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Upshur County, Texas
Map of Texas highlighting Upshur County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded 1846
Seat Gilmer
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

593 sq mi (1,536 km²)
588 sq mi (1,523 km²)
5 sq mi (13 km²), 0.85%
 - (2000)
 - Density

60/sq mi (23/km²)

Upshur County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of 2000, the population was 35,291. The county seat is Gilmer[1]. Upshur County is part of the Longview Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Longview–Marshall Combined Statistical Area.

The county is named for Abel P. Upshur who was U.S. Secretary of State during President John Tyler's administration. Upshur was killed in the explosion on the USS Princeton along with new United States Secretary of the Navy Thomas Walker Gilmer (who was the namesake for the county seat of Gilmer).


Upshur County Courthouse

Upshur County Courthouse

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 593 square miles (1,535 km²), of which 588 square miles (1,522 km²) is land and 5 square miles (13 km²) is water. The total area is 0.85% water.

Major Highways[]

  • US 80.svg U.S. Highway 80
  • US 259.svg U.S. Highway 259
  • US 271.svg U.S. Highway 271
  • Texas 154.svg State Highway 154
  • Texas 155.svg State Highway 155

Adjacent counties[]


Humans have inhabited what is now Upshur county since at least 10,000 years ago. The Caddoan people lived in this area, but were driven out, probably by disease, about 1750. Later the Cherokee came to the area. The Cherokee were driven out by 1839.[2]

The first White settler in Upshur county was probably Isaac Moody who settled there in 1836.[2]

Upshur County was named for Abel Packer Upshur, Secretary of State under John Tyler.[2]

Upshur County has the distinction of being the county that has the largest settlement in Texas organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1904 the Latter-day Saint South-western States Mission organized a colony at Kelsey.[3]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 3,394
1860 10,645 213.6%
1870 12,039 13.1%
1880 10,266 −14.7%
1890 12,695 23.7%
1900 16,266 28.1%
1910 19,960 22.7%
1920 22,472 12.6%
1930 22,297 −0.8%
1940 26,178 17.4%
1950 20,822 −20.5%
1960 19,793 −4.9%
1970 20,976 6.0%
1980 28,595 36.3%
1990 31,370 9.7%
2000 35,291 12.5%
Est. 2009 38,057 7.8%
U.S. Census Bureau[4] Texas Almanac[5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 35,291 people, 13,290 households, and 10,033 families residing in the county. The population density was 60 people per square mile (23/km²). There were 14,930 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 85.70% White, 10.15% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.10% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. 3.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 13,290 households out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.70% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.50% were non-families. 21.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.00% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,347, and the median income for a family was $38,857. Males had a median income of $31,216 versus $20,528 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,358. 14.90% of the population and 12.30% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 18.60% of those under the age of 18 and 14.00% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Cities and Towns[]

  • Bettie
  • Big Sandy
  • Diana (unincorporated)
  • East Mountain
  • Enoch (unincorporated)
  • Gilmer
  • Gladewater (mostly in Gregg County)
  • Harmony
  • Ore City
  • Pritchett (unincorporated)
  • Simpsonville
  • Union Grove
  • Warren City (mostly in Gregg County)
  • Latch (unincorporated)

Ghost towns[]

  • Center Point


The following school districts serve Upshur County:

  • Big Sandy ISD (partly in Wood County)
  • Gilmer ISD (small portion in Camp County)
  • Gladewater ISD (mostly in Gregg County, partly in Smith County)
  • Harmony ISD (partly in Wood County)
  • New Diana ISD (small portion in Harrison County)
  • Ore City ISD (small portion in Harrison, Marion counties)
  • Pittsburg ISD (mostly in Camp County, small portion in Wood County)
  • Union Grove ISD
  • Union Hill ISD (mostly in Upshur County,partly in Wood County)

References in popular culture[]

  • The singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked, who grew up in Gilmer, refers to Upshur County in several of her songs.
  • Author Edward Hancock II sets many of his stories in and around Upshur County, Texas.

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Upshur County, Texas


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b c TSHA Online - Texas State Historical Association
  3. ^ Jenson, Andrew. "Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1941) p. 129
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 32°44′N 94°56′W / 32.73, -94.94

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Upshur 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.