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Hemphill is a city in Sabine Countymarker, Texasmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 1,106 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Sabine Countymarker. It is located on State Highway 87 at the junction of State Highway 184, and is surrounded by the Sabine National Forestmarker and the Toledo Bend Reservoirmarker.


Hemphill is located at (31.342612, -93.854909).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km²), of which, 2.4 square miles (6.2 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (1.66%) is water.

Hemphill is 484 miles (as the crow flies) from Hemphill County, Texasmarker (which is in the northern Panhandle). This is the largest separation of a Texas city from a Texas county of the same name.

Historical development

In 1858 the Sabine county voters elected to move the county seat from Milammarker to a more central part of the county. The following year, the plans for the town were laid down, with the post office opening as well. The Town was named after John Hemphill, an early Texas judge and legal scholar, and later a United States Senator.The location was indeed ideal distance-wise for the county, but transportation was disadvantaged as the Sabine Rivermarker and existing rail lines were away from the heart of the county. In 1912, the Lufkin, Hemphill and Gulf Railway provided Hemphill with rail connections, which would operate to facilitate the lumber operations nearby. By 1938, the line would be abandoned as sawmills would close at the neighboring communities.

Development today

The town of Hemphill has gone through many changes through the generations. More than half of the population moving about Hemphill during the summer is tourists coming to the lakes. Because of the lakes Toledo Bendmarker and Sam Rayburnmarker, Hemphill draws people from all over. As for businesses in Hemphill, you will find stores such as: Beall's Furniture, ALCO, Ritter's Ace Hardware, Dairy Queen, and Brookshire Brothers, all located on State Hwy 87. Hemphill is also home to numerous "mom and pop" stores such as Fat Fred's and Lane's.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,106 people, 467 households, and 301 families residing in the city. The population density was 465.3 people per square mile (179.4/km²). There were 574 housing units at an average density of 241.5/sq mi (93.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.40% White, 16.82% African American, 0.63% Native American, 3.62% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.61% of the population.

There were 467 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,781, and the median income for a family was $33,839. Males had a median income of $30,000 versus $20,417 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,674. About 14.1% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.5% of those under age 18 and 18.6% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Hemphill is served by the Hemphill Independent School District

Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster

In early February 2003, this town and its vicinity was one of the key search areas for the Space Shuttle Columbia wreckage as it broke up over Texas. The people of Hemphill felt their houses shake as, upon re-entry, the shuttle quickly came to pieces over the residences of Hemphill. The citizens, military, police, and civilians, led the hunt to recover the remains of the shuttle along with finding the crew members. The search teams recovered the Orbiter Experiment Support System recorder (OEX) near Hemphill.In Hemphill a memorial has been erected in memory of the lost heroes, and also in memory of the large effort put forth by the people. The memorial can be found at the intersection of Hwy 87 North and Hwy 83 East.


  1. TSHA Online - Texas State Historical Association
  2. Hemphill, Texas
  3. NASA - Columbia - Home
  4. | Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Brunswick | NASA Inspects Reports of Wing Debris
  5. Columbia's nose gear found | - Houston Chronicle

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