Grimes County, in southeastern Texas, lies forty miles northwest of Houston and is bordered on the north by Madison County, on the east by Walker and Montgomery counties, on the south by Waller County, and on the west by Washington and Brazos counties. Anderson, the county seat, is the third-largest town in Grimes County. The county's geographical center lies at about 30°34' north latitude and 95°59' west longitude. State Highway 90 is the major north-south thoroughfare, while State highways 30 and 105 run east and west. The county is also served by two major railways: the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Union Pacific. Grimes County covers 799 square miles at the boundary between the Post Oak Belt and the Coastal Plain. Most of the area, especially the eastern sections, consists of gently rolling to sloping terrain, while the bottomland along the rivers and streams is nearly level to gently sloping. The elevation ranges from 193 feet above sea level in the southeast to 415 feet in the northwest. The western part of the county is drained by the Navasota and Brazos rivers, which form its western boundary; much of the eastern portion of the county drains into the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, while the Trinity River drains the northernmost areas of the county. Upland soils, which cover much of the area, are gray sandy loams overlying clayey subsoils. Bottomland soils, found in the floodplains of the rivers and principal creeks, are dark, loamy to clayey alluvial soils. A series of prairies featuring Wilson clay blackland soils runs through the southern part of the county. Grimes County lies in a transitional vegetation zone between the post oak savannah, which covers the northern and western sections of the county, and, to the south and east, a region of intermixed forest and prairie, which supports dense stands of oak, elm, pecan, and mesquite, as well as several species of grass. Hardwoods, found in stream valleys and lowlands throughout the county, include post oak, blackjack oak, white oak, hickory, and maple. Fingers of the East Texas Piney Woods extend into the southeastern corner of the county, and upland areas everywhere are mantled by forests of loblolly, shortleaf, and longleaf pine. Between 1 and 10 percent of the land in the county is classified as prime farmland. Modest reserves of petroleum, natural gas, and lignite coal are the most significant of the limited mineral resources in Grimes County. The first tektites found in North America were discovered in Grimes County in 1936. Though the buffalo, bear, and wild hogs which once roamed the area disappeared in the 1800s, in the 1990s the county still included many wild animal species, including white-tailed deer, rabbit, raccoon, and opossum, and wild birds such as the mourning dove and bobwhite quail. Temperatures in the county range from an average high of 96° F in July to an average low of 40° in January. Rainfall averages 40.5 inches a year, and the growing season averages 278 days a year.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Charles Christopher Jackson | © Texas State Historical Association
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