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Coryell County, Texas
Coryell county courthouse
The Coryell County Courthouse in Gatesville, Texas. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 18, 1977.
Map of Texas highlighting Coryell County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of USA TX
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded 1854
Seat Gatesville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,057 sq mi (2,738 km²)
1,052 sq mi (2,725 km²)
5 sq mi (13 km²), 0.47%
 - (2000)
 - Density

73/sq mi (28/km²)

Coryell County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. In 2000, its population was 74,978. The county seat is Gatesville. Coryell County forms part of the KilleenTempleFort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is named for James Coryell, a frontiersman, and Texas Ranger who was killed by Native Americans while protecting settlers.

History TimelineEdit

  • 1685-1690 France plants its flag on Texas soil, but departs after only five years.[2]
  • 1690-1821 Spanish missions and settlements flourish in Texas.
  • 1821 Mexico claims its independence from Spain. Anglos from the north settle in Texas and claim Mexican citizenship.
  • 1825 Mexican government contracts with Robert Leftwich, later to Sterling C. Robertson, to settle 800 families in Texas. Both men came from Tennessee.[3][4]

1st - Slavery is abolished in the republic.

2nd - Consequently, those who have been until now considered slaves are free.
3rd - When the circumstances of the treasury may permit, the owners of the slaves will be indemnified in the mode that the laws may provide. And in order that every part of this decree may be fully complied with, let it be printed, published, and circulated.
Given at the Federal Palace of Mexico, the 15th of September, 1829.
Vicente Guerrero To José María Bocanegra
  • 1836
March 2 - Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico establishes the Republic of Texas.
March 6 - The Alamo falls.
April 21–22 - Battle of San Jacinto, Antonio López de Santa Anna captured.
May 14 - Santa Anna signs the Treaties of Velasco.
  • 1846, May 13 - The United States Congress officially declares war on Mexico.
  • 1849 Fort Gates established by Captain William R. Montgomery.
  • 1854 Texas legislature establishes Coryell County, named for frontier adventurer James Coryell, who came to Texas from Ohio.[7] Gatesville is chosen as the county seat.
  • 1861
County votes for secession from the Union and sends several companies of volunteers for the Confederate States Army.
February 1 - Texas secedes from the Union
March 2 - Texas joins the Confederate States of America.
  • 1865
April 9 – Robert E. Lee formally surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House.
April 15 – President Abraham Lincoln dies of a head wound inflicted by assassin John Wilkes Booth.
June 19 – Major General Gordon Granger arrives in Galveston to enforce the emancipation of all slaves. It is the first time African Americans in Texas know of the Emancipation. The date becomes celebrated annually in Texas as Juneteenth, and later as an official state holiday known as Emancipation Day.[9]
December 6 – The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits slavery.
  • 1885
Texas and St. Louis Railway lays track from Waco to Gatesville.
Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway runs through southern tip of the county.
  • 1889 Correctional facility Gatesville State School for Boys opens.[11]
  • 1897 Current county limestone and sandstone courthouse is erected. Beaux-Arts style, architect W.C.Dodson.[12]
  • 1911 Stephenville North and South Texas Railway runs through Gatesville.
  • 1942 Fort Hood opens and absorbs 225 square miles (580 km2) of land in Coryell.
  • 1962 Correctional facility Mountain View School for Boys opens.[13]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,057 square miles (2,738 km2), of which 1,052 square miles (2,725 km2) is land and 5 square miles (13 km2) (0.47%) is water.

Major highwaysEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit


As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 74,978 people, 19,950 households, and 15,780 families residing in the county. The population density was 71 people per square mile (28/km²). There were 21,776 housing units at an average density of 21 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 65.28% White, 21.80% Black or African American, 0.88% Native American, 1.75% Asian, 0.49% Pacific Islander, 6.26% from other races, and 3.54% from two or more races. 12.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 19,950 households out of which 47.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.80% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.90% were non-families. 16.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.20% under the age of 18, 17.90% from 18 to 24, 36.30% from 25 to 44, 13.80% from 45 to 64, and 5.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 105.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,999, and the median income for a family was $38,307. Males had a median income of $24,236 versus $21,186 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,410. About 7.80% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.30% of those under age 18 and 9.00% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns Edit

Government and infrastructureEdit

Of the eight Texas Department of Criminal Justice general correctional facilities for women, which include five prisons and three state jails,[15] Five of the units,[16] including four prisons and one state jail,[15] are in the City of Gatesville.[16][17]

The Christina Crain Unit prison (formerly Gatesville Unit),[18] the Hilltop Unit prison,[19] the Dr. Lane Murray Unit prison,[20] and the Linda Woodman Unit state jail are co-located amongst one another.[21] In addition the Mountain View Unit, a prison with the State of Texas female death row, is in Gatesville.[22] One male prison, the Alfred D. Hughes Unit, is in Gatesville.[23]

Mountain View opened in July 1975,[22] Crain opened in August 1980,[18] Hilltop opened in November 1981,[19] Hughes opened in January 1990.[23] Murray opened in November 1995,[20] and Woodman opened in June 1997.[21] In 1995, of the counties in Texas, Coryell had the third highest number of state prisons and jails, after Walker and Brazoria.[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Handbook of Texas, Coryell Co
  2. ^ The Six National Flags of Texas
  3. ^ Handbook of Texas, Robert Leftwich
  4. ^ Handbook of Texas, Sterling Clack Robertson
  5. ^ The Magnificent Life of Vicente Ramon Guerrero
  6. ^ TAMU Chieftains of Mexican Independence
  7. ^ Texas Escapes, Life and Times of James Coryell
  8. ^ Government documents, Emancipation Proclamation
  9. ^ Cinnamon Hearts Juneteenth
  10. ^ US Biographies, George Erath
  11. ^ Handbook of Texas, Gates School for Boys
  12. ^ Texas Escapes, Coryville County Courthouse
  13. ^ Handbook of Texas, Mountain View School for Boys
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ a b "Unit Directory." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  16. ^ a b Gately, Paul "Former Downtown Waco Executive Director Moved to Gatesville." KWTX-TV. November 22, 2008. Retrieved on May 20, 2010.
  17. ^ "Gatesville city, Texas." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  18. ^ a b "Crain Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  19. ^ a b "Hilltop Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  20. ^ a b "Murray Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  21. ^ a b "Woodman Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  22. ^ a b "Mountain View Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  23. ^ a b "Hughes Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  24. ^ Horswell, Cindy. "For hard-hit economy of Liberty County, crime officially pays." Houston Chronicle. Thursday June 29, 1995. A30. Retrieved on July 23, 2010.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 31°23′N 97°48′W / 31.39, -97.80

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