California CountiesThe 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.
Merced County, California
Merced County History, Geography, and Demographics
Etymology - Origin of County Name
The county derived its name from the Merced River of El Rio de Nuestra Senora de la Merced (River of Our Lady of Mercy); named in 1806 by an expedition, headed by Gabriel Moraga, which came upon it at the end of a hot dusty ride.
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
Merced County was formed in 1855 from parts of Mariposa County. Parts of its territory were given to Fresno County in 1856.
We know that Merced County was created by the Act of April 19, 1855, organized by an election held May 14 and the
votes of which were canvassed May 19, and that the first board of supervisors held their first meeting at the Turner &
Osborn Ranch on June 4. But anyone who is at all curious about the matter will want to know how it came about that there
were here along the Merced River and the creek bottoms of the eastern part of the county in this spring of 1855 enough
people to organize a new county. That is probably the most difficult question in all the county's history, at this
distance in time, to attempt to answer with anything like completeness.
SOURCE: History of Merced County, California - Los Angeles, Calif.; Historic Record Co., 1925
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,972 square miles (5,107 kmē),
of which, 1,929 square miles (4,995 kmē) of it is land and 43 square miles (112 kmē) of it (2.19%) is
Cities and Towns:
Enter County Resources and Information Here
The history of our nation was a prolonged struggle to define the relative roles and powers of our governments: federal, state, and local. And the names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"