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California Counties

The U.S. state of California is divided into fifty-eight counties. On January 4, 1850, the California constitutional committee recommended the formation of 18 counties. They were Benicia, Butte, Fremont, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Mount Diablo, Oro, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Sutter. On April 22, the Counties of Branciforte, Calaveras, Coloma, Colusi, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Trinity, and Yuba were added. Benicia was renamed Solano, Coloma to El Dorado, Fremont to Yola, Mt. Diablo to Contra Costa, San Jose to Santa Clara, Oro to Tuolumne, and Redding to Shasta. One of the first state legislative acts regarding Counties was to rename Branciforte County to Santa Cruz, Colusi to Colusa, and Yola to Yolo.

The last California county to have been established is Imperial County in 1907.
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Fresno County, California

Fresno County Education, Geography, and HistoryFresno County, Califronia Courthouse

Fresno County, officially the County of Fresno, is a county located in the state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 930,450. The county seat is Fresno, the fifth-largest city in California.

Fresno County comprises the Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Fresno-Madera, CA Combined Statistical Area. It is located in the Central Valley, south of Stockton and north of Bakersfield.

Etymology - Origin of Fresno County Name

Named after Fresno Creek. Fresno in Spanish signifies "ash tree" and it was because of the abundance of mountain ash or ash trees in the county that it received its name.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Fresno County was formed in 1856 from parts of Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties. Parts of Fresno County's territory were given to Mono County in 1861 and to Madera County in 1893. The original county seat was placed in Millerton.

The county is named after Fresno Creek. Fresno in Spanish signifies "ash tree" and it was due to the abundance of mountain ash or ash trees in the county that it received its name.


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,017 square miles (15,585 km2), of which, 5,963 square miles (15,443 km2) of it is land and 55 square miles (142 km2) of it (0.91%) is water.

Major watercourses are the San Joaquin, Kings River, Delta-Mendota Canal, Big Creek, Friant Kern Canal and Helm Canal. It is bordered on the west by the Coast Range and on the east by the Sierra Nevada. It is the center of a large agricultural area, known as the most agriculturally rich county in the United States. The county withdrew 3.7 billion gallons of fresh water per day in 2000, more than any other county.

Fresno was actually named after two particular ash trees that grew near the town of Minkler on the Kings River. One of the trees is still alive and standing.

Neighboring Counties:

  • North: Madera County
  • Northeast: Mono County
  • East: Inyo County
  • Southeast: Tulare County
  • South: Kings County
  • Southwest: Monterey County
  • West: San Benito County
  • Northwest: Merced County


Educational institutions in Fresno County include:

  • California State University, Fresno which opened in 1911.
  • San Joaquin College of Law is a private, nonprofit law school founded in 1969 and located in the City of Clovis.
  • Fresno Pacific University is a private university in the City of Fresno.

Within the California Community Colleges System, Fresno County is mostly covered by the State Center Community College District and the West Hills Community College District. The following campuses are in Fresno County:

  • Fresno City College in the City of Fresno
  • Reedley College in the City of Reedley
  • West Hills College Coalinga in the City of Coalinga

In addition, the Fresno County Public Library operates public libraries throughout the county

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