Waller County, Texas
Waller County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,205. Its county seat is Hempstead. The county was named for Edwin Waller, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and first mayor of Austin.
The Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Coordinates: 30°01′N 95°59′W|
|Named for||Edwin Waller|
|• Total||518 sq mi (1,340 km2)|
|• Land||513 sq mi (1,330 km2)|
|• Water||4.4 sq mi (11 km2) 0.8%%|
|• Density||84/sq mi (32/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 518 square miles (1,340 km2), of which 513 square miles (1,330 km2) are land and 4.4 square miles (11 km2) (0.8%) are covered by water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2000 Census, 32,663 people, 10,557 households, and 7,748 families resided in the county. The population density was 64 people per square mile (25/km²). The 11,955 housing units averaged 23 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 57.83% White, 29.25% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 10.28% from other races, and 1.76% from two or more races. About 19.42% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 10,557 households, 35.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.70% were married couples living together, 13.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.60% were not families. About 21.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.25.
In the county, the population was distributed as 25.70% under the age of 18, 18.10% from 18 to 24, 26.40% from 25 to 44, 20.50% from 45 to 64, and 9.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $38,136, and for a family was $45,868. Males had a median income of $34,447 versus $25,583 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,338. About 11.50% of families and 16.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.00% of those under age 18 and 12.30% of those age 65 or over.
Igloo Corporation, a manufacturer of cooling and portable refrigeration products, is headquartered in unincorporated Waller County between Brookshire and Katy. In 2004, Igloo announced that it was consolidating its corporate, distribution, and manufacturing operations in Waller County.
Goya Foods has its Texas offices in an unincorporated area of the county near Brookshire.
United States Congress
|Senate Class 1||John Cornyn||Republican||2002||Senior Senator|
|Senate Class 2||Ted Cruz||Republican||2013||Junior Senator|
|Representatives||Name||Party||First Elected||Area(s) of Waller County Represented|
|District 10||Michael McCaul||Republican||2004||Entire county|
As reported by the US District Court (Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division) in Veasey v Perry, October 2014 (CIVIL ACTION NO. 13-CV-00193), pp 6–7 verbatim:
- In 1971, after the 26th Amendment extended the vote to those 18 years old and older, Waller County, which was home to Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), a historically Black university, became troubled with race issues. Waller County's tax assessor and voter registrar prohibited students from voting unless they or their families owned property in the county. This practice was ended by a three-judge court in 1979.
- In 1992, a county prosecutor indicted PVAMU students for illegally voting, but dropped the charges after receiving a protest from the DOJ.
- In 2003, a PVAMU student ran for the commissioner's court. The local district attorney and county attorney threatened to prosecute students for voter fraud—for not meeting the old domicile test. These threatened prosecutions were enjoined, but Waller County then reduced early voting hours, which was particularly harmful to students because the election day was during their spring break. After the NAACP filed suit, Waller County reversed the changes to early voting and the student narrowly won the election.
- In 2007-08, during then Senator Barack Obama's campaign for president, Waller County made a number of voting changes without seeking clearance. The county rejected “incomplete” voter registrations and required volunteer deputy registrars (VDRs) to personally find and notify the voters of the rejection. The county also limited the number of new registrations any VDR could submit, thus limiting the success of voter registration drives. These practices were eventually prohibited by a consent decree.
In 2018, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit in U.S. district court, alleging that the county's early-voting plan unduly limits early voting opportunities for students at Prairie View A&M. On October 10, Jacob Aronowitz, a field director for Democratic U.S. House candidate Mike Siegel, delivered a letter from Siegel, which indicated a solution to attempts to keep students at Prairie View A&M University from voting, to a clerk on the county executive's staff. As a result, Aronowitz was arrested for what he was told was "48 hour investigative detention". It appears the arrest was due to his being a Democrat.
Death of Sandra Bland
Sandra Bland was a 38 year old woman who was arrested by a Texas State Trooper in Waller County on July 10, 2015 as the result of a traffic stop. According to officials, she committed suicide by hanging in her Waller County Jail cell three days later. This incident garnered national attention and prompted the Texas state legislature to enact the Sandra Bland Act (SB 1849) which encompasses such things as procedures for jail staff, addressing substance abuse of prisoners, the mental health of prisoners, and the completion of a 40 hour Civilian Interaction Training (TCOLE) course for all persons in Texas holding a law enforcement officer's license (Chapter 1701, Occupations Code).
School districts serving Waller County include:
- Hempstead Independent School District
- Royal Independent School District
- Katy Independent School District (portions of the district are in other counties)
- Waller Independent School District (portions of the district are in other counties)
Brazos Valley Sudbury School was previously in operation in Waller County.
Prairie View A&M University is the only university located within the county.
The TTC-69 component (recommended preferred) of the once-planned Trans-Texas Corridor went through Waller County.
The Houston Airport System stated that Waller County is within the primary service area of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, an international airport in Houston in Harris County. In addition William P. Hobby Airport in Houston and in Harris County has commercial airline service.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Igloo Worldwide Headquarters Archived 2010-04-21 at the Wayback Machine." Igloo Corporation. Accessed September 5, 2008. "Igloo Products Corp. 777 Igloo Road Katy, Texas 77494"
- "Igloo consolidating operations in Katy facility." Houston Business Journal. Monday October 18, 2004. Retrieved on March 2, 2011. "1001 W. Sam Houston Parkway North" for the old Houston facility
- "Contact Us." Goya Foods. Retrieved on March 26, 2016. "Goya Foods of Texas 30602 McAllister Road Brookshire, TX 77423"
- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
- "2 Voter Rights Cases, One Gripping a College Town, Stir Texas" by Ralph Blumenthal, New York Times, May 28, 2008
- "Judges slap Waller voter rules, give hand to Prairie View" by Cindy George, Houston Chronicle October 24, 2008
- "Fighting for the Right to Vote in a Tiny Texas County" by Vann R. Newkirk II and Adam Harris, The Atlantic magazine.
- "Texas cops arrest Democratic campaign worker after asking his candidate's party affiliation". 2018-10-11.
- TxDoT, TTC Section C & S, Detailed Map 1, 2007-12-17 Archived 2009-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
- "Master Plan Executive Summary." George Bush Intercontinental Airport Master Plan. Houston Airport System. December 2006. 2-1 (23/130). Retrieved on December 14, 2010.
- McLemee, Scott (February 6, 2004). "Justice Department to Look Into Alleged Threat to Students' Voting Rights", The Chronicle of Higher Education 50 (22): A30.
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