Rusk County, Texas is an industrial-agricultural county in eastern Texas. The county is named after Thomas J. Rusk, who served as Secretary of War for the Republic of Texas, fought at the battle of San Jacinto, and later was a U.S. Senator for Texas.
Rusk County encompasses 924 square miles of land. It receives on average 45 inches of rainfall annually. The growing season is about 243 days. The average first frost of the year occurs around November 15 and the average frost free date is around March 15.
Rusk County is a typical Pineywoods county with timbered hills and valleys. Several lakes are located in the county including Martin Creek, portions of Lake Striker, and Lake Cherokee.
Beef cattle, timber, nursery crops, and hay are the major agricultural commodities produced in the county. Major industries include Lignite coal mining and electricity generating. Oil and gas production is also a major industry in the county and is the home of the Daisy Bradford discovery well which came into production in 1931 and transformed Rusk County into a major player in oil and gas production.
Henderson is the county seat of the county and is the largest city in Rusk County. Other cities in the county include Overton, Tatum, Mt. Enterprise, and New London along with several other smaller communities scattered around the county. The southern end of the city of Kilgore is within the northern boundary of the county.
The total estimated population of Rusk County is 45,000 people. The county is comprised of 74% white, 20% black, and 5% hispanic. 43% percent of the population is between the ages of 18-49 years of age and 30% of the population falls between the ages of 50 years of age and up. The remaining 27% of the population is 17 years of age and younger.