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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

Callahan County, Texas

Callahan County Education, Geography, and History

Callahan County, Texas Courthouse

Callahan County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 13,544. Its county seat is Baird. The county was founded in 1858 and later organized in 1877. It is named for James Hughes Callahan, a soldier in the Texas Revolution.

Callahan County is included in the Abilene, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Callahan County Name

James Hughes Callahan, a soldier during the Texas Revolution


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

County History

Callahan County. Formed from Bexar Territory, created February 1, 1858; recreated August 21, 1876; organized July 3, 1877. Named in Honor of James H. Callahan, 1812-1856 soldier in the Texas Revolution, captain of the Texas Rangers. County Seat, Callahan City,

The Legislature of 1858 gave the boundaries to Callahan County. but its population did not justify a county organization until 1877. The first county seat was Belle Plain, but when the Texas & Pacific Railway was constructed through the county in 1881 its line was six miles from the county seat and the Government was subsequently transferred to Baird. 

Handbook of Texas Online
Between 1858 and 1877, Callahan County was attached successively to Bexar County, Travis County, and Eastland County for administrative and judicial purposes. In 1877 the residents, more than 150 strong, signed a petition requesting the organization of Callahan County. At the election of July 3, 1877, Callahan City became the first county seat, a position the town retained only until the election of October 13, 1877, when Belle Plain was voted in as the new county seat. Belle Plain showed signs of rapid growth, and a number of settlers moved there in anticipation of the railroad; by 1878 it had a population of more than 100, and by 1880 the number of residents had grown to nearly 300. In 1880-81 the Texas and Pacific Railway was constructed from Fort Worth to El Paso. Stations for the railroad were located at Putnam, Baird, and Clyde, all of which soon developed into towns, but bypassed Belle Plain six miles to the north. An election on January 16, 1883, made Baird the new county seat. Belle Plain soon declined; the stone jail and many of residences were moved to Baird, and by 1897 only four families remained. The construction of the railroad also opened the way for numerous new settlers. During the 1870s and 1880s several communities formed, including Cottonwood, Atwell, Cross Plains, Caddo Peak, Eagle Cove, and Eula. More settlers continued to arrive during the 1890s, and by the turn of the century there were post offices in Oplin, Tecumseh, Denton, Dressy, Admiral, and Dudley. In 1880 the county population was 3,419; by 1890 it had grown to 5,274. More at
Christopher Long, "CALLAHAN COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcc03), accessed January 23, 2016. Uploaded on June 12, 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 901 square miles (2,334 km2), of which, 899 square miles (2,327 km2) of it is land and 2 square miles (7 km2) of it (0.29%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Shackelford County (north)
  • Eastland County (east)
  • Brown County (southeast)
  • Coleman County (south)
  • Taylor County (west)
  • Jones County (northwest)


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