County Seat: Benjamin
Year Organized: 1858
Square Miles: 854
P.O. Box 77
Henry Knox, the first secretary of war of the United States
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
Knox County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. Its county seat is Benjamin. The county is named for Henry Knox, an American Revolutionary War general.
In February 1858 the Texas legislature formed Knox County from lands formerly assigned to Young and Bexar counties; because the area remained unsettled, it was again decreed a county in 1876 and attached to Baylor County in 1879 for administrative purposes. In 1880 only three farms or ranches were in operation in the county, and the census counted seventy-seven residents. Settlers came in larger numbers between 1880 and 1900. Robert D. Goree, who came as a cattleman to Northwest Texas in 1882, opened up the land to agriculture by encouraging people from older states and other Texas counties to move into Knox County. The county was organized in 1886, with the town of Benjamin, founded by Hillary Bedford in 1884 and named for his oldest son, as county seat. The first courthouse, a small box-and-stripqv building, was replaced by a native stone structure in 1888. By 1887 Goree had established a small settlement that he named after himself at Riley Springs, in the southeastern part of the county, and in 1895 a colony of German Catholics established the town of Rhineland a few miles away. Several ranchers, including Robert B. Masterson, Tom (William Thomas) Waggoner,qqv W. R. McFadden, and J. C. Teague, had all or part of their ranges in the county. By 1890 there were seventy-six farms and ranches in the county, and by 1900 there were 366, encompassing about 449,000 acres. Though almost 39,400 cattle were reported in the county in 1900, farming was becoming more firmly established. The number of acres devoted to corn production, for example, rose from about 1,500 in 1890 to more than 7,300 by 1900; during that same period, wheat acres in the county grew from 603 to 13,188, and cotton acres from 336 to 2,135. Meanwhile, the population of the county had increased to 1,134 by 1890 and to 2,322 by 1900.
More at Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/KK/hck11.html (accessed November 6, 2008).
According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 855 square miles (2,216 km2), of which, 849
square miles (2,199 km2) of it is land and 6 square miles (17 km2) of it (0.75%) is water.
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