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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

Starr County, Texas

Starr County Education, Geography, and History

Starr County, Texas Courthouse

Starr County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, its population was 60,968. Its county seat is Rio Grande City. The county was created in 1848. It is named for James Harper Starr, who served as Secretary of the Treasury of the Republic of Texas.

Starr County comprises the Rio Grande City, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the McAllen-Edinburg, TX Combined Statistical Area. It is northeast from the Mexican border.

Etymology - Origin of Starr County Name

James Harper Starr, a treasurer for the Republic of Texas and Confederate official


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Starr County History

Starr County is a county located in the US state of Texas. Its county seat is Rio Grande City. The county is named for James Harper Starr, who served as Secretary of the Treasury of the Republic of Texas.

Handbook of Texas Online
Area residents dedicated their labor to sheep and cattle ranching. The area was disputed after the Texas Revolution, when both Mexico and the Republic of Texas claimed it. In 1847 Henry Clay Davis established the town of Rancho Davis on the Rio Grande near the site of the former Carnestolendas Ranch. After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War in 1848, the area became part of Nueces County. Camp Ringgold, later Fort Ringgold, was established at Rancho Davis on October 26, 1848, the year the county was organized and named for James Harper Starr. Rancho Davis was renamed Rio Grande City and made county seat. The introduction of steamboats on the Rio Grande in the late 1840s made trading centers of Rio Grande City and Roma. After 1849 itinerant Oblates of Mary Immaculate periodically visited the ranches between Brownsville and Laredo. By 1850 the county's population was estimated at 8,541. Starr County lost a large portion of its eastern territory when Hidalgo County was established in 1852, and by 1860 Zapata County had taken part of its western land. That year Starr County had a population estimated at 2,400. However, by 1870 the population had again increased to an estimated 4,154, predominantly Hispanic. In 1860 the county had 4,639 cattle and 19,142 sheep on seventy-one ranches. The county had only 6,628 improved acres, and the only crop reported that year was 2,616 bushels of corn. Settlers in the county during the late 1860s were predominantly Civil War veterans who stayed to make their fortune. They engaged in light trade and smuggling; few purchased land outright. Most chose to marry into established Hispanic ranching families. For the most part the newcomers adopted Hispanic traditions, including becoming Catholic, learning Spanish, and adopting the patronage system More at
Alicia A. Garza, "STARR COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcs13), 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 1,229 square miles (3,184 km2), of which, 1,223 square miles (3,168 km2) of it is land and 6 square miles (16 km2) of it (0.51%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Jim Hogg County (north)
  • Brooks County (northeast)
  • Hidalgo County (east)
  • Zapata County (west)
  • Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico (south)
  • Ciudad Gustavo D?z Ordaz, Tamaulipas, Mexico (south)
  • Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico (southwest)
  • Ciudad Miguel Alem?, Tamaulipas, Mexico (southwest)


Residents of eastern Starr County are zoned to schools in the Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District.

Residents of western Starr County are zoned to schools in the Roma Independent School District.

Residents of northeastern Starr County are zoned to schools in the San Isidro Independent School District.

South Texas College Founded in 1993, South Texas College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate and associate degrees.

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