Rock Island

Waller County is in the lower coastal plain of southeast Texas. The center of the county lies at 29°11' north latitude and 96° 01' west longitude. Hempstead, the county's seat of government and largest city, is twenty-five miles northwest of Houston. The county covers 514 square miles of land, from the rolling timbered area in the northern part of the county to the coastal prairie in the south, where marsh and bunch grasses grow. Elevations range between 100 and 300 feet above sea level. Soil types vary from the fertile alluvial soil in the Brazos river bottoms to the sandy loam soil in the prairie region and the black waxy soils in the small southern area of the county. The Brazos River defines the county's western boundary and is the area's most important stream, but the county is also crossed by a number of creeks, including Clear, Spring, Walnut, Brushy, Pond, Birch, Mound, Besser, Iron, and Cedar creeks; Hubbard Springs provides mineral waters. Small lakes in the area include Garrett Lake, Mound Lake, and Hannay Lake. Pine trees predominate in northeastern Waller County, while pecan trees are found on the Brazos river bottom, and live oak, sycamore, ash, elm, cottonwood, walnut trees, and wild fruits and berries are found elsewhere. Temperatures range from an average low of 41° F in January to an average high of 95° in July. The average annual precipitation is forty-two inches, and the average growing season lasts 288 days. The economy of Waller County revolves primarily around farming, cattle, and forest products. Mineral resources include oil and gas, salt domes, shell, gypsum, sulphur, sand, gravel, and brick clay. Waller County is served by U.S. Highway 290, State Highway 6, the Union Pacific Railroad, and three airports.

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.

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