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Texas Counties

Texas is divided into two hundred and fifty-four counties, more than any other state. Texas was originally divided into municipalities, a unit of local government under Spanish and Mexican rule. When the Republic of Texas gained its independence in 1836, there were 23 municipalities, which became the original Texas counties. Many of these would later be divided into new counties. The most recent county to be created was Kenedy County in 1921. The most recent county to be organized was Loving County in 1931

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Bailey County, Texas

Bailey County Education, Geography, and History

Bailey County, Texas Courthouse

Bailey County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 7,165. This county is east from the New Mexico state line. Its county seat is Muleshoe. The county was created in 1876 and later organized in 1919. It is named for Peter James Bailey, a defender of the Alamo.

Etymology - Origin of Bailey County Name

The county was named for Peter James BAILEY, a young lawyer from Tennessee who was killed during the Battle of the Alamo.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Bailey County History

Bailey County was formed in 1876 from Bexar Territory, but not officially organized until 1919. Bailey is named for Peter James Bailey, a defender of the Alamo. It was attached to Castro County for the first two years of its existence. Parent counties were Bexar and Young. The western area of Texas was long a hunting ground for the tribes of the Plains Indians who, as late as the 1870's, hunted buffalo and camped in this area. The main watering and camping areas were along the Blackwater Draw which was spring fed.

The Texas Constitution of 1876 set aside three million acres of land to erect a new State Capitol. In 1879, Texas made a contract exchanging the three million acres, including Bailey County, for the construction of the present Capitol in Austin. The three million acres eventually became part of the sprawling XIT Ranch from which the Y-L and Muleshoe Ranches of Bailey County were formed in 1902. The first recorded cattle drive took place in 1882 when Tom Lynch drove his cattle from New Mexico to Spring Lake.

Muleshoe wasn't the first settlement in Bailey County. Hurley was the first and was located about three miles northwest of Muleshoe. Hurley was named for New Mexico political leader, Patrick J. Hurley.

Handbook of Texas Online
The county was marked off from Bexar County in 1876 and named for Peter J. Bailey, an Alamo hero. Bailey and twenty-one other counties newly formed at the time were attached to Jack County for judicial purposes. In 1881 jurisdiction of Bailey County was transferred from Jack to Baylor County; then, in 1887, to Hale County; and in 1892 to Castro County. Settlement of Bailey County did not come early, since the XIT Ranch held most of its land from 1882 until the division and sale of the ranch in 1901. More at
William R. Hunt and John Leffler, "BAILEY COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed January 23, 2016. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on January 22, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 827 square miles (2,143 km2), of which, 827 square miles (2,141 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (2 km2) of it (0.08%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Parmer County (north)
  • Lamb County (east)
  • Cochran County (south)
  • Roosevelt County, New Mexico (west)
  • Curry County, New Mexico (northwest)


Most of Bailey County is served by the Muleshoe Independent School District, which extends into neighboring counties.

Farwell Independent School District and Sudan Independent School District, which are based in nearby counties, extend into Bailey County and serve small portions of it.

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