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Denton County, Texas

Denton County, Texas
The new Denton County Courthouse, built 1998
Map of Texas highlighting Denton County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded April 11, 1846
Named for John B. Denton
Seat Denton
Largest city Denton
 • Total 953 sq mi (2,468 km2)
 • Land 878 sq mi (2,274 km2)
 • Water 75 sq mi (194 km2), 7.8%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 753,363
 • Density 858/sq mi (331/km²)
Congressional districts 24th, 26th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .us.tx.denton.cowww

Denton County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 662,614,[1] making it the ninth-most populous county in Texas. The county seat is Denton.[2] The county, which was named for John B. Denton, was established in 1846.

Denton County is included in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2007, it was one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States.[3]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Politics 4
  • Education 5
  • Transportation 6
  • Communities 7
  • Notable People 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
    • Books 10.1
    • Maps 10.2
    • Websites 10.3
  • External links 11


Before the arrival of white settlers, various Native American peoples, including the Kichai and the Lenape, infrequently populated the area.[4] The area was settled by Peters Colony landowners in the early 1840s.[5] Until the annexation of Texas, the area was considered part of Fannin County.[6] On April 11, 1846, the First Texas Legislature established Denton County.[7] The county was named for John B. Denton, who was killed while raiding a Native American village in Tarrant County in 1841.[8] Originally, the county seat was set at Pickneyville. This was later changed to Alton, where the Old Alton Bridge currently stands, and then moved finally to Denton.

By 1860, the population of the county had increased to 5,031.[9] On March 4, 1861, residents of the county narrowly voted for secession from the Union, with 331 votes cast for and 264 against.[10] The Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad reached Lewisville, located in the southern portion of the county, by the early 1880s.[5] The Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square was built in 1896, and today the building currently houses various government offices as well as a museum.[11]

A 2010 documentary, Gasland, claims that DISH, a small town in Denton County, has been polluted extensively by natural gas drilling.


Denton, Texas
Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: [12]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 953 square miles (2,470 km2), of which 878 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 75 square miles (190 km2) (7.8%) is water.[13] Denton County is located in the northern part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, approximately 35 miles south of the border between Texas and Oklahoma.[14] It is drained by two forks of the Trinity River.[15] The largest body of water in Denton County is Lewisville Lake, which was formed in 1954 when the Garza–Little Elm Reservoir was merged with Lake Dallas. The county is on the western edge of the Eastern Cross Timbers and also encompasses parts of the Grand Prairie portion of the Texas blackland prairies. Portions of Denton County sit atop the Barnett Shale, a geological formation believed to contain large quantities of natural shale gas. Between 1995 and 2007, the number of natural gas wells in the county increased from 156 to 1,820, which has led to some controversy over the pollution resulting from hydraulic fracturing.[16]

Adjacent counties


As of the 2010 United States Census,[20] there were 662,614 people, 224,840 households and 256,139 housing units in the county. The population density was 754.3 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 75% White, 8.4% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 6.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 2.9% from two or more races. 18.2% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino origin.[1] Denton County ranked twenty-ninth on the US Census Bureau's list of fastest growing counties between 2000 and 2007, with a 41.4% increase in population.[3]

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found there were about 5.2 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.[21]


Denton County, like most suburban counties in Texas, votes reliably for Republican candidates in statewide and national elections.

United States presidential election, 2012: Denton County
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mitt Romney 157,579 64.9
Democratic Barack Obama 80,978 33.5


The following school districts lie entirely within Denton County:

The following private educational institutions serve Denton County:

The following higher education institutions serve Denton County:


The northern intersection of Interstate 35 East and West, which branches the two portions of the highway towards Dallas and Fort Worth, is located in Denton County, in the city of Denton near the campus of the University of North Texas. In 1931, the paving of US Highway 77 through Lewisville, which connected Denton and Dallas, was finished.[22] The entirety of Farm to Market Road 3040 is located in Denton County, running from its intersection with Farm to Market Road 2499 in Flower Mound to Hebron Parkway in Carrollton.

The Denton County Transportation Authority operates a bus service in the county that includes Denton, Lewisville, and Highland Village. It also operates the A-train, a commuter rail service that has terminals in Denton and Carrollton, at the end of which passengers can switch to the Green Line train owned and operated by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). Passengers are able to transfer to several different train paths, or "lines" (denominated by different colors) in downtown Dallas where the lines intersect at DART's Downtown office. SPAN Transit covers areas outside of Denton and Lewisville.

The county is home to the Denton Municipal Airport and the Northwest Regional Airport in Roanoke. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is located a few miles south of the county.


Notable People

  • Pat Boone, American pop singer, briefly attended UNT
  • Terry Bradshaw, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback
  • Phyllis George, 1971 Miss America, sportscaster and former First Lady of Kentucky
  • Jim Hightower, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner
  • Gordon McLendon, radio broadcaster and pioneer, B Movie producer and conservative political financier
  • Laina Morris aka Overly Attached Girlfriend
  • Bill Moyers, White House Press Secretary in the Johnson Administration (1965-67)
  • Anne Rice, author, attended TWU and UNT, married in Denton
  • Sly Stone, musician and frontman of Sly and the Family Stone
  • Von Erich family
  • Charles Denton Watson, central member of the Manson Family and leader of the Sharon Tate Murder

See also


  1. ^ a b c Quickfacts 2012.
  2. ^ Naco 2011.
  3. ^ a b Census 2007.
  4. ^ Bridges 1978, pp. 1–26.
  5. ^ a b Odom 2010.
  6. ^ Bates 1918, p. 2.
  7. ^ Bolz & Bolz 2010, p. 7.
  8. ^ Bates 1918, pp. 18–24.
  9. ^ Hervey 2002, p. 9.
  10. ^ Bridges 1978, p. 96.
  11. ^ Bolz & Bolz 2010, p. 9.
  12. ^ Weather 2012.
  13. ^ Gazetteer 2010.
  14. ^ Cowling 1936, p. 1.
  15. ^  "Denton".  
  16. ^ Sales 2007, pp. 4–5.
  17. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ Census.
  19. ^ Almanac 2010.
  20. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  21. ^ Where Same-Sex Couples Live, June 26, 2015, retrieved July 6, 2015 
  22. ^ Odom 1996, p. 69.


  • Bates, Edward (1918). History and Reminiscences of Denton County.  
  • Bolz, Jim; Bolz, Tricia (2010). Denton County. Postcard History.  
  • Bridges, Clarence (1978). History of Denton, Texas From Its Beginning to 1960.  
  • Cowling, Mary Jo (1936). Geography of Denton County.  
  • Hervey, Hollace (2002). Historic Denton County: An Illustrated History.  
  • Odom, E. Dale (1996). An Illustrated History of Denton County, Texas: From Peters Colony to Metroplex (First ed.).  
  • Sales, Joshua (August 2007). Determining the Suitability of Functional Landscapes and Wildlife Corridors Utilizing Conservation GIS Methods in Denton County, Texas (M.S. thesis).  


  • Mapbook 450 (PDF) (Map). 1:120,000. Texas County Map Book.  
  • Mapbook 451 (PDF) (Map). 1:120,000. Texas County Map Book.  
  • Mapbook 480 (PDF) (Map). 1:120,000. Texas County Map Book.  
  • Mapbook 481 (PDF) (Map). 1:120,000. Texas County Map Book.  


  • Odom, Dale (2010). "Denton County".  
  • "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  • "Table 8: Population Estimates for the 100 Fastest Growing U.S. Counties with 10,000 or More Population in 2007: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007" (XLS).  
  • "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  • "Monthly Averages for Denton, TX". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  • "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  • "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  • "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 

External links

  • Denton County government's website
  • The Dallas Morning NewsHeadlines about Denton County from
  • Denton County entry in the Handbook of Texas Online at the University of Texas
  • Denton County Texas Almanac Page
  • Historic Denton County materials, hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
  • Captain John B. Denton, preacher, lawyer and soldier. His life and times in Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas by Wm. Allen., published 1905, hosted by the Portal to Texas History
  • A Guide to Things to Do and See in Denton County
  • Denton County on DentonWiki

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