2004 presidential election, it went solidly for Democrat John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, while George W. Bush carried the state as a whole by a wide margin. In the 2008 presidential election Barack Obama received 74.80 percent of the county's vote. In all the Democratic candidate consistently received more than seventy percent of the county’s vote between 1956 and 2012, although Hilary Clinton’s 2016 result was the weakest by a Democrat since at least Adlai Stevenson II.
After the initial election returns in the 1948 Democrat runoff primary election for U.S. Senate, Duval County added 425 votes for Lyndon B. Johnson over Coke R. Stevenson. (George Parr simultaneously arranged the more famous electoral fraud for Johnson in Alice, Texas.)
Duval County is notorious for corrupt politics, particularly during the early and mid-20th century, when it was largely controlled by the political machine of Texas State Senator Archie Parr and his son George Parr, each in his turn called El Patrón or the "Duke of Duval". Givens Parr had been county judge before his younger brother George. George was later elected sheriff. Archer Parr III, George's nephew and adopted brother, later held both those offices. Meanwhile, then Texas Attorney General John Ben Shepperd brought some three hundred state indictments against county and school officials.
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- Givens, Murphy (September 7, 2011). "George Parr inherited his father's political dynasty". Corpus Christi Caller Times. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
Stevenson also challenged the results in Duval County, where the vote totals also changed dramatically after the election. On election night in Duval County, the county chairman reported Johnson with 4,187 votes, Stevenson with 38. Six days later, the official canvass increased that to 4,622 votes for Johnson, 40 for Stevenson. Johnson gained 425 votes and Stevenson 2.
- Givens, Murphy (August 31, 2011). "Cowboy from Matagorda founded political dynasty". Corpus Christi Caller Times. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- Lynch, Dudley M. (January 1, 1976). The Duke of Duval: The Life and Times of George B. Parr. Waco: Texian Press. pp. 31, 34, 90, 127. ISBN 978-0-87244-044-9. LCCN 76-54438. Retrieved 2013-09-09.