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Navarro County TX
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"Birthplace of Big Tex"

Navarro County, Central Texas N

32°7'50"N 96°13'45"W (32.130639, -96.229207)
At the junction of Hwy 31 and 309, and FM 667 and 3096
14 Miles E of Corsicana
67 miles SE of Dallas via I-45
Population: 1,535 Est. (2018)
1,573 (2010) 1,681 (2000) 1,702 (1990)

Kerens, Texas Area Hotels › Corsicana Hotels
Kerens downtown brick building
Kerens Downtown Building
TE photo

Few towns are looking forward to the 2000 Census report as much as Kerens. According to the Texas Handbook, their population peaked in 1929 at 1800 souls. The 1990 Census showed 1702.

We received a request to check out www.kerens.com. We did and we liked what we saw.

Kerens.com serves as an example for other small towns because of its positive and cooperative attitude that comes across on every page. This unofficial and entertaining site achieves what most chamber of commerce sites are reaching for. Somehow we have the feeling a committee is not involved.

The "Café" portion includes feedback from ex-Kerensites as well as current residents on such weighty matters as "smiley face" welcoming signs and what ever happened to….

We applaud the editor of the café for including (at least one) letter written by "Anonymous". TE's (current) motto is "For people who like this sort of thing; this is the sort of thing they like" and Kerens' Traffic Report is the sort of thing we like here at TE.

It has some of the best aspects of a newspaper, and the feedback allows for a nearly continuous high school reunion. The webmaster says, "This town raised me." They did a good job and they're being repaid.

Kerens traffic arrow
Kerens traffic arrow
TE Photo

Big Tex
Big Tex was born in Kerens
Photo Courtesy Webmaster, www.kerens.com

The Story of Big Tex

  • Big Tex by Clint Skinner

  • Big Tex: Son of Santa by Mike Cox

  • Big Tex by d.knape

  • Big Tex Destroyed by Fire History Cartoon by Roger T. Moore
  • Big Tex as Santa
    Tex as Santa
    Photo Courtesy Webmaster, www.kerens.com
    Local Boy makes good in Dallas

    Kerens contribution to Texas culture is in the (rather large) form of "Big Tex", Official State Fair Greeter. Tex started life as a Santa Claus in 1951, and was then bought and brought to Fair Park. He's been home once (in 1981), which prompted an old timer to exclaim: "Why Tex, you must've grown 20 feet since I last saw you."

    Tex spends most of his time looking at the Dallas skyline, although he's been warned about staring in windows. Our challenge to the math classes in Kerens is to figure out how many paces it would take Tex to walk home from Dallas, based on his oversized stride and if he were to walk as the crow flies. Visit the site www.kerens.com, sign their guest book and better yet, visit the town.

    July, 2000 update from kerens.com : "D" Magazine in Dallas, the July issue, did an article on the best 11 small towns in the surrounding area to live. Kerens was the first one listed.

    February 2, 2001 :
    We heard from Kerens Webmaster Thomas Darby and his message reminds us that we've been so busy we let a whole summer go by without checking in. We can proudly report that we told many people of Kerens and how they've used the web to strengthen community ties. Well, actually, they seem to have been strong to begin with, but it's helped. Of course telling people about another town and the good work they're doing - isn't always well received. For towns that don't mind looking at success stories and benefiting from them - they can go directly to the Kerens site of www.kerens.com. Our personal report from Thomas follows:

    " ……….we completed a project on the Main Street of Kerens. About three years ago we lost part of downtown due to a fire that was covered by channel five in Dallas. During the Spring of 2000, we decided to build an Alumni Center in the spot where the building burned down, right in the middle of downtown. We started in March, and had our grand opening at Homecoming on the September 21st weekend.

    With donations from people in town, and many ex-students, we completely paid for the facility. The cost was estimated to be around $150,000. A retired construction contractor, Cliff (Buddy) Hughes, led the work and finished it right on schedule with nothing but volunteer workers in town. He is a bona fide hero. We worked all summer long, Saturday and Sundays dawn till dusk in one of the hottest summers I ever have experienced. We had a large round temperature gauge mounted on the inside on a column while we were finishing up the interior before we had air conditioning and it constantly hovered between 100 and 110 for months. It was hot! I think I fell to me knees in thanks the day we turned on the central air conditioning system for the first time.

    We mounted two large outdoor speakers on a utility pole beside the building and during the days preceding Christmas, I floated Christmas music down Main Street to go with all the decorations we put on the building. A lady named Judy Holloway provided many of the decorations and won a prize for the work from the town. Great fun with that too.

    As a finishing touch, we put up the six flags of Texas on seven poles in front of the building and it is quite a sight now to drive down Main Street and see those flags flying in the wind where only wrecked buildings were before. You can see a picture of it on the Homepage at kerens.com.

    I also webcast the Homecoming Parade from the Alumni Center live that day and we also had the largest crowd that anyone remembers having at homecoming. Great fun it was. Now we are on to other restoration projects. :-)
    - T. Darby, webmaster@kerens.com

    Kerens Texas Forum

    Thursday, February 08, 2001
    Subject: Fw: A Big Pat on the Back
    Just got this message about your web site and it's content, people are looking at Texas Escapes. I did not know you had updated with new pictures and they were great. Where in the world did you get that picture of the "button" on Main Street? That was a good one. :-) Regards, Thomas Darby webmaster@kerens.com

    Original Message
    To: Kerens Webmaster
    Thursday, February 08, 2001
    Subject: A Big Pat on the Back
    You are probably aware of this, but I found a really wonderful and complimentary write-up about your site just now. Even if you have read it, go and read it again!
    - Maggie D

    TX Navarro County 1920s Map
    Navarro County 1920s map showing Kerens
    From Texas state map #10749
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip

    Kerens, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Corsicana the county seat

    See Navarro County | Central Texas North

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