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Palestine, Texas
—  City  —
Location of Palestine, Texas
Coordinates: 31°45′29″N 95°38′19″W / 31.75806°N 95.63861°W / 31.75806; -95.63861Coordinates: 31°45′29″N 95°38′19″W / 31.75806°N 95.63861°W / 31.75806; -95.63861
Country United States United States
State Texas Texas
County Anderson
Government
 - Type Council-Manager
 - City Council Mayor Carolyn Salter
Vernon Denmon Jr.
Kathie Masonheimer
Vickie Chivers
James Yelverton
Andrea Baird
Steve Presley
 - City Manager Dale Brown
Area
 - Total 17.9 sq mi (46.3 km2)
 - Land 17.7 sq mi (45.8 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 482 ft (147 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 17,598
 Density 994.3/sq mi (383.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75800-75899
Area code(s) 903
FIPS code 48-54708[1]
GNIS feature ID 1364714[2]
Website http://www.cityofpalestinetx.com/

Palestine (pronounced /ˈpælɛstiːn/ PAL-es-teen[citation needed]) is a city in Anderson County, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 17,598. It is the county seat of Anderson County[3] and is situated in East Texas. Palestine was named for Palestine, Illinois, the home of an early settler.

The largest employer is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which employs more than 3,900. Another 1,600 work at two Wal-Mart distribution centers. Other significant employers include a thriving medical and healthcare sector that tends to the large population of retirees. Finally a distinguishing mark of Palestine is that it is home to the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, which has flown 1700 high-altitude balloons for universities and research agencies.

Palestine entered the news in February 2003, as one of the East Texas towns that received much of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster debris.

Palestine is also the hometown of former Oklahoma Sooner and now Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

Contents

Geography

Palestine is located at 31°45′29″N 95°38′19″W / 31.75806°N 95.63861°W / 31.75806; -95.63861 (31.757925, -95.638473)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.9 square miles (46.3 km²), of which, 17.7 square miles (45.8 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (1.01%)is water.

Historical map showing layout of Palestine, Texas in 1885.
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Climate

  • The average warmest month is July.
  • The highest recorded temperature was 114°F in 1954.
  • On average, the coolest month is January.
  • The lowest recorded temperature was -4°F in 1930.
  • The maximum average precipitation occurs in October.
Palestine, Texas
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
3.6
 
58
37
 
 
3.3
 
64
41
 
 
3.9
 
71
48
 
 
3.8
 
78
55
 
 
4.5
 
84
63
 
 
4.5
 
90
69
 
 
2.6
 
94
72
 
 
3.2
 
94
71
 
 
3.5
 
89
66
 
 
4.9
 
80
55
 
 
4.4
 
68
47
 
 
4.2
 
60
39
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: Weather.com / NWS

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 17,598 people, 6,641 households, and 4,582 families residing in the city. The population density was 994.3 people per square mile (383.9/km²). There were 7,668 housing units at an average density of 433.2/sq mi (167.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.60% White, 24.77% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 7.90% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.88% of the population. - - There were 6,641 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 18.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.13. - - In the city the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.2 males. - - The median income for a household in the city was $30,497, and the median income for a family was $36,806. Males had a median income of $28,331 versus $20,662 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,514. About 16.6% of families and 20.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.7% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Local government

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $12.6 million in Revenues, $11.8 million in expenditures, $6.2 million in total assets, $0.7 million in total liabilities, and $4.2 million in cash in investments.[5]

Education

Public schools

With almost 3,500 students the Palestine Independent School District is the largest school district in Palestine.[6] The district comprises:

  • Palestine High School, grades 9-12
  • Palestine Middle School, grades 6-8
  • A. M. Story Elementary, grades 3-5
  • Southside Primary, grades 1-2
  • Northside Early Childhood Center, headstart and pre-k

Located on the western edge of the city is the Westwood Independent School District. It is home to approximately 1700 students.[7] It consists of a primary, elementary, junior high and high school campus.

Higher education

Trinity Valley Community College operates TVCC-Palestine just north of the city limits at the intersection of US 287 and State Highway 19. In addition to offering academic transfer courses the Palestine campus offers vocational-technical programs in vocational nursing, cosmetology, mid-management, computer science, criminal justice, business and office technology, fire science, legal assistant, emergency medical technician and paramedic programs and also trains correctional officers for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Continuing education and adult education courses are also offered.[8]

The University of Texas at Tyler also operates an extension campus in the city. Fundraising for a new $9.6 million 50-acre (200,000 m2) campus is currently under way with plans to open the facility for the 2010 fall semester.[9] The UT Tyler Palestine Campus currently offers courses in Nursing, Business, Education, Health and Kinesiology and History.[10]

Dogwood Trails Festival

The Dogwood Trails Festival occurs each Spring in Palestine, usually spanning 3 consecutive weekends.[11]

Notable people

Roads and highways

References in popular culture

Popular artist T-Bone Burnett released a song with the title "Palestine, Texas". The artist performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in May 2006.

Museums

References

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PALESTINE, a city and the county-seat of Anderson county, Texas, U.S.A., about 90 m. E. by N. of Waco. Pop. (1906, estimate) 9773. It is served by two lines of the International & Great Northern railway, and by the Texas State. railway. Palestine is the trade centre of a district which produces cotton, timber, fruit (especially peaches), an excellent grade of wrapper tobacco, petroleum, iron-ore and salt. It has various manufactures, including cotton gins, cotton-seed oil, cigars, lumber and brick. Its factory products were valued at $735,162 in 1905. About 2 m. south-west of Palestine a settlement (the first in the present Anderson county) was made in 1837, and there Fort Houston, a stockade fort, was built to protect the settlers from the Indians. Palestine was laid out and was made the county-seat in 1846; it was chartered as a city in 1875, and rechartered in 1905. In 1909 it adopted a commission government.


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