Palestine, Texas

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Palestine, Texas
—  City  —
Palestine City Hall
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
CountryUnited States United States
StateTexas Texas
CountyAnderson
Government
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Bob Herrington
Vernon Denmon Jr.
Will Brule
Vickie Chivers
James Yelverton
Therrell Thomas
Steve Presley
 • City ManagerMike Orht
Area
 • Total17.9 sq mi (46.3 km2)
 • Land17.7 sq mi (45.8 km2)
 • Water0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation482 ft (147 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total18,561
 • Density994.3/sq mi (383.9/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes75800-75899
Area code(s)903
FIPS code48-54708[1]
GNIS feature ID1364714[2]
Websitehttp://www.cityofpalestinetx.com/
 
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Palestine, Texas
—  City  —
Palestine City Hall
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
CountryUnited States United States
StateTexas Texas
CountyAnderson
Government
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Bob Herrington
Vernon Denmon Jr.
Will Brule
Vickie Chivers
James Yelverton
Therrell Thomas
Steve Presley
 • City ManagerMike Orht
Area
 • Total17.9 sq mi (46.3 km2)
 • Land17.7 sq mi (45.8 km2)
 • Water0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation482 ft (147 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total18,561
 • Density994.3/sq mi (383.9/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes75800-75899
Area code(s)903
FIPS code48-54708[1]
GNIS feature ID1364714[2]
Websitehttp://www.cityofpalestinetx.com/
Palestine welcome sign off U.S. Route 79
Palestine Visitor Information Center at the entrance to the downtown district is located in a former railroad depot.
A glimpse of downtown Palestine
Texas Theatre in Palestine hosts community events.

Palestine (pron.: /ˈpælɛstn/ PAL-e-steen) is a city in Anderson County, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 17,598, and 18,458 in the 2009 estimate.[3] It is the county seat of Anderson County[4] "The Hillbilly Capital of East Texas" Palestine was named for Palestine, Illinois, by Daniel Parker.[5]

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.

Palestine entered the news in February 2003, as one of the East Texas towns that received much of the debris from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, where seven astronauts were killed. Palestine is also home to the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (renamed after the shuttle crash), which has flown 1700 high-altitude balloons for universities and research agencies.

Contents

History

In 1846, the Texas Legislature created Palestine to serve as seat for the newly established Anderson County. James R. Fulton, Johnston Shelton and William Bigelow were hired by the first Anderson County commissioners to survey the surrounding land and lay out a town site, consisting of a central courthouse square and the surrounding 24 blocks.[6] It grew significantly following the arrival of the railroad in the 1870s.[7]

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)[8].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.9 square miles (46 km2), of which, 17.7 square miles (46 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.01%)is water.

Historical map showing layout of Palestine, Texas in 1885.

Climate

Palestine, Texas
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
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
Federal Building in Palestine, Texas
East Texas National Bank in Palestine
First Presbyterian Church of Palestine
Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 503 North Queen Street in downtown Palestine

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 per square mile (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.[9]

State government

Palestine is represented in the Texas Senate by Republican Robert Nichols, District 3, and in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Byron Cook, District 8.

National government

At the national level, the two U.S. Senators from Texas are Republicans John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison; Palestine is part of Texas' US Congressional 5th District, currently represented by Republican Jeb Hensarling.

Education

Public school districts

With almost 3,500 students the Palestine Independent School District is the largest school district in Palestine.[10] The district comprises:

Located on the western edge of the city is the Westwood Independent School District. It is home to approximately 1700 students.[11] It consists of a primary, elementary, junior high and high school campus.

Westwood Independent School District

Charter schools

Landmark School, a 9-12 charter school of Honors Academy, is in Palestine.[12]

Colleges and universities

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.[13]

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.[14] The UT Tyler Palestine Campus currently offers courses in Nursing, Business, Education, Health and Kinesiology and History.[15]

Dogwood Trails Festival

The Dogwood Trails Festival occurs each Spring, the last 2 weekends of March and the 1st weekend in April, in Palestine, spanning 3 consecutive weekends.[16]

Dogwood Jamboree

The Dogwood Jamboree is held every two months at the Palestine Civic Center. The country and western concert is hosted by Pastor Dan Manuel and a variety of country and western artists. Each performance always features new talent, young, older and in between. The newest addition to the Dogwood Jamboree features talent competition developing young artists under the age of eighteen. Attendees come all over the nation and foreign countries to see the performances.

Roads and highways

Notable people

References in popular culture

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

Museums

References

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ Palestine at City-Data
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ Kelsey, Mavis P. and Dyal, Donald H. The Courthouses of Texas (2nd ed.). Texas A&M University Press, College Station, 2000, p31.
  6. ^ Original Platmap of the City of Palestine, TX Portal to Texas History
  7. ^ "Palestine, Texas", found in the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities,
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. ^ City of Palestine 2006 CAFR Retrieved 2009-06-10
  10. ^ School District Locator : Accessible Version
  11. ^ School District Locator : Accessible Version
  12. ^ "Contact Us." Landmark School. Retrieved on September 6, 2011. "Address: 101 Brushy Creek Road Palestine, Texas 75801"
  13. ^ Palestine
  14. ^ The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas - Paving the Way
  15. ^ "University of Texas at Tyler Palestine Campus" (digital). UT Tyler. http://www.uttyler.edu/palestinecampus. Retrieved 2009-03-27.[dead link]
  16. ^ Palestine Herald Press: 1. April 3, 2009.

External links