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Van Horn, Texas
—  Town  —
Location of Van Horn, Texas
Coordinates: 31°2′33″N 104°49′59″W / 31.0425°N 104.83306°W / 31.0425; -104.83306Coordinates: 31°2′33″N 104°49′59″W / 31.0425°N 104.83306°W / 31.0425; -104.83306
Country United States
State Texas
County Culberson
 - Total 2.9 sq mi (7.4 km2)
 - Land 2.9 sq mi (7.4 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 4,042 ft (1,232 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 2,435
 Density 846.9/sq mi (327.0/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79855
Area code(s) 432
FIPS code 48-75032[1]
GNIS feature ID 1370571[2]

Van Horn is a town in and the county seat of Culberson County, Texas, United States.[3] The population was 2,435 at the 2000 census.



Van Horn is located at 31°2′33″N 104°49′59″W / 31.0425°N 104.83306°W / 31.0425; -104.83306 (31.042489, -104.832928)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km²), all of it land.


Anglo-Texan[5] settlement began in the late 1850s and early 1860s supportive of the San Antonio-El Paso Overland Mail route.[6] Although U.S. Army Major Jefferson Van Horne is believed to have passed near the area in 1849 on his way to take command of what would later become Fort Bliss, the town is instead named for Lt. James Judson Van Horn who commanded an army garrison at the Van Horn Wells beginning in 1859. Lt. Van Horn's command was relatively short-lived as the post was seized by Confederate forces in 1861 and Lt. Van Horn taken prisoner.[7] Settlement was further stimulated by the construction of the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1881.[8][9][10]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,435 people, 834 households, and 652 families residing in the town. The population density was 846.9 people per square mile (326.4/km²). There were 976 housing units at an average density of 339.5/sq mi (130.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 64.60% White, 0.66% African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 31.46% from other races, and 2.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 78.60% of the population.

There were 834 households out of which 41.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.4% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.8% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% 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 3.35.

In the town the population was spread out with 33.6% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 100.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $24,432, and the median income for a family was $26,611. Males had a median income of $21,336 versus $14,259 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,772. About 24.3% of families and 28.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.4% of those under age 18 and 22.5% of those age 65 or over.


The Town of Van Horn is served by the Culberson County-Allamoore Independent School District.





Space Tourism

In late 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, had acquired 290,000 acres (1,200 km2) of land 25 miles (40.2 km) north of Van Horn to house his fledgling space tourism company, Blue Origin. As of 2008, Blue Origin had been expected to start commercial operations as early as 2010, aiming for 52 launches per year from the Van Horn, Texas facility.[11] As of March 2010 however, Blue Origin and Bezos "have been very secretive about" the plans for the Van Horn facility for the past five years, having granted no interviews with news media since a single interview with the Van Horn Advocate in early 2005. [12]

In early 2010, NASA awarded Blue Origin US$3.7 million to work on an advanced technology, which detaches a crew cabin from its launcher if the shuttle malfunctions."[12]

10,000 Year Clock

In 2009 the The Van Horn Advocate announced that the Long Now Foundation was starting geologic testing for an underground space to house a 10,000 Year Clock of the Long Now, on the Bezos ranch, north of Van Horn.[13]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Anglo-American Colonization", The Handbook of Texas Online
  6. ^ "San Antonio-El Paso Mail", The Handbook of Texas Online. For more on the establishment of this route, see United States Army, Corps of Topographical Engineers; Joseph Eggleston Johnston, Francis T. Bryan, Randolph Barnes Marcy, William F. Smith, N. H. Michler, S. G. French, W. H. C. Whiting, and James H. Simpson (1850). Reports of the Secretary of War: with reconnaissances of routes from San Antonio to El Paso. Washington, DC: Union Office. 
  7. ^ Regarding prisoner exchanges including Lt. Van Horn see January 26, 1862 correspondence from J. P. Benjamin to Major General Benjamin Huger in United States War Department (1891). The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Volume III). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. p. 782 (and others). 
  8. ^ "Van Horn, Texas", The Handbook of Texas Online
  9. ^ "Van Horne, Jefferson", The Handbook of Texas Online
  10. ^ Cullum, George Washington; Edward Singleton Holden (1891). Biographical register of the officers and graduates of the U.S. military academy at West Point, N.Y.: from its establishment, in 1802, to 1890; with the early history of the United States military academy. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Company. p. 400. 
  11. ^ "Tourism Update: Jeff Bezos? Spaceship Plans Revealed". 2006-07-05. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  12. ^ a b Van Horn spaceport gets NASA backing, Adriana Gómez Licón, El Paso Times, 2010-03-14, accessed 2010-03-17.
  13. ^ "Clock project to begin near Van Horn, Texas". Retrieved 2010-01-17. 

External links


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