Orange, Texas
Gateway City, Gatecity, Fruit City
Small town charm, world class culture
Location of Orange, Texas
Location of Orange, Texas
Coordinates: 30°6′33″N 93°45′33″W / 30.10917°N 93.75917°W / 30.10917; -93.75917
CountryUnited StatesUnited States
Community1830 as Green's Bluff[1]
Renamed1840 as Madison[1]
County seat1852[1]
Incorporated1858 as Orange[1]
 • TypeCouncil–manager
 • City CouncilMayor Larry Spears Jr.

David C. Bailey

Paul Burch

Brad Childs

Caroline Hennigan

Mary McKenna

Terrie T. Salter
 • City managerMike Kunst
 • Total24.18 sq mi (62.64 km2)
 • Land22.08 sq mi (57.19 km2)
 • Water2.10 sq mi (5.45 km2)
7 ft (2 m)
 • Total19,324
 • Density820.52/sq mi (316.81/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code409
FIPS code48-54132[3]
GNIS feature ID1375304[4]

Orange is a city and the county seat of Orange County, Texas, United States.[5] As of the 2020 census, the city population was 19,324. It is the easternmost city in Texas, located on the Sabine River at the border with Louisiana, and is 113 miles (182 km) from Houston. Orange is part of the BeaumontPort Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Founded in 1836, it is a deep-water port to the Gulf of Mexico.


This community was originally called Greens Bluff after a man named Resin Green, a Sabine River boatman, who arrived at this location sometime before 1830. A short time later, in 1840, the town was renamed Madison in honor of President James Madison.[6] To resolve the frequent post-office confusion with another Texas community called Madisonville, the town was renamed "Orange" in 1858. The area experienced rapid growth in the late 19th century due to 17 sawmills within the city limits, making Orange the center of the Texas lumber industry.[7] Orange's growth led to the arrival of many immigrants in the late 19th century, including a moderately sized Jewish population by 1896.[8] In 1898, the county built a courthouse in the city, which later burned down and was replaced by the Orange County Courthouse.

The harbor leading into the Port of Orange was dredged in 1914 to accommodate large ships. Ship building during World War I contributed to the growth in population and economy. The Great Depression, not surprisingly, affected the city negatively, and the local economy was not boosted again until World War II. A U.S. Naval Station was installed and additional housing was provided for thousands of defense workers and servicemen and their families. The population increased to just over 60,000 residents. USS Aulick was the first of 300 ships of various types built in Orange during the war.[9]

After the war, the peace-time population decreased to about 35,000. At this[10] time, the Navy Department announced it had selected Orange as one of eight locations where it would store reserve vessels. The area of the shipyards provided a favorable location, as the Sabine River furnished an abundant supply of fresh water to prevent saltwater corrosion.[11] Also during this period, the local chemical plants expanded, which boosted the economy. The chemical industry continues today as a leading source of revenue to the area. The U.S. Naval Station became a Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in December 1975, retained 18.5 acres as a Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center, but decommissioned the center completely in September 2008.[12]

The Port of Orange became the home to the USS Orleck, one of the few naval ships remaining that was built at the Orange shipyards during World War II. The city of Orange sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Rita in 2005, causing damage to the ship. The city decreed that the ship be moved because, as it claimed, the city needed the dock space. Orleck was not allowed to return to the port due to politics (as the city council was wanting the ship cut up and sold for scrap and had a long-running feud with the Restoration Association), so a new location was sought, including one in Arkansas and Lake Charles, Louisiana, for a new home. On May 6, 2009, the Lake Charles city council voted in favor of an ordinance authorizing the city to enter into a "Cooperative Endeavor Agreement" with USS Orleck. On May 20, 2010, the ship was moved to Lake Charles. The grand opening was on April 10, 2011.[13]

Hurricane Ike

Orange was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008.[14] Damage was widespread and severe across Orange County. The 22-foot (6.7 m) storm surge breached the city's levees, caused catastrophic flooding and damage throughout the city. The storm surge traveled up the Neches River to also flood Rose City.

Orange received winds at hurricane force. Nearly the entire city of 19,000 people was flooded, from 6 in (15 cm) to 15 ft (4.5 m).[15] The mayor of the city said about 375 people, of those who stayed behind during the storm, began to emerge, some needing food, water, and medical care.[15] Many dead fish littered streets and properties.[16] Three people were found dead in Orange County on September 29.[17]

Hurricane Harvey

Orange once again fell victim to widespread flooding when Hurricane Harvey hit the city on August 29, 2017. The flood waters were mostly caused by the rising of the nearby Sabine River,[10] which forms the border between Texas and Louisiana, and its many tributaries. The flooding from Harvey was due to extreme rainfall (50" to 60" in 48 hours) that fell after the storm's landfall, leaving 65% of the county under water. The Sabine did not rise until three days after the storm, when the flood gates of the Toledo Bend Reservoir were opened.




Orange is located at 30°6′33″N 93°45′33″W / 30.10917°N 93.75917°W / 30.10917; -93.75917 (30.109217, –93.759133).[18]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.8 square miles (54 km2), of which 20.1 square miles (52 km2) are land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it (3.32%) is covered by water.


Orange has a humid subtropical climate. Winters are mild and rainy, while summers are hot, humid, and wet. The climate is similar to nearby Vinton, Louisiana, and Beaumont, Texas. The record high in Orange is 105 °F or 40.6 °C recorded August 10, 1962. The record low is 11 °F or −11.7 °C recorded December 26, 1983. Orange records about 60 inches or 1,500 millimetres of rain per year.

Climate data for Orange, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 60
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 40
Record low °F (°C) 15
Average rainfall inches (mm) 6.01
Source: [19]


Orange racial composition as of 2020[20]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 9,502 49.17%
Black or African American (NH) 6,795 35.16%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 58 0.3%
Asian (NH) 340 1.76%
Pacific Islander (NH) 8 0.04%
Some Other Race (NH) 58 0.3%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 720 3.73%
Hispanic or Latino 1,843 9.54%
Total 19,324

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 19,324 people, 7,196 households, and 4,999 families residing in the city.

2010 Census data

As of the census[3] of 2010, 18,595 people, 7,585 households, and 5,021 families resided in the city. The population density was 872.7 inhabitants per square mile (337.0/km2). The 8,868 housing units averaged 441.7 per square mile (170.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.9% White, 33.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 1.08% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 5.2% of the population. The average household size was 2.41.

Historical population

In Orange, the population is distributed as 27.4% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males. The median income for a household in the city was $29,519, and for a family was $37,473. Males had a median income of $37,238 versus $21,445 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,535. About 20.5% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.0% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over' 20.3% of the population was below the poverty line, compared to 15.1% of the national population.

Government and infrastructure

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Orange District Parole Office in Orange.[23] The city operates under the council-manager form of government.


The City of Orange is served by the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District, the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District, and the Orangefield Independent School District.

Lamar State College-Orange is a community college and part of the Texas State University System.


The City of Orange hosts several cultural attractions. The Stark Museum of Art houses one of the finest collections of 19th- and 20th-century Western American art and artifacts in the country. The collection focuses on the land, people, and wildlife of the American West. The museum also holds a significant collection of American Indian art, as well as collections of glass and porcelain, and rare books and manuscripts. The museum features the work of artists such as artist/naturalist John James Audubon, Paul Kane, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and John Mix Stanley.[24]

The W.H. Stark House preserves the early days of Orange and lumber barons.

The W. H. Stark House is a careful restoration of an 1894 Victorian home, typical of a wealthy Southeast Texas family. The 15-room, three-storied structure with its many gables, galleries, and distinctive windowed turret, shows the influence of several architectural styles.

The First Presbyterian Church on Green Avenue is a strong example of the classic Greek Revival architecture. Completed in 1912, it was the first air-conditioned public building west of the Mississippi River and its dome is the only opalescent glass dome in the United States.

The Confederate Memorial of the Wind is being built on private land at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Martin Luther King Jr Drive.[25]


Orange is served by Interstate 10, as well as a deep-water seaport. Commercial aviation service is located at nearby Southeast Texas Regional Airport, and general aviation service is provided by Orange County Airport.

Orange has the distinction of having exit 880 on Interstate 10 within its city limits, which is the highest numbered exit and mile marker on an interstate highway or freeway in North America. Orange is also home to the famed highway sign on westbound Interstate 10 that shows it being 23 miles from Beaumont, but 857 miles from El Paso, reminding drivers of how far they have to follow Interstate 10 before they can leave Texas.

Notable people


  1. ^ a b c d "ORANGE, TX | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 3, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ TSHA Online - Texas State Historical Association
  7. ^ "Orange Texas, Historic Orange Texas, Orange Texas Hotels". Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  8. ^ "Orange, Texas", found in the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities,
  9. ^ Texas State Historical Association: United States Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility- Retrieved 2018-09-13
  10. ^ a b "Orange, Texas - Severe Flooding - Hurricane Harvey - 049". DVIDS. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  11. ^ TSHA Online - Texas State Historical Association
  12. ^ "And Now You Know as the navy leaves Orange, an era ends". September 28, 2019.
  13. ^ Williams, Ronald. "Welcome to the USS Orleck Naval Museum". Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  14. ^ "". USA Today. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Oren Dorell (September 15, 2008). "Almost 2,000 Ike survivors rescued". USA TODAY. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
  16. ^ "Ike: A fish story." CNN.
  17. ^ "More Victims Raise Ike's Death Toll To 67". WCVB. Associated Press. September 30, 2008. Archived from the original on May 27, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  19. ^ "Monthly Averages for Orange, TX". Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  20. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  21. ^[not specific enough to verify]
  22. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  23. ^ "Parole Division Region I Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  24. ^ "Stark Cultural Venues". Archived from the original on January 11, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  25. ^ Savage, John (August 10, 2016). "Where the Confederacy Is Rising Again". Politico. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[21][22]