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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

Rains County, Texas

Rains County Education, Geography, and History

Rains County, Texas Courthouse

Rains County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, its population was 10,914. Its seat is Emory. The county (and county seat) are named for Emory Rains, a Texas state legislator.

Etymology - Origin of Rains County Name

Emory Rains, an early legislator and surveyor of the future county


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Rains County History

Rains County is a county located in the US state of Texas. Its seat is Emory. The county is named for Emory Rains, a Texas state legislator.

Handbook of Texas Online
The first American of European descent to colonize the territory was probably James H. Hooker of Tennessee. In the 1840s Hooker arrived from Missouri and settled in the area of southwest Rains County, establishing Hooker's Mill on the Sabine River. The site coincides with that of the Tawakoni-Yscani village visited by Fray Calahorra, but there is no evidence to indicate the Indians were still living there eighty years later. Hooker's homestead was originally in Hunt County and is now submerged by Lake Tawakoni. Another early immigrant, William Garrett of Tennessee, settled in the northwest section of the county. Other settlers, mostly from the South, soon followed. They founded such communities as Rice's Point, Sabine Pass, Springville, and Pilgrim Rest. The remaining Indian tribes were resettled to north central Texas in 1855. Four years later the remaining Caddos and Wichitas were moved to Oklahoma. The first pioneers found much of the area covered by a dense forest, with impenetrable cane brakes in the stream beds and river bottoms. Cotton was, from the first, the principal cash crop. After harvest the farmer might have to wait for months for good weather and dry roads to take his several bales to market. The journey by oxcart to Shreveport could take weeks even under good conditions. After 1850 most of the area that later became Rains County fell within the boundaries of Wood County, which was represented in the state Senate by Emory Rains, an early pioneer who had served in the Congress of the Republic of Texas. In 1866 Rains lobbied for the bill that established Rains County. On June 9, 1870, the legislature approved "an Act to create and provide for the organization of the County of Rains." The bulk of the new county was taken from Wood County. The western section, including the sites of the first settlements, came from Hunt County, and a narrow strip of land in the north was carved from Hopkins County. The act provided that the citizens should choose a county seat, to be named Emory. Springville, the largest and most centrally located community, was designated the temporary place of business for the five appointed commissioners and was later selected as the permanent county seat and renamed Emory. By 1857 the town had a store, tanning yard, and gin. Until at least the early 1880s, when rail service was first brought to Rains County, most of the inhabitants did their business in Mineola in adjoining Wood County. A log house in Emory was used initially as a temporary county courthouse. In 1872 a two-room wooden courthouse was erected. Seven years later the small building burned, along with all of the county records. The seat of government was moved back into the original log house until 1884, when a new brick courthouse was completed. In 1908 the courthouse was again destroyed by fire, but this time the records were saved More at
Steven R. Davis, "RAINS COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcr01), 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 259 square miles (670 km2), of which, 232 square miles (601 km2) of it is land and 27 square miles (69 km2) of it (10.36%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Hopkins County (north)
  • Wood County (east)
  • Van Zandt County (southwest)
  • Hunt County (northwest)


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