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Reagan County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, its population was 3,367. The county seat is Big Lake. The county is named in honor of John Henninger Reagan (1818-1905), who served as postmaster general of the Confederate States of America and also as a US Senator, US Representative, and first chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas.
John Henninger Reagan, postmaster general of the Confederacy, US Representative and Senator, and leader of the United States Democratic Party in Texas
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Reagan County is a county located in the US state of Texas. The seat of the county is Big Lake. It is named in honor of John Henninger Reagan (1818-1905), who served as postmaster general of the Confederate States of America and also as a US Senator, US Representative and first chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas.
Handbook of Texas Online
Reagan County was carved from Tom Green County in 1903 and named for Senator John H. Reagan, the first chairman of the Railroad Commission. Stiles became the first county seat. After constructing two temporary frame courthouses, county officials built a striking two-story white stone building in 1911. A wooden school building was constructed adjacent to the courthouse. At one time the Stiles school employed a faculty of six certified teachers for an estimated enrollment of seventy-five students. The original school was replaced by a brick building in 1926, but enrollment dropped to eight in 1930, and the Stiles school closed in 1947. Early in the twentieth century post offices opened at two other small communities in Reagan County. Reaganview, fifteen miles northeast of Stiles, operated a post office from 1905 through 1910 and a one-teacher school from 1902 to 1915. The second community, Isaac, maintained a post office from 1907 through 1909. In 1905 the P. H. Coates family settled in southern Reagan County on the west side of Big Lake. The T. H. Taylor family took up residence on land on the east side of the pond. In 1911 Taylor sold 320 acres of land to the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient of Texas Railway for a station and townsite, which was named for the local landmark and promoted by the railroad. The railroad chose a route through Big Lake rather than Stiles, because a large landowner near Stiles failed to grant a right-of-way. A post office, public school, newspaper office, and various stores were established by 1912. In 1913 a Methodist church was formed, and in 1915 a Baptist church was organized with fifteen members. A red brick ten-grade school opened, and the Big Lake Hotel was completed in 1915. In 1910 the county population numbered 392, of which eleven were foreign-born and two were African American. A total of fifty-one farms, nine of which were operated by tenants (see FARM TENANCY), encompassed 443,715 acres. Farm crops included sorghums, hay, corn, and cotton. Livestock, valued at $396,306, included 9,074 sheep and 8,906 cattle. By 1920 the number of farms in Reagan County dipped to forty-six, acreage fell to 413,718, and the population dropped to 377, with no minority or foreign-born residents remaining. Seventeen farms, or 37 percent, were operated by tenants. Livestock increased to 48,000 sheep and 17,000 cattle, valued at $1.7 million. Farmers raised 707 tons of hay, 5,700 bushels of sorghum, and 1,246 bushels of corn. One of the oldest cattle trails in Texas crossed the Big Lake area, and between 1916 and 1920 up to 400 carloads of steers were unloaded at Big Lake each year to winter in Crockett County before being sent north to fatten for market More at
Julia Cauble Smith, "REAGAN COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcr03), 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 1,176 square miles (3,046 km2), of which,
1,175 square miles (3,044 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (2 km2) of it (0.06%) is water.
Bordering counties are as follows: