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Henrietta, Texas
—  City  —
Location of Henrietta, Texas
Coordinates: 33°48′58″N 98°11′38″W / 33.81611°N 98.19389°W / 33.81611; -98.19389
Country United States
State Texas
County Clay
 - Total 4.7 sq mi (12.3 km2)
 - Land 4.7 sq mi (12.2 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 912 ft (278 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 3,264
 - Density 694.8/sq mi (268.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 76365
Area code(s) 940
FIPS code 48-33284[1]
GNIS feature ID 1359039[2]

Henrietta is a city in and the county seat of Clay County, Texas, United States.[3] It is part of the Wichita Falls, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,264 at the 2000 census.



Henrietta is one of the oldest settled towns in north central Texas. It sits at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 287, U.S. Highway 82, State Highway 148, and Farm to Market Road 1197 in north central Clay County.

Clay County was separated from Cooke County (along with Montague County) in 1857 and Henrietta was named as the county seat. The naming of the town remains a mystery though several explanations have been offered. However, it was named, it became the center of gravity for the fledgling county. By 1860, it remained the only town in the county, having 109 residents, 10 houses, and a general store. It sat at the far western edge of Anglo expansion in north central Texas, but Native Americans remained a viable threat to current and future settlers. In 1862, Henrietta opened its post office. The Civil War saw American soldiers leave all of the south, and Henrietta again suffered from continuous attacks from local tribes. By late 1862, Henrietta was abandoned, as white settlers fled back east to Cooke and Montague counties. Remaining structures were burned. Anglos continued to attempt resettlement, and in 1865 after the Civil War, a group attempting resettlement was massacred. A Quaker group again attempted to reoccupy the former townsite but they were killed or fled. In 1870, 50 soldiers and Kiowa Indians fought a battle in the ruins of Henrietta.

After the battle, white settlers returned to Henrietta, this time permanently. In 1874, the town's post office reopened and Henrietta quickly became the economic hub of north central Texas. In 1882, the Fort Worth and Denver Railway reached Henrietta on its southern side, and in 1887 it became the western most terminus for the Gainesville, Henrietta, and Western Railway. The line was later extended to Wichita Falls after heavy lobbying by Wichita Falls businessmen. Henrietta became a logistical supply point for various operations in north central Texas, including mining in Foard and Archer counties. The Southwestern Railway Company completed a rail line between Archer City, Texas and Henrietta in 1910.

Henrietta, though it had settlers off and on since 1857, did not incorporate until 1881. The Clay County courthouse was built in 1884, which is still in use today. By 1890, the population had reached 2100, and the town boasted a 400-seat opera house, five churches, a new jailhouse, and a school. From 1893 to 1895, it even had a college - Henrietta Normal College. It remained the economic hub of the county at the turn of the 20th century.

But Henrietta's growth would wane in the 20th century as nearby Wichita Falls grew rapidly into the most prosperous economic center in the area. The Southwestern Railway line was abandoned in 1920, and the Gainesville, Henrietta, and Western Railway line was abandoned in 1969. By 1990, the population remained under 3000. In 2000, it topped 3000 for the first time since the 1970 census. It remains a "bedroom community" for Wichita Falls today. It also remains the largest city in Clay County.

The play Texas shown at Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, Texas is loosely based on the history of Henrietta.

The 1995 movie The Stars Fell on Henrietta, produced by Clint Eastwood and David Valdez, and starring Robert Duvall, Brian Dennehy and Billy Bob Thornton, depicts the Texas oil rush of the 1930s, and is set in Henrietta.[4]

Notable Citizens

Bill J. Glassford (September 26, 1921—April 19, 2009) published the Clay County Leader, the weekly newspaper in Henrietta, from 1961 until his retirement in 1995. A native of Johnson County, Glassford served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II and participated in the invasion of North Africa and Italy. He was a journalism graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. From 1953-1961, he owned and operated the Morton Tribune in Morton in Cochran County. A Methodist, Glassford was survived by his wife, Jo Ann, three children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.[5]


Henrietta is located at 33°48′58″N 98°11′38″W / 33.81611°N 98.19389°W / 33.81611; -98.19389 (33.816030, -98.193776)[6].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12 km2), of which, 4.7 square miles (12 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.05%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 3,264 people, 1,308 households, and 893 families residing in the city. The population density was 694.8 people per square mile (268.1/km²). There were 1,460 housing units at an average density of 310.8/sq mi (119.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.89% White, 0.89% African American, 1.04% Native American, 0.98% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.94% of the population.

There were 1,308 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 87.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,835, and the median income for a family was $40,797. Males had a median income of $27,765 versus $21,335 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,647. About 8.2% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Henrietta is served by the Henrietta Independent School District. South of town between Henrietta and Jacksboro, students attend Midway Independent School District (Clay County, Texas).



External links



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