Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 97
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later when Stephen F. Austin founded his
colony on the banks of the Brazos. The
colonization of the period 1821-35 brought
many settlers to the state. Yoakum esti-
mated the population in 1831 at 20,000.
The vote for the first President of the
Republic in 1836 would indicate a popu-
lation of about 50,000, and the vote of
1845, the last year of the Republic, indi-
cated a population of approximately
125,000. A partial enumeration was made
in 1847, showing 135,000 population, of
which 39,000 were slaves.
Growth Halted by Civil War.
Settlement of Texas was rapid until
the period of the Civil War, which tem-
porarily halted the westward movement
of population throughout the United
States. The decade 1860-70 shows the
smallest increase of population of any of
the nine decennial periods for which
enumeration of population has been
made. Following the Civil War, however,
conditions in the Old South gave impetus
to the westward movement. With the
institution of slavery gone and the agri-
cultural industry revolutionized many
planters turned their faces west, and cast
their fortunes with the great new empire
of Texas. It is not surprising that the
population of Texas increased 94.5 per
cent between 1870 and 1880.
Two Eras of Population Growth.
The history of the growth of popula-
tion of Texas from the close of the Civil
War to the present time may be divided
into two great chapters, as related to the
motivation of migration from other parts
of the United States to Texas. First,
there was the era of expansion of the
cattle and cotton industries, the cotton
industry contributing the preponderant
influence. The growth of population has
been due partly, of course, to increase in
birth rate and partly to immigration from
foreign countries, but by far the greater
increase has been due to the migration
from other states. From the close of the
Civil War until 1900 this migration was
primarily of the cotton farmers of the
Old South looking for newer and more
fertile soils. To less degree the expansion
of cattle-raising contributed. These two
agricultural industries moving westward
across the state from the coastal belt and
the East Texas woods to the Blacklands,
thence to Middle West Texas and even-
tually to the High Plains accounted for
nine tenths of Texas population growth,
directly and indirectly, during the dec-
ades mentioned. Yet this development
had some adverse effects as is set forth
in later paragraphs.
Oil and a New Era.
In 1901 the Spindle Top gusher came
in. It marked the beginning of a new era
of population and economic growth, the
significance of which has not been fully
grasped even to this day. Agriculture
continued to draw population to Texas as
the cotton fields of the Great Plains and
the Corpus Christi area were opened and
as the production of diversified crops
drew people to the new wheat belt of the
North Plains, the citrus and early vege-
table producing region of the Lower
Valley, the Winter Garden and other
regions adaptable to diversified crop pro-
duction. Nevertheless, it has been petro-
leum and natural gas that has lent
impetus to the population growth of
Texas during the last three and one half
decades. On the heels of the petroleum
discoveries have come discoveries of
sulphur and other minerals (in many
instances as the direct result of drilling
for petroleum) and in turn they have
lent impetus to the development of man-
ufacturing. During the last ten years
Texas population would have been at a
standstill had it depended upon its agri-
cultural resources. The passing of the
agricultural crisis in this country will
bring new opportunities for expansion of
farm population in Texas, primarily
through the diversification and intensifi-
cation of the farming and livestock rais-
ing industries, but it will be the mining
industries and manufacturing that will
draw the greater part of Texas popula-
tion increase in the future.
Growing Urban Population.
An outstanding result of this shift in
the contributing cause of Texas increase
in population will be continued urbaniza-
tion. The process of urbanization has
been in evidence during the last three
decades. In 1910 the urban population of
Texas-that part of the population living
in incorporated places of 2,500 or more
population-amounted to only 24 1 per
cent of the state's total population. In
1920 it had risen to 32.4 per cent and in
1930 it was 410 per cent. The census of
1940 showed that it was 45.4 per cent
The four leading counties of Texas-
Harris (Houston), Dallas, Bexar (San
Antonio) and Tarrant (Fort Worth-
have nearly one fourth (23 2 per cent) of
the state's total population. Thirty-one
counties out of the 254 have more than
one half of the state's population.
On April 1, 1940, there were 645 incor-
porated places in Texas, according to
the Bureau of the Census. This was a
gain of sixty-six over the 579 incorporat-
DALLAS AIR CONDITIONING CO., INC.
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Distributors: York Heating-Air Conditioning
PHILCO -YORK PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONERS
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/99/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.