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Kinney County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, its population was 3,598. Its county seat is Brackettville. The county was created in 1850 and later organized in 1874. It is named for Henry Lawrence Kinney, an early settler.
Henry Lawrence Kinney, an unsuccessful land speculator
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
First inhabitants were 6,000-10,000 years ago and later came to include Lipan Apache, Mescalaro Apache, Coahuiltecan,
Jumanos, Tamaulipans, Tonkawa and Comanches. These tribes settled in rockshelters in the river and creek valleys, leaving behind artifacts and
caches of seeds, implements, burial sites, and petroglyphs.
Saltillo alcalde Fernando de Azcué in 1665 passed through the southeast corner of the county on an expedition, becoming the first European to cross the Rio Grande. Franciscan Brother Manuel de la Cruz explored the county in 1674. In 1675, Fernando del Bosque traversed the area on an expedition up the Rio Grande from the city of Nuestra Sra. de Guadalupe. He was accompanied by the Franciscan Friars Juan Larios and Dionisio de San Buenaventura. Alonso De León in 1688 discovered French explorer and La Salle expedition deserter Jean Henri in a somewhat confused state of mind, among the Coahuiltecan Indians near the site of present Brackettville, generally believed to be at Anacacho Mountain. During the latter eighteenth century, several Franciscans established a settlement on Las Moras Creek near the center of the county. In 1834, English land speculators John Charles Beales and James Grant attempted to establish an English-speaking colony called Dolores at the site. Streets were laid off and fifty-nine colonists were brought in, but the project was abandoned.
The state legislature formed Kinney County from Bexar County in 1850 and named it for Henry Lawrence Kinney. The United States Army established Fort Clark in June 1852 on Las Moras Creek, and named it after John B. Clark, who had died in the Mexican War. Brackettville was founded in 1852 originally as the town of Brackett and named for Oscar B. Brackett, who came to set up a stage stop and opened the town's first dry-goods store. Brackett became a stop on a stage line from San Antonio to El Paso, but the settlement grew very slowly because of continuous Indian attacks. The town received its first post office in 1875. On February 18, 1861, on orders from United States Army General David E. Twiggs, Fort Clark was surrendered to the Texas Commission. Twiggs was dismissed by the United States for the act, and subsequently joined the Confederacy. The fort was evacuated by federal troops on March 19 and occupied by Confederate troops under the command of Confederate Colonel John R. Baylor. It remained in the hands of the Confederates until the end of the war, but was not garrisoned. In December 1866 it was reestablished as a federal fort.
In the early 1872 a number of Black Seminole Indians living along the border were organized into a company of scouts and brought to Fort Clark. Others joined them, and by the mid-1870s they numbered some 400 or 500. For the next quarter century they lived on a reservation along Las Moras Creek. In 1914 the Black Seminoles were removed from the Fort Clark reservation, but some of their descendants still live in the county. The Seminole Indian Scouts cemetery was founded on Fort Clark in 1872.
The county was organized in 1874. County government followed in 1875. In 1876, Brackettville was designated county seat after the final boundaries of the county were set by the legislature.
Handbook of Texas Online
In the early 1870s a number of Black Seminole Indians living along the border were organized into a company of scouts and brought to Fort Clark. Others joined them, and by the mid-1870s they numbered some 400 or 500. For the next quarter century they lived on a reservation along Las Moras Creek. In 1914 the Black Seminoles were removed from the Fort Clark reservation, but some of their descendants still live in the county. By 1874 the population was large enough for the county to be formally organized, and by 1875 the first county government was in place. In 1876 Brackettville was designated county seat after the final boundaries of the county were set by the legislature. The 1870s brought numerous signs that the county was slowly losing its frontier character. The first school, started by Margaret Martin Ballantyne, began operating around 1870, and a post office was opened in 1873. The first church, St. Mary Magalene's, was organized in 1875, and the Gilead Church, a Black Seminole church, was established in the late 1870s. More at
Christopher Long, "KINNEY COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hck09), accessed January 24, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,365 square miles (3,536 km2), of which,
1,363 square miles (3,531 km2) of it is land and 2 square miles (5 km2) of it (0.14%) is water.
Bordering counties are as follows: