Jeff Davis County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. It is named for Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America. In 2000, its population was 2,207. Its seat is Fort Davis.
The county contains the Texas Davis Mountains American Viticultural Area, though only about is currently under vine. The McDonald Observatory is located near Fort Davis, and is owned by the University of Texas at Austin.
The precursor of Fort Davis was a settlement known as Chihuahua, which formed just southwest of the military post of Fort Davis after it was established in 1854. Both the county and Fort Davis are named for Jefferson Davis
; he was Secretary of War at the time Fort Davis was founded, and would later become the only president of the Confederate States of America before Jeff Davis County was founded in 1887. Fort Davis, established in 1854, was the first military post to guard the wilderness routes of pioneers and prospectors and the waters of Limpia Creek. It was de-activated in 1891, and is now a superb example of frontier forts of that era as reflected in its museum and reconstructed buildings.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total area of , with a total area of 0.01% water. The county is home to the Davis Mountains
, the highest mountain range located entirely within the state of Texas.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 2,207 people, 896 households, and 632 families residing in the county. The population density
was less than one person per square mile (1/km²). There were 1,420 housing units at an average density of less than 1/sq mi (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.53% White
, 0.91% Black
or African American
, 0.32% Native American
, 0.09% Asian
, 5.17% from other races
, and 2.99% from two or more races. 35.48% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 896 households out of which 27.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.80% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.40% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.40% under the age of 18, 5.30% from 18 to 24, 24.10% from 25 to 44, 30.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 104.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,212, and the median income for a family was $39,083. Males had a median income of $27,011 versus $21,384 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,846. About 14.10% of families and 15.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.10% of those under age 18 and 19.60% of those age 65 or over.
is the only incorporated community in Jeff Davis County. Valentine is a town. Fort Davis
, an unincorporated community, is also in Jeff Davis County.
Some of Jeff Davis County is served by Valentine Independent School District
, while some of Jeff Davis County is served by the Fort Davis Independent School District
Jeff Davis County in popular culture
The musical group The Mountain Goats
recorded a song called Jeff Davis County Blues on their 2002 album All Hail West Texas