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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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Potter County, Texas

Potter County Education, Geography, and History

Potter County, Texas Courthouse

Potter County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 121,073. Its county seat is Amarillo. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1887. It is named for Robert Potter, a politician, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Secretary of the Texas Navy.

Potter County is included in the Amarillo, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Potter County Name

Robert Potter, an early legislator, secretary of the navy for the Republic of Texas, and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence who was killed in the Regulator-Moderator War


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Potter County History

Potter County is a county located in the US state of Texas. Its seat is Amarillo. Potter County is named for Robert Potter, a politician and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Handbook of Texas Online
Settlement of Potter County increased dramatically with the construction of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway across the Panhandle in 1887. A construction camp grew overnight into a tent and buffalo-hut settlement known as Ragtown. When Oldham County officials ordered an election held on August 30 for the purpose of organizing Potter County, several townsites vied to be county seat. William B. Plemons, the first county judge, had a prospective townsite near the head of Amarillo Creek. Two miles southeast was J. T. Berry's townsite of Oneida, in which Plemons soon merged his interest. Frank Lester, backed by Henry Sanborn, dubbed a third site Plains City, while Jesse Jenkins, a Tascosa saloon owner, promoted Ragtown under a new name, Odessa. To attract the support of the cowhands of the LX Ranch, who constituted the majority of the county's qualified voters, Berry promised each of them a business lot and residence lot in his town. The election returns favored Berry's townsite, which was renamed Amarillo. The railroad was completed into the town in October 1887, soon after the elections, and a post office was established there the next month. People from surrounding townsites began to move to the new county seat. The county's first newspaper, the Amarillo Champion, began publication in May 1888, and that same year a school was established in the town. Partly because of the efforts of Henry Sanborn, who had been establishing another townsite east of "Old Town" Amarillo, and partly because of flood dangers, most of the town was moved to a new, higher site by 1890. By that time cattle ranching had become firmly established in the area and dominated Potter County's economy and its culture. Twenty ranches, encompassing more than 511,000 acres, had been established in the county by 1890, and more than 44,000 cattle, but no sheep, were reported in the county that year. By 1900 there were seventy-nine ranches in the county, and the population had increased to 1,820 More at
H. Allen Anderson and John Leffler, "POTTER COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed January 24, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 922 square miles (2,388 km2), of which, 909 square miles (2,355 km2) of it is land and 13 square miles (33 km2) of it (1.38%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Moore County (north)
  • Carson County (east)
  • Randall County (south)
  • Oldham County (west)


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