- Brownfield, Texas
official_name = Brownfield, Texas
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Brownfield, Texas
unit_pref = Imperial
area_total_km2 = 16.4
area_land_km2 = 16.4
area_water_km2 = 0.1
area_total_sq_mi = 6.3
area_land_sq_mi = 6.3
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 9488
population_density_km2 = 579.6
population_density_sq_mi = 1501.0
timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_m = 1009
elevation_ft = 3310
latd = 33 |latm = 10 |lats = 47 |latNS = N
longd = 102 |longm = 16 |longs = 15 |longEW = W
Brownfield is an isolated and economically depressed town in Terry County,
Texas, United States. The populationwas 9,488 at the 2000 census, and has declined from a high of 10,500 in the late 1980's. With an estimated population of barely 9000 residents now, the economy continues to decline, and residents leave to find better living conditions, schools, homes, and amenities. It is the county seatof Terry CountyGR|6 near Lubbock in West Texas.
Brownfield is located at coor dms|33|10|47|N|102|16|15|W|city (33.179826, -102.270926)GR|1.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16.4 km²), of which, 6.3 square miles (16.4 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.32%) is water.
Brownfield lies in the center of Terry County, and the southern portion of the South Plains and Llano Estacado. The city itself rests on a thick layer of cliche bedrock, which creates a nearly flat horizon that stretches for miles. The only terrain variation lies at the south end of the city where the Lost Draw, a dried up river bed that hasn't seen water since the last Ice Age, carved a channel that runs across the entire county.
The most notable geographic feature of Brownfield remains its red dirt. The soil creates an almost irridescent red color during sunrise and sunset due to the high iron oxide content.
Brownfield lies in a semi-arid temperate zone, where high winds and extreme temperature variation are the norm. The summers reach over 100 degrees Farenheit for multiple consecutive days. The winters often fall below freezing for extended periods, however snow remains unusual due to very little precipitation forming in the winter months.
The most significant time of the year for weather events starts in March and runs through September when severe thunderstorms form on the Great Plains. Massive amounts of rain, winds, hail, and a few tornadoes are to be expected at this time of year. Late thunderstorms that produce hail are significantly harmful to the local economy as it destroys the local cotton crop.
Cotton farming remains the backbone of not only Brownfield, but the entire South Plains in general. Cotton fields stretch for miles, and the harvest season in October sees a frenzy of activity as harvesters (locally called cotton strippers), module makers, and module trucks are seen scurrying all over the county.
A significant haze also develops over the city as the local cotton gins go to work stripping the cotton from the husk, seperating the seeds, and then compressing the cotton into 500lb bales. The haze is actually comprised of fine cotton dust, and sometimes small drifts develop in the street resembling snow mixed with red dirt.
Peanut growing has found a toehold on the economy as the over use of cotton has stripped the soil of most of its nutrients, and the emergence of Boll Weevils has started to make significant inroads into the cotton industry.
Oil production continues to form a small, but significant part of the Brownfield landscape. With the sale of Amoco to British Petroleum (BP) in the mid-1990's, thousands of jobs were lost to the local economy as BP saw no benefit to have such a small oil field staffed with engineers, when all work could easily be accomplished in the regional headquarters of Midland-Odessa, or Houston. The withdrawal of oil assets proved extremely detrimental to the town as housing prices remained stagnant, despite the national housing boom. A typical 3,000 sqft house costing $95,000 in 1991 still sold for $95,000 in 2008.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 9,488 people, 3,176 households, and 2,337 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 1,501.0 people per square mile (579.6/km²). There were 3,735 housing units at an average density of 590.9/sq mi (228.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 74.56% White, 6.59% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 14.47% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 45.95% of the population.
There were 3,176 households out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.3% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 109.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,504, and the median income for a family was $32,076. Males had a median income of $23,637 versus $19,628 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $13,854. About 21.8% of families and 26.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.7% of those under age 18 and 13.5% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Brownfield is served by the
Brownfield Independent School District. Consistently in the bottom 5% of national school rankings, Brownfield High School (BHS) has taken significant strides towards bettering the education system. However, most of these attempts have failed, as the curriculum stresses TAKS Testing (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills). With this emphasis on a single, particular exit test, the rest of the classes have fallen by the wayside. Keeping qualified math and science teachers has proven a significant obstacle to overcome as funding in these departments falls short, and the discipline problems at the school have kept the tenure of highly qualified teachers to less than 2 to 3 years. This has led to less than 15% of the graduating class entering college, with even less completing 4 year degrees (12.5%). Applications to schools outside the Texas system have seen poor results as points are deducted from each application due to the lacking mathematics and science programs.
Despite these low academic levels, the sports program at the high school has been very successful. The football teams receive new uniforms every two to three years, and the basketball/volleyball teams receive new shoes every year (to enhance performance). Winning numerous games has propelled BHS to regional levels in the past years. The BHS Cubs are usually seen driving to and from sports events in the brightly colored red and white "Cub Busses", modified Greyhound busses purchased at great expense to the school system.
Jerry Jordan, a gospelsinger from Brownfield, scored a gold recordin 1975for "Phone Call from God", produced by the Lubbock deejay Bud Andrews.
*Ruben Garcia, Jr. - Former Executive Assistant Director of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation
George Faught- Member of the Oklahoma House of Representativesfrom District 14
Gary P. Nunn- Texas country music singer and "Ambassador of Texas Music"
Sheryl Swoopes- WNBA star, BHS Class '89
* [http://www.brownfieldchamber.com Brownfield Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.ci.brownfield.tx.us City of Brownfield]
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