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Huntsville is a city in and the county seat of Walker County, Texas, United States. The population was 35,508 at the 2010 census. It is the center of the Huntsville metropolitan area.
Huntsville is located in the East Texas Piney Woods on the Interstate 45 corridor between Houston and Dallas. Huntsville is home to Sam Houston State University, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Huntsville State Park, the HEARTS Veterans Museum of Texas, located on Texas Veterans Memorial Parkway at Interstate 45, and the Texas Prison Museum, also on Highway 75 near Interstate 45. Huntsville served as the residence of Sam Houston, who is recognized in Huntsville by the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and a statue on Interstate 45. Huntsville has headquarters of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and several prisons operated by the department. The Huntsville Unit, one of the TDCJ units, has the execution chamber of the state of Texas.
The city had its beginning about 1836, when Pleasant and Ephraim Gray opened a trading post on the site. Ephraim Gray became first postmaster in 1837, naming it after his former home town, Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama. (Incidentally, “Madison County” is also the name of an adjacent Texas county.)
Huntsville became the home of Sam Houston, who served as President of the Republic of Texas, Governor of the State of Texas, Governor of Tennessee, U.S. Senator, and Tennessee congressman. General Houston led the Texas Army in the Battle of San Jacinto – the decisive victory of the Texas Revolution. Houston has been noted for his life among the Cherokees of Tennessee, and – near the end of his life – for his opposition to the American Civil War, a position which was a very unpopular in his day. Located in Huntsville are two of Houston’s homes, his grave, and the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. Houston’s life in Huntsville is also commemorated by his namesake Sam Houston State University, and by a 70Â ft (21Â m) statue. (The towering statue, “Tribute to Courage” by artist David Adickes, has been described as the world’s largest statue of an American hero, and is easily viewed by travelers on Interstate 45.)
Huntsville was also the home of Samuel Walker Houston (1864â€“1945), a prominent African-American pioneer in the field of education. He was born into slavery on February 12, 1864 to Joshua Houston, a slave owned by Sam Houston. Samuel W. Houston founded the Galilee Community School in 1907, which later became known as the Houstonian Normal and Industrial Institute, in Walker County, Texas.
In 1995, on the grounds of the old Samuel W. Houston Elementary School, the Huntsville Independent School District, along with the Huntsville Arts Commission and the high school’s Ex-Students Association, commissioned the creation of The Dreamers, a monument to underscore the contributions made by the black community in the growth and development of Huntsville and Walker County.
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,078 people, 10,266 households, and 7,471 families residing in the city. The population density was 1438.3/km sq (10,135.1/mi sq). There were 11,508 housing units at an average density of 1143.8/km sq (1372.4/mi sq). The racial makeup of the city was 65.78% White, 26.14% African American, 0.33% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 4.91% from Race (United States Census)other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.22% of the population.
There were 10,266 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.7% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city the population was spread out with 15.1% under the age of 18, 29.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 16.3% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 152.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 163.8 males. The prison population is included in the city’s population, which results in a significantly skewed sex ratio.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,075, and the median income for a family was $40,562. Males had a median income of $27,386 versus $22,908 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,576. About 13.1% of families and 23.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.9% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.