Skip to main content

Camp Howze Museum

Population Growth

Since population changes were an essential effect of Camp Howze on the surrounding areas, it is beneficial to look at census data. The United States conducts a Census every ten years. There is a variety of information that comes from these records: the number of households, age/ethnic demographics, and employment status, to name a few. Using these records by comparing the 1930, 1940, and 1950 records, one can understand how Camp Howze changed towns on a surface level. 

This chart depicts the total population changes in Gainesville, Texas, from 1930, 1940, 1950, and 2000. Since Camp Howze was open from 1942 to 1946, the population numbers from the 1940 and 1950 census records demonstrate the town's short-term population changes. On the other hand, the population numbers from the 1930 and 2000 census records demonstrate the long-term population changes. These records are essential to the study of Camp Howze because it displays how a small town became overwhelmed to the point of a housing crisis and its effects on the local businesses. 

This chart depicts the population fluctuations of Marysville, a town 15 miles NW of Gainesville, which had some of its land taken by the Army for the creation of Camp Howze. Because of where the town was to the Camp's auxilary training course, most of the town's people abandoned their homes. This graph depicts this population decline from 80 people in 1930 to 15 people in 2000. Comparing and contrasting this town against Gainesville demonstrates the opposite effect of Camp Howze on the surrounding areas. The rural town of Marysville was always small compared to urban Gainesville. However, once Camp Howze began training its' soldiers in the art of modern warfare, Marysville's citizens moved out of the line of fire. Not many people returned after the Camp was closed, as demonstrated in the 1950 to 2000 population numbers. Marysville is important to the study of Camp Howze because it demonstrates how the Camp could have (and did) harm the surrounding areas.

In order to understand the maginitude of Gainesville's population changes, we have to look at another North Texas town. This graph depicts the population of Wylie, a city about 55 miles away from Gainesville. It shows the population growth between the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 2000s. Wylie was not greatly impacted by the development of Camp Howze, but saw significant growth as the North Texas area flourished. It was a small town in comparison with Gainesville, but significantly larger than Marysville, according to the data collected. The city grew during the Great Depression era, and post World War II saw an increase due to the demand of dairy farming that Dallas needed.