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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

Duval County, Texas

Duval County Education, Geography, and History

Duval County, Texas Courthouse

Duval County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, its population was 11,782. The county seat is San Diego. The county was founded in 1858 and later organized in 1876. It is named for Burr H. Duval, a soldier in the Texas Revolution who died in the Goliad Massacre.

Etymology - Origin of Duval County Name

Burr Harrison DuVal, a soldier in the Texas Revolution who died in the Goliad Massacre


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Duval County History

Even though Duval County lies in the United States, it has long been Mexican in character. A Mexican first surveyed it in 1804, Jose Contrerras, surveyor general of San Luis Potosi. Luis Muniz was born there in 1828, the county's first recorded birth. The important colonists came from Mier, Tamaulipas - and Anglos later respected their descendants as the old Mexican families.

The Texas Legislature established Duval County February 1, 1858. It is named for Burr H. Duval, a soldier in the Texas Revolution who died in the Goliad Massacre. The seat of the county is San Diego

Handbook of Texas Online
In 1858 the Texas legislature formed Duval County, which originally embraced 1,887 square miles, from parts of Nueces, Live Oak, and Starr counties. County organization did not occur until eighteen years later. The county was named for Burr H. Duval, who fought in the Texas Revolution and was killed in the Goliad Massacre. Duval County has always been somewhat off the beaten track of development. In 1867 Father Claude Jaillet built a church in San Diego that became the only public place of worship between Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande. Despite this civilizing influence, however, Duval County could still be a wild and dangerous place. In 1873 the outlaw Alberto Garza and some sixty followers made the county the center of their horse-stealing and cattle-skinning operations. They sent orders to the citizens of San Diego to bring enough money to buy the stolen hides or enough men to skin the hide-peelers. A party of Anglos chose the latter option, attacked the outlaw's camp, and scattered the rustlers. Five years later, in mid-April 1878, a band of forty Lipan Apache, Seminole, and Kickapoo Indians, reportedly led by a blond white man, cut a swath through Webb and Duval counties, murdering and pillaging several ranches before dispersing. The perpetrators of the so-called "Great Raid of '78" were never caught. A legend of more recent vintage holds that Francisco (Pancho) Villa may have buried two saddlebags of silver in the area. The county was finally organized in 1876, and San Diego was selected as the county seat. James O. Luby, the first county judge, dominated Duval County politics for most of the next three decades. When Luby defected from the Democratic to the Republican party, he almost singlehandedly made the GOP an important factor in Duval County politics. The battles between the Botas and Guaraches ("boots" and "sandals," or Republicans and Democrats) were often ferocious More at
Martin Donell Kohout, "DUVAL COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcd11), 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 1,796 square miles (4,651 km2), of which, 1,793 square miles (4,643 km2) of it is land and 3 square miles (8 km2) of it (0.17%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • McMullen County (north)
  • Live Oak County (northeast)
  • Jim Wells County (east)
  • Brooks County (southeast)
  • Jim Hogg County (southwest)
  • Webb County (west)


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