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Hudspeth County, Texas
Hudspeth county courthouse 2009
Hudspeth County Courthouse in Sierra Blanca
Map of Texas highlighting Hudspeth County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of USA TX
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded 1917
Seat Sierra Blanca
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

4,572 sq mi (11,841 km²)
4,571 sq mi (11,839 km²)
1 sq mi (3 km²), 0.02%
 - (2010)
 - Density

0.76/sq mi (0/km²)

Hudspeth County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. It is one of the nine counties that comprise the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. As of 2000, the population was 3,344. By 2010, the population had increased to 3,476.[1] Its county seat is Sierra Blanca[2]. The largest city is Fort Hancock. The county is named for Claude Benton Hudspeth, a state senator and United States Representative from El Paso.[3]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,572 square miles (11,841.4 km2), of which 4,571 square miles (11,838.8 km2) is land and 1 square mile (2.6 km2) (0.02%) is water. Part of Guadalupe Mountains National Park lies in the northeast corner of the county.

Major highwaysEdit

Adjacent counties and municipiosEdit


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 3,344 people, 1,092 households, and 841 families residing in the county. The population density was 0.7 people per square mile (0.3/km²). There were 1,471 housing units at an average density of 0.3 per square mile (0.1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.23% White, 0.33% Black or African American, 1.41% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 8.76% from other races, and 2.09% from two or more races. 75.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,092 households out of which 45.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.00% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.90% were non-families. 21.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.56.

In the county, the population was spread out with 34.10% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 20.40% from 45 to 64, and 9.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 102.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $21,045, and the median income for a family was $22,314. Males had a median income of $22,862 versus $18,594 for females. The per capita income for the county was $9,549. About 32.60% of families and 35.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.30% of those under age 18 and 42.60% of those age 65 or over. The county's per-capita income makes it one of the poorest counties in the United States.


Hudspeth County is served by four school districts. The Fort Hancock Independent School District, based in Fort Hancock, covers the western part of the county, along the El Paso County line from the Mexican border to the New Mexico state line. A strip along the Culberson County line in the eastern part of Hudspeth County which includes Allamoore is served by the Culberson County-Allamoore Independent School District based in Van Horn. Most of the northern part of the county is served by the Dell City Independent School District, based in Dell City. Most of the southern part of the county is served by the Sierra Blanca Independent School District, based in Sierra Blanca.


Native AmericansEdit

Prehistoric Jornada Mogollón peoples[5] were practicing agriculture in the Rio Grande floodplain A.D. 900–1350. These people left behind artifacts and pictographs as evidence of their presence.[6]

The Rodriguez-Sanchez Expedition[7] of 1581 encountered friendly Indians bestowing gifts upon the explorers. Antonio de Espejo[8] 1582-83 expedition encountered Otomoaco Indians in the county.

The Mescalero Apache[9] frequented the area to irrigate their crops. In 1849 John Salmon "RIP" Ford[10] explored the area between San Antonio and El Paso noting in his mapped report the productive land upon which the Mescalero Indians farmed. By the mid-17th Century the Mescaleros expanded their territory to the Plains Navajos and Pueblos from the Guadalupes, and El Paso del Norte. Their feared presence in the area deterred white settlers. January 1870, a group of soldiers attacked a Mescalero Apache village near Delaware Creek in the Guadalupe Mountains. July 1880 soldiers at Tinaja de las Palmas attacked a group of Mescaleros led by Chief Victorio.[11] August 1880, Buffalo Soldiers ambushed Victorio at Rattlesnake Springs. Victorio retreated to Mexico and was killed in October by Mexican soldiers.[12] Two weeks later, Apaches killed seven Buffalo Soldiers,[13] members of the famous black Tenth United States Cavalry.

County explored and settledEdit

The demand for new routes from Texas to California caused an uptick in explorations.[3] The San Antonio to El Paso leg of the San Antonio-California Trail was surveyed in 1848 under the direction of John Coffee Hays. Hudspeth became known as a place travelers passed through, on their way to somewhere else. Fort Quitman[14] was established in 1858 to provide protection for travelers.

Lt. Francis Theodore Bryan[15] camped at Guadalupe Pass while exploring a route from San Antonio to El Paso via Fredericksburg. Upon reaching El Paso in July 1849 his report recommended sink wells along the route. July 1848, Secretary of War William L. Marcy wanted a military post established on the north side of the Rio Grande. Maj. Jefferson Van Horne[16] was sent out in 1849 to establish Marcy's goal. John Russell Bartlett,[17][18] was commissioned in 1850 to carry out the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Bartlett declared the Guadalupe Mountains dark and gloomy, and proposed a transcontinental railroad be built south of the peaks. Three years later, Capt. John Pope[19] was sent to scout out a railroad route, and in the succeeding year to search for artesian water supplies. Texas Commissioner Robert Simpson Neighbors [20] was sent by Governor Peter Hansborough Bell in 1850 to organize El Paso.

The Butterfield Overland Mail[21] and the San Antonio-San Diego Mail [22] both serviced the area 1857-1861. These mail coaches provided a means for travelers to reach California in 27 days, if the passenger had the $200 for a one-way fare and was courageous enough to withstand the weather and dangers enroute.

Men from San Elizario and the other villages along the Rio Grande near El Paso had become dependent on the salt trade[23] for their livelihoods. After the Civil War they broke a road from Fort Quitman to the Salt Basin in northeastern Hudspeth County. But Anglo politicians tried to capitalize on this trade by asserting ownership of the salt lakes and levying fees on the traders. The result was the 7-year San Elizario Salt War,[24] which heightened tensions between Mexicans and Americans in the 1870s.

Rival railway companies began competing for rights of way. The Texas and Pacific Railway[25] and the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway[26] eventually reached an agreement to share the tracks, with a number of towns arising along the way

Hudspeth was formed in 1917 from El Paso. Sierra Blanca was named the county seat, and has the only adobe courthouse[27] in the state of Texas.

Cities and townsEdit

National parkEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hudspeth County at Texas Almanac
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b Hudspeth County from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association.
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Jornada Mogollon". Texas Beyond History. Retrieved 12 May 2010.  Texas Beyond History
  6. ^ "Artistic Expression". Texas Beyond History. Retrieved 12 May 2010.  Texas Beyond History
  7. ^ Rodriguez-Sanchez Expedition from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association
  8. ^ de Espejo, Antonio from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association
  9. ^ "Texas Indians Map". R E. Moore and Texarch Associates. Retrieved 12 May 2010.  R E. Moore and Texarch Associates
  10. ^ Ford, John Salmon from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association
  11. ^ Stout, Joseph A.. "Chief Victorio". King Snake. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  12. ^ Davis, Stanford L. "Victorio’s War". Buffalo Soldier. Retrieved 12 May 2010.  Stanford L. Davis, M.A.
  13. ^ "Buffalo Soldiers and Indian Hot Springs". Texas Historical Markers. Retrieved 12 May 2010. Texas Historical Markers
  14. ^ Rock, James L (2010). Southern and Western Texas Guide for 1878. General Books LLC. pp. 33,40,271. ISBN 978-1458852397. 
  15. ^ Bryan, Francis Theodore from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association
  16. ^ Van Horne, Jefferson from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association
  17. ^ Bartlett, John Russell from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association
  18. ^ "Bartlett, John Russell". The John Russell Bartlett Society. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  19. ^ Pope, John from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association
  20. ^ Neighbors, Robert Simpson from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historic
  21. ^ Greene, A C (2006). 900 Miles on the Butterfield Trail. University of North Texas Press. ISBN 978-1574412130. 
  22. ^ "San Antonio-San Diego Mail". State of California Parks Department. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  23. ^ "Salt Flat". Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC.. Retrieved 12 May 2010.  Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC.
  24. ^ San Elizario Salt War from the Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association
  25. ^ "Texas and Pacific Railway". Texas and Pacific Railway. Retrieved 12 May2010. 
  26. ^ "Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway". Texas Transportion Museum. Retrieved 12 May2010. 
  27. ^ "Hudspeth Courthouse". Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC.. Retrieved 12 May 2010.  Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 31°27′N 105°22′W / 31.45, -105.37

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hudspeth County, Texas. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.