Van Horn, Texas

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Van Horn, Texas
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The main road through Van Horn
Culbertson County VanHorn.svg
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Van Horn
Location of Van Horn in Texas and the US
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Van Horn
Van Horn (the US)
Coordinates: 31°2′33″N104°49′59″W / 31.04250°N 104.83306°W / 31.04250; -104.83306 Coordinates: 31°2′33″N104°49′59″W / 31.04250°N 104.83306°W / 31.04250; -104.83306
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of Texas.svg  Texas
County Culberson
  Total2.8 sq mi (7.3 km2)
  Land2.8 sq mi (7.3 km2)
  Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
4,042 ft (1,232 m)
  Density727/sq mi (280.7/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 432
FIPS code 48-75032 [1]
GNIS feature ID1370571 [2]

Van Horn is a town in and the seat of Culberson County, Texas, United States. [3] According to the 2010 census, Van Horn had a population of 2,063, [4] down from 2,435 at the 2000 census. It is the westernmost incorporated community in the Central Time Zone part of the state of Texas.

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.

Culberson County, Texas County in the United States

Culberson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 2,398. The county seat is Van Horn. Culberson County was founded in 1911 and organized the next year. It is named for David B. Culberson, a lawyer and Confederate soldier in the American Civil War.

Central Time Zone time zone

The North American Central Time Zone (CT) is a time zone in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, some Caribbean Islands, and part of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.



Van Horn is located in southwestern Culberson County at 31°2′33″N104°49′59″W / 31.04250°N 104.83306°W / 31.04250; -104.83306 (31.042489, -104.832928). [5] Interstate 10 passes through the town, leading east 120 miles (190 km) to Fort Stockton and northwest 118 miles (190 km) to El Paso. Van Horn is the western terminus of U.S. Route 90; from Van Horn it leads southeast 73 miles (117 km) to Marfa. Texas State Highway 54 leads north from Van Horn 65 miles (105 km) to Pine Springs and the Guadalupe Mountains.

Interstate 10 Interstate across southern US

Interstate 10 (I-10) is the southernmost cross-country Interstate Highway in the American Interstate Highway System. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean at California State Route 1 in Santa Monica, California, to I-95 in Jacksonville, Florida. Major cities connected by I-10 include Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola and Jacksonville. This freeway is part of the originally planned Interstate Highway network that was laid out in 1956, and its last section was completed in 1990. I-10 is the fourth-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, following I-90, I-80, and I-40. About one-third of its length is within the state of Texas, where the freeway spans the state at its widest breadth.

Fort Stockton, Texas City in Texas, United States

Fort Stockton is a city in and the county seat of Pecos County, Texas, United States. It is located on Interstate Highway 10, Future Interstate 14, U.S. Highways 67, 285, and 385, and the Santa Fe Railroad, 329 mi (529 km) northwest of San Antonio and 240 mi (390 km) east of El Paso.

El Paso, Texas City in Texas, United States

El Paso is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2017 population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 683,577. Its metropolitan statistical area (MSA) covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and has a population of 844,818.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2), all land. [4] Threemile Peak, elevation 4,868 feet (1,484 m), rises to the northwest overlooking the town.

United States Census Bureau Bureau of the United States responsible for the census and related statistics

The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States.


Climate data for Van Horn, Texas
Record high °F (°C)80
Average high °F (°C)58.8
Daily mean °F (°C)43
Average low °F (°C)29.1
Record low °F (°C)−7
Average precipitation inches (mm)0.45
Average snowfall inches (cm)0.9
Source: The Weather Channel (Monthly Averages) [6]


Van Horn Volunteer Fire Department VanHornVFDV.JPG
Van Horn Volunteer Fire Department

Anglo-Texan [7] settlement began in the late 1850s and early 1860s supportive of the San Antonio-El Paso Overland Mail route. [8] Although U.S. Army Major Jefferson Van Horne is believed to have passed near the area in 1849 on his way to take command of what would later become Fort Bliss, the town is instead named for Lt. James Judson Van Horn who commanded an army garrison at the Van Horn Wells beginning in 1859. Lt. Van Horn's command was relatively short-lived, as the post was seized by Confederate forces in 1861 and Lt. Van Horn taken prisoner. [9] Settlement was further stimulated by the construction of the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1881. [10] [11] [12] The town has several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places including the First Presbyterian Church (now Primera Iglesia Bautista), built in 1901.

Butterfield Overland Mail

Butterfield Overland Mail was a stagecoach service in the United States operating from 1858 to 1861. It carried passengers and U.S. Mail from two eastern termini, Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri, to San Francisco, California. The routes from each eastern terminus met at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and then continued through Indian Territory (Oklahoma), Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Mexico, and California ending in San Francisco. On March 3, 1857, Congress authorized the U.S. postmaster general, Aaron Brown, to contract for delivery of the U.S. mail from Saint Louis to San Francisco. Prior to this, U.S. Mail bound for the Far West had been delivered by the San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line since June 1857.

Jefferson Van Horne was an American infantry officer. He was a veteran of the Seminole Wars, the Military Occupation of Texas, and the Mexican–American War. He is best known as the "Founder of Fort Bliss".

Fort Bliss census designated place

Fort Bliss is a United States Army post in New Mexico and Texas, with its headquarters in El Paso, Texas. Named in honor of LTC William Bliss (1815-1853), a mathematical genius who was the son-in-law of President Zachary Taylor, Ft. Bliss has an area of about 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2); it is the largest installation in FORSCOM and second-largest in the Army overall. The portion of the post located in El Paso County, Texas, is a census-designated place with a population of 8,591 as of the time of the 2010 census. Fort Bliss provides the largest contiguous tract of restricted airspace in the Continental United States, used for missile and artillery training and testing, and at 992,000 acres boasts the largest maneuver area. The garrison's land area is accounted at 1.12 million acres, ranging to the boundaries of the Lincoln National Forest and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.


Historical population
1890 450
1900 30−93.3%
1910 5001,566.7%
1920 80060.0%
1930 1,600100.0%
1940 2,07029.4%
1950 1,161−43.9%
1960 1,95368.2%
1970 2,88947.9%
1980 2,772−4.0%
1990 2,9305.7%
2000 2,435−16.9%
2010 2,063−15.3%
Est. 20161,896 [13] −8.1%
U.S. Decennial Census [14]
Van Horn City Hall VanHornCityHall.JPG
Van Horn City Hall

As of the census [1] of 2000, 2,435 people, 834 households, and 652 families resided in the town. The population density was 846.9 people per square mile (326.4/km²). The 976 housing units averaged 339.5 per square mile (130.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 64.60% White, 0.66% African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 31.46% from other races, and 2.14% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 78.60% of the population.

Census Acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population

A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common censuses include agriculture, business, and traffic censuses. The United Nations defines the essential features of population and housing censuses as "individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory, simultaneity and defined periodicity", and recommends that population censuses be taken at least every 10 years. United Nations recommendations also cover census topics to be collected, official definitions, classifications and other useful information to co-ordinate international practice.

Population density A measurement of population numbers per unit area or volume

Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume; it is a quantity of type number density. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and most of the time to humans. It is a key geographical term. In simple terms population density refers to the number of people living in an area per kilometer square.


Van Horn City-County Library VanHornCityCountyLibrary.JPG
Van Horn City-County Library

Van Horn is served by the Culberson County-Allamoore Independent School District and is home to the Van Horn High School Eagles.

Government and infrastructure

Van Horn Post Office VanHornPostoffice.JPG
Van Horn Post Office

The United States Postal Service operates the Van Horn Post Office. [15]





Space tourism

In late 2006, The Wall Street Journal reported that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, had acquired 290,000 acres (1,200 km2) of land 25 miles (40 km) north of Van Horn, including the Figure 2 Ranch Airport, to house his fledgling space tourism company, Blue Origin. As of 2008, Blue Origin had been expected to start commercial operations as early as 2010, aiming for 52 launches per year from the Van Horn facility. [16]

In early 2010, NASA awarded Blue Origin US$3.7 million to work on an advanced technology, which detaches a crew cabin from its launcher if the shuttle malfunctions. [17]

As of August 2016, Blue Origin was still conducting test flights with plans to begin flying piloted tests in 2017 and paying customers in 2018. [18] [19]

10,000-year clock

In 2009 the Van Horn Advocate announced that the Long Now Foundation was starting geologic testing for an underground space to house a 10,000-year Clock of the Long Now, on the Bezos ranch, north of Van Horn. [20]

See also

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Guadalupe Mountains mountain range in the US states of Texas and New Mexico

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Texas State Highway 54 highway in Texas

State Highway 54 or SH 54 is a 55.2-mile (88.8 km) highway maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) that runs from Interstate 10 and U.S. Route 90 in Van Horn north to US 62 and US 180 between Salt Flat and Pine Springs near Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The route, located in western Culberson County, is largely isolated passing through no cities or towns beyond Van Horn and intersecting no other highways between Van Horn and its northern terminus. Within Van Horn, the route has intersections with Business Interstate 10-D and Farm to Market Road 2185.

Lobo, Texas Ghost town in Texas, United States

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Allamoore, Texas Unincorporated community in Texas, United States

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All of Texas is in the Central Time Zone with the exception of the two westernmost counties.

Beach Mountains mountain range in Texas, United States of America

The Beach Mountains are located on privately owned land roughly 3 miles (5 km) north of Van Horn in southwestern Culberson County, Texas. The maximum elevation reached is 5,827 feet (1,776 m) above sea level. The Beach Mountains occupy a roughly circular area with a diameter of approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi), rising 550 metres (1,800 ft) above the surrounding desert. Narrow passes separate the Beach Mountains from the Baylor Mountains to the north and the much larger Sierra Diablo range to the northwest.


  1. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. 1 2 "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Van Horn town, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  5. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. "Climate Statistics for Van Horn, Texas" . Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  7. "Anglo-American Colonization", The Handbook of Texas Online
  8. "San Antonio-El Paso Mail", The Handbook of Texas Online. For more on the establishment of this route, see United States Army, Corps of Topographical Engineers; Joseph Eggleston Johnston; Francis T. Bryan; Randolph Barnes Marcy; William F. Smith; N. H. Michler; S. G. French; W. H. C. Whiting; James H. Simpson (1850). Reports of the Secretary of War: with reconnaissances of routes from San Antonio to El Paso. Washington, DC: Union Office. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
  9. Regarding prisoner exchanges including Lt. Van Horn see January 26, 1862 correspondence from J. P. Benjamin to Major General Benjamin Huger in United States War Department (1891). The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Volume III). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. p. 782 (and others). Retrieved May 21, 2009.
  10. "Van Horn, Texas", The Handbook of Texas Online
  11. "Van Horne, Jefferson", The Handbook of Texas Online
  12. Cullum, George Washington; Edward Singleton Holden (1891). Biographical register of the officers and graduates of the U.S. military academy at West Point, N.Y.: from its establishment, in 1802, to 1890; with the early history of the United States military academy. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Company. p. 400. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
  13. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  14. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. "Post Office Location - VAN HORN." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on January 6, 2010.
  16. "Tourism Update: Jeff Bezos? Spaceship Plans Revealed". 2006-07-05. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  17. Van Horn spaceport gets NASA backing, Adriana Gómez Licón, El Paso Times , 2010-03-14, accessed 2010-03-17.
  18. McCormick, Rich (March 9, 2016). "Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin plans to start taking tourists into space in 2018". The Verge.
  19. Cofield, Calla (July 20, 2016). "Blue Origin's Crew Capsule Aced Parachute-Failure Test, Jeff Bezos Says".
  20. "Clock project to begin near Van Horn, Texas" . Retrieved 2010-01-17.