Irion County, Texas
The Irion County Courthouse in Mertzon
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Robert Anderson Irion|
|• Total||1,052 sq mi (2,720 km2)|
|• Land||1,052 sq mi (2,720 km2)|
|• Water||0.07 sq mi (0.2 km2) 0.01%%|
|• Density||1.5/sq mi (0.6/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Irion County (// EYE-ree-ən) is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 1,599. Its county seat is Mertzon. The county is named for Robert Anderson Irion, a secretary of state of the Republic of Texas.
In 1876, John Arden brought the first flock of sheep from California, and Billy Childress established the Longhorn 7D Ranch.
Oil was discovered in Irion County in 1928.
In 1936, Mertzon became the county seat.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,052 square miles (2,720 km2), of which 1,052 sq mi (2,720 km2) are land and 0.07 square miles (0.18 km2) (0.01%) is covered bywater. The Spraberry Trend, the third-largest oil field in the United States by remaining reserves, underlies much of the county.
- Tom Green County (north and east)
- Schleicher County (southeast)
- Crockett County (southwest)
- Reagan County (west)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, 1,771 people, 694 households, and 523 were families residing in the county. The population density was two people per square mile (1/km2). The 914 housing units averaged one per square mile (0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.68% White, 0.40% African American, 0.79% Native American, 6.55% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. About 24.62% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 694 households, 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.80% were married couples living together, 6.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.50% were not families. About 21.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55, and the average family size was 2.97.
In the county, the age distribution was 26.70% under 18, 4.70% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $37,500, and for a family was $45,458. Males had a median income of $35,642 versus $20,395 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,515. About 8.30% of families and 8.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.20% of those under age 18 and 7.90% of those age 65 or over.
- Mertzon (county seat)
As of 2017, only Irion County had stated it would refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Many counties started issuing same-sex marriage licenses within hours of the Obergefell ruling on June 26, 2015, while others awaited direction from state officials, local county attorney advice, or issuance of corrected state marriage license forms. Irion County adopted this reason for not issuing licenses. No marriage applications have yet been made by same-sex couples in Irion County. Irion County was the sole holdout in Texas, with reports that the situation was still in effect two years later. When Alabama replaced marriage licenses with marriage certificates and required that all counties issue them, Irion County became the only remaining county in the country that would not allow same-sex couples to marry. As of 2020, Irion County has a new county clerk who has stated she would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Irion County was one of four Texas counties Ross Perot won in the 1992 presidential election. Otherwise, the county, like most of rural Texas, is extremely Republican. It has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson won a statewide and national landslide in 1964.
- List of museums in West Texas
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Irion County, Texas
- Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Irion County
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- Top 100 Oil and Gas Fields Archived 2009-05-15 at the Wayback Machine
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
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- Young, Stephen (April 12, 2017). "Texas Senate Approves Recusals For County Clerks Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage". Dallas Observer.
- Reinhard, Chelsea (July 9, 2015). "The Last Stand Against Gay Marriage in Irion County, Texas". sanangelolive.com.
- "Local government responses to Obergefell v. Hodges". ballotpedia.org. July 1, 2015 – June 26, 2017.
- "Irion County clerk cites beliefs, constitution in not issuing same-sex marriage licenses".
- "WATCH: The Next 'Kim Davis:' Texas Clerk Molly Criner".
- "Irion County Clerk".
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
- Irion County government website
- Irion County from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Inventory of county records, Irion County courthouse, Mertzon, Texas, hosted by the Portal to Texas History
- Irion County Profile from the Texas Association of Counties