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Today’s Texas counties did not always exist in the present form. They went through many different changes in the space of a few short years. Texas Counties were first formed while part of the Mississippi Territory, and after that the Texas Territory.
Texas Territorial Counties
Texas was originally divided into municipalities, a unit of local government under Spanish and Mexican rule. When the Republic of Texas gained its independence on March 2, 1836, the 23 municipalities became the original Texas counties.
The State of Texas entered the union as the 28th state on December 29, 1845. The Republic of Texas officially transfered of power to the new state of Texas on February 19, 1846.
Each county serves as the local level of government within its borders. Texas counties have eminent domain power and control all unincorporated land within their boundaries but they have don’t have home-rule authority or zoning power.
The Texas Territory existed from May 2, 1890, until November 16, 1907. There were originally 7 Texas counties when it was first organized as the Texas Territory in 1890.
The State of Texas entered the union as the 46th state on November 16, 1907.
Texas Counties Today
Fun Facts about Texas Counties
Counties by Year
- The Republic of Texas established former Mexican municipalities of Austin, Brazoria, Bexar, Colorado, Goliad, Gonzales, Harrisburg, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Milam, Mina, Nacogdoches, Red River, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Patricio, Shelby, Victoria and Washington Counties as the Republic’s original 23 counties created on March 17, 1836.
- Kenedy County was the last county created on April 2, 1921.
- Loving County was the last county organized in 1931.
County Size Facts
- Brewster County (6,192 sq mi) is the largest county in Texas.
- Rockwall County (149 sq mi) is the smallest county in Texas.
County Population Facts
- Loving County (134) is the least populated county in Texas.
- Harris County (4,652,980) is the most populated county in Texas.
Texas City Facts
Texas’s 10 largest cities (2017 est.) are:
- Houston (2,312,717) is in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties
- San Antonio (1,511,946) is in Bexar, Medina and Comal Counties
- Dallas (1,341,075) is in Dallas, Collin, Denton, Rockwall and Kaufman Counties
- Austin (950,715) is in Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties
- Fort Worth (874,168) is in Tarrant, Denton, Parker, and Wise Counties
- El Paso (683,577) is in El Paso County
- Arlington (396,394) is in Tarrant County
- Corpus Christi (325,605) is in Nueces, Kleberg, San Patricio and Aransas Counties
- Plano (286,143) is in Collin and Denton Counties
- Laredo (260,654) is in Webb County
Boundary Changes of Texas Counties from 1834-1931
This Interactive Map of Texas Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from 1834 to 1931.
List of Texas Counties
|County||Date Formed||Parent County||County Seat|
|Archer||1858||Unorganized Territory||Archer City|
|Bandera||1856||Non-County Area, Bexar and Uvalde Counties||Bandera|
|Bee||1857||Live Oak, Goliad, Refugio, San Patricio and Karnes Counties||Beeville|
|Bexar||1836||Original County||San Antonio|
|Blanco||1858||Gillespie, Burnet, Comal and Hays Counties||Johnson City|
|Bowie||1840||Red River County||Boston|
|Brazos||1841||Washington and Robertson Counties||Bryan|
|Brooks||1911||Starr, Hildalgo and Zapata Counties||Falfurrias|
|Brown||1856||Travis County and Non-County Area||Brownwood|
|Burleson||1842||Milam and Washington Counties||Caldwell|
|Burnet||1852||Bell, Williamson and Travis Counties||Burnet|
|Calhoun||1846||Jackson and Victoria Counties||Port Lavaca|
|Callahan||1858||Non-County Area, Travis and Bexar Counties||Baird|
|Chambers||1858||Liberty and Jefferson Counties||Anahuac|
|Childress||1876||Hardeman County and Young Territory||Childress|
|Coke||1889||Tom Green County||Robert Lee|
|Coleman||1858||Brown and Travis Counties||Coleman|
|Colorado||1836||Old Mexican Municipalities and Counties of Mina and Matagorda. Original County||Columbus|
|Comal||1846||Bexar, Travis and Gonzales Counties||New Braunfels|
|Comanche||1856||Non-County Area, Coryell and Bosque Counties||Comanche|
|Concho||1858||Bexar County||Paint Rock|
|Coryell||1854||Bell and McLennan Counties||Gatesville|
|Cottle||1876||Hardeman County and Young Territory||Paducah|
|Crane||1887||Tom Green County||Crane|
|Crockett||1875||Bexar Land District||Ozona|
|Culberson||1911||El Paso County||Van Horn|
|Dallas||1846||Nacogdoches and Robertson Counties||Dallas|
|Dewitt||1846||Gonzales County, Goliad County and Victoria County||Cuero|
|Deaf Smith||1876||Young Territory||Hereford|
|Delta||1870||Lamar and Hopkins Counties||Cooper|
|Dimmit||1858||Bexar, Maverick, Webb, Uvalde Counties||Carrizo Springs|
|Duval||1858||Nueces and Live Oak Counties||San Diego|
|Eastland||1858||Non-County Area and Palo Pinto County||Eastland|
|Ector||1887||Tom Green County||Odessa|
|Edwards||1858||Bexar Land District||Rocksprings|
|El Paso||1850||Non-County Area||El Paso|
|Erath||1856||Bosque and Coryell Counties||Stephenville|
|Falls||1850||Milam and Limestone Counties||Marlin|
|Fayette||1837||Colorado and Bastrop Counties||La Grange|
|Fisher||1876||Jones County and Young Territory||Roby|
|Foard||1891||Knox, Hardeman and Cottle Counties||Crowell|
|Fort Bend||1837||Austin, Harris and Brazoria Counties||Richmond|
|Franklin||1875||Titus County||Mount Vernon|
|Frio||1858||Uvalde and Atascosa Counties||Pearsall|
|Galveston||1838||Brazoria and Liberty Counties||Galveston|
|Glasscock||1887||Tom Green County||Garden City|
|Goliad||1836||Old Mexican Municipality. Original County||Goliad|
|Gonzales||1836||Old Mexican Municipality. Original County||Gonzales|
|Guadalupe||1846||Gonzales and Bexar Counties||Seguin|
|Hamilton||1858||Comanche, Bosque and Lampasas Counties||Hamilton|
|Hardin||1858||Liberty, Tyler and Jefferson Counties||Kountze|
|Harris||1836||Old Mexican Municipalities and Counties of Austin and Liberty. Original County||Houston|
|Hays||1848||Travis County||San Marcos|
|Henderson||1846||Houston and Nacogdoches Counties||Athens|
|Hood||1865||Erath, Johnson and Palo Pinto Counties||Granbury|
|Hopkins||1846||Lamar and Nacogdoches Counties||Sulphur Springs|
|Howard||1876||Tom Green County and Young Territory||Big Spring|
|Hudspeth||1917||El Paso County||Sierra Blanca|
|Hunt||1846||Fannin and Nacogdoches Counties||Greenville|
|Irion||1889||Tom Green County||Mertzon|
|Jackson||1836||Old Mexican Municipality Matagorda County. Original County||Edna|
|Jasper||1836||Old Mexican Municipality Liberty County. Original County||Jasper|
|Jeff Davis||1887||Presidio County||Fort Davis|
|Jefferson||1836||Old Mexican Municipality Jasper County. Original County||Beaumont|
|Jim Hogg||1913||Brooks and Duval Counties||Hebbronville|
|Jim Wells||1911||Nueces County||Alice|
|Karnes||1854||Bexar, Dewitt, Goliad and San Patrico Counties||Karnes City|
|Kendall||1862||Kerr and Blanco Counties||Boerne|
|Kenedy||1921||Hidalgo and Willacy Counties||Sarita|
|La Salle||1840||Red River County||Lampasas|
|Lamb||1856||Bell and Travis Counties||Paris|
|Lampasas||1858||Nueces, Bexar and Webb Counties||Littlefield|
|Lavaca||1846||Colorado, Gonzales, Jackson and Fayette Counties||Hallettsville|
|Lee||1874||Burleson, Bastrop, Fayette and Washington Counties||Giddings|
|Liberty||1836||Old Mexican Municipality Nacogdoches County. Original County||Liberty|
|Live Oak||1856||San Patrico and Nueces Counties||George West|
|Llano||1856||Bexar and Gillespie Counties||Llano|
|Loving||1887||Tom Green County||Mentone|
|Madison||1853||Grimes, Walker and Leon Counties||Madisonville|
|Marion||1860||Cass and Titus Counties||Jefferson|
|Mason||1858||Bexar Land District||Mason|
|Matagorda||1836||Old Mexican Municipality Nacogdoches County. Original County||Bay City|
|Maverick||1856||Kinney County||Eagle Pass|
|McCulloch||1856||Bexar Land District||Brady|
|McLennan||1850||Milam, Navarro and Limestone Counties||Waco|
|McMullen||1858||Nueces, Atascosa and Live Oak Counties||Tilden|
|Menard||1858||Bexar Land District||Menard|
|Midland||1885||Tom Green County||Midland|
|Milam||1836||Old Mexican Municipality. Original County||Cameron|
|Mills||1887||Brown, Lampasas, Hamilton and Comanche||Goldthwaite|
|Mitchell||1876||Young Territory||Colorado City|
|Nacogdoches||1836||Old Mexican Municipality. Original County||Nacogdoches|
|Nueces||1846||San Patrico County||Corpus Christi|
|Palo Pinto||1856||Bosque and Navarro Counties||Palo Pinto|
|Panola||1846||Harrison and Shelby Counties||Carthage|
|Parker||1855||Bosque and Navarro Counties||Weatherford|
|Pecos||1871||Presidio County||Fort Stockton|
|Rains||1870||Hopkins, Hunt and Wood Counties||Emory|
|Reagan||1903||Tom Green County||Big Lake|
|Real||1913||Edwards, Kerr and Bandera Counties||Leakey|
|Red River||1836||Old Mexican Municipality Nacogdoches County. Original County||Clarksville|
|Refugio||1836||Old Mexican Municipality. Original County||Refugio|
|Robertson||1837||Milam and Nacogdoches Counties||Franklin|
|Runnels||1858||Bexar Land District||Ballinger|
|Sabine||1836||Old Mexican Municipality San Augustine County. Original County||Hemphill|
|San Augustine||1836||Old Mexican Municipality Nacogdoches County. Original County||San Augustine|
|San Jacinto||1869||Polk, Liberty, Montgomery and Walker Counties||Coldspring|
|San Patricio||1836||Old Mexican Municipality. Original County||Sinton|
|San Saba||1856||Bexar County||San Saba|
|Shackelford||1858||Young Territory and Non-County Area||Albany|
|Shelby||1836||Old Mexican Municipality Nacogdoches County and San Augustine County. Original County||Center|
|Somervell||1875||Hood County||Glen Rose|
|Starr||1848||Nueces County||Rio Grande City|
|Stephens||1858||Young Territory and Non-County Area||Breckenridge|
|Sterling||1891||Tom Green County||Sterling City|
|Tarrant||1849||Navarro County||Fort Worth|
|Taylor||1858||Bexar Land District||Abilene|
|Throckmorton||1858||Young Territory and Non-County Area||Throckmorton|
|Titus||1846||Bowie and Red River Counties||Mount Pleasant|
|Tom Green||1874||Bexar Land District||San Angelo|
|Upshur||1846||Harrison and Nacogdoches Counties||Gilmer|
|Upton||1867||Tom Green County||Rankin|
|Val Verde||1885||Kinney, Pecos and Crockett Counties||Del Rio|
|Van Zandt||1848||Henderson County||Canton|
|Victoria||1836||Old Mexican Municipality. Original County||Victoria|
|Waller||1873||Austin and Grimes Counties||Hempstead|
|Ward||1887||Tom Green County||Monahans|
|Washington||1836||Old Mexican Municipality Austin County and Liberty County. Original County||Brenham|
|Webb||1848||Bexar and Nueces Counties||Laredo|
|Wharton||1846||Brazoria, Colorado, Jackson and Matagorda Counties||Wharton|
|Wichita||1858||Young Territory||Wichita Falls|
|Willacy||1911||Hildigo and Cameron Counties||Raymondville|
|Wilson||1860||Bexar and Karnes Counties||Floresville|
|Winkler||1887||Tom Green County||Kermit|
|Wood||1850||Van Zandt County||Quitman|
|Zapata||1858||Starr and Webb Counties||Zapata|
|Zavala||1858||Uvalde and Maverick||Crystal City|
List of Old Former / Extinct Texas Counties
At least 32 counties that were established by Texas law no longer exist. These defunct counties were either.
- Judicial counties
- Counties established by declaration of the Constitutional Convention of 1868-69
- Counties established by legislative act but never organized and later abolished by legislative act
- Counties established outside the present boundaries of Texas
- Counties whose names have been changed.
The below counties formerly within the area of the State of Texas no longer exist:
Bexar Land District, Texas
Created on January 26, 1856 from the Bexar County. Buchanan County was divided into Young Territory and Bexar Territory on August 19, 1856.
Bexar Territory, Texas
Created on August 19, 1856 from the Bexar Land District. That part of Bexar Land District north of Young Territory became known as Bexar Territory or Unorganized Territory on contemporary maps.
The Bexar Territory County was eliminated when
Carson, Dallam, Gray, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Roberts, Sherman and Wheeler Counties were created on December 17, 1861.
Young Territory, Texas
Created on August 19, 1856 from the Bexar Land District.
Young Territory was eliminated when Armstrong, Bailey, Borden, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Cottle, Crosby, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Dickens, Fisher, Floyd, Gaines, Garza, Hale, Hall, Hockley, Howard, Kent, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, Mitchell, Motley, Nolan, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Scurry, Stonewall, Swisher, Terry and Yoakum Counties were created on November 19, 1876.
Buchanan County, Texas
Created on January 22, 1858 from Young Territory and Unorganized Areas, not fully organized, attached to Palo Pinto County for administrative and judicial purposes.
Buchel County, Texas
It was named after German soldier and war hero Augustus Buchel. Buchel County merged into Brewster County on April 21, 1897.
Cibilo County (Proposed), Texas
Proposed to be renamed from Wilson County on January 19, 1869. The changes were never recognized or legalized by the Legislature.
Cooke Land District, Texas
Created on February 13, 1854. Cooke Land District was eliminated and became part of Young Territory on August 19, 1856.
Davis County, Texas
Denton Land District, Texas
Created on February 13, 1854. Denton Land District was eliminated and became part of Young Territory on August 19, 1856.
Encinal County, Texas
Abolished on March 12, 1899 and incorporated into Webb County
Foley County, Texas
Foley County had only twenty-five residents in 1890; thus it was one of the most sparsely settled counties in Texas.
On April 21, 1897 the legislature passed a bill abolishing Foley County and attaching its territory to Brewster County.
Fannin Land District, Texas
Created on March 14, 1846. Fannin Land District was eliminated and became part of Cooke Land District and Denton Land District when those districts were reorganized and expanded on February 13, 1854.
Travis Land District, Texas
Created on February 5, 1852. Travis Land District was eliminated and became part of Brown County on February 5, 1858.
Greer County, Texas
Created on February 8, 1860 from Young Territory, not fully organized, attached to Montague County for administrative and judicial purposes. Greer County was located entirely in present Oklahoma.
Greer County eliminated from Texas when U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Greer was not within the boundaries of Texas, but was under the jurisdiction of the United States. on March 16, 1896.
Harrisburg County, Texas
Established in January 1, 1836 as a municipality by the Provisional Government of Texas from Austin and Liberty. Harrisburg became a county in the Republic of Texas on March 17, 1836.
Harrisburg County was renamed to Harris County on December 28, 1839.
La Baca County (Judicial), Texas
Created as a Judicial County on January 29, 1842 by the Republic of Texas from Colorado, Fayette, Gonzolas, Jackson, and Victoria Counties.
On June 27, 1842 it was eliminated when Republic of Texas Supreme Court ruled judicial counties unconstitutional.
Mina County, Texas
Established in April 1834 as a municipality by Mexico from Austin County and unorganized area in Mexico. Mina became a county in the Republic of Texas on March 17, 1836.
Mina County was renamed to Bastrop County on December 18, 1837.
Miller County, Arkansas Territory
Created on April 1, 1820 from Hempstead County, Arkansas, not fully organized. Survey of boundary between the Republic of Texas and the United States began.
Miller County officially became extinct as Texas claims to the area were upheld, on May 21, 1840.
Created on January 30, 1841 from Robertson and Washington Counties, not fully organized. Navasota County was renamed to Brazos County on January 28, 1842.
Neches County (Judicial), Texas
Created as a Judicial County on January 29, 1842 by the Republic of Texas from Jasper and Jefferson Counties. It included all of the area of future Orange County, the south half of the future Jasper County, and the south half of what is now Newton County.
The county seat was to be Madison. On June 27, 1842 it was eliminated when Republic of Texas Supreme Court ruled judicial counties unconstitutional.
Paschal County (Judicial), Texas
Created as a Judicial County on January 29, 1841 by the Republic of Texas from Milam and Robertson Counties. It included all of the area of future Hopkins, Franklin, Titus, Morris, and Cass counties and most of future Marion County.
The county seat, to be selected by county commissioners, was to be named Dangerfield. On June 27, 1842 it was eliminated when Republic of Texas Supreme Court ruled judicial counties unconstitutional.
Santa Fe County, Texas
Created on March 15, 1848 from unorganized area, not fully organized. On December 13, 1850, the State of Texas sold part of Santa Fe County to the United States. The rest of Santa Fe County was merged into Bexar County.
Waco County (Judicial), Texas
Created as a Judicial County on January 29, 1842 by the Republic of Texas from Milam and Robertson Counties. Viesca was named the county seat.
OnJune 27, 1842 it was eliminated when Republic of Texas Supreme Court ruled judicial counties unconstitutional.
Wegefarth County, Texas
Created on June 2, 1873 from Bexar Territory and Young Territory, not fully organized. On November 19, 1876 it was abolished by the act of legislature, which established the other Panhandle counties.