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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

Swisher County, Texas

Swisher County Education, Geography, and History

Swisher County, Texas Courthouse

Swisher County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, its population was 7,854. Its county seat is Tulia. The county was created in 1876 and later organized in 1890. It is named for James G. Swisher, a soldier of the Texas Revolution and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Etymology - Origin of Swisher County Name

James Gibson Swisher, a soldier of the Texas Revolution


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Swisher County History

Apachean cultures roamed the county until Comanche dominated around 1700. The Comanches were defeated by the United States Army in the Red River War of 1874. No significant combat occurred in the county. After the 1874 battle of Palo Duro Canyon, Ranald S. Mackenzie ordered 1450 Indian horses shot. The Buffalo Hunters' War of 1876 was an attempt by the Comanches to drive out the white man and stop depletion of their hunting grounds.

In 1876 the Texas state legislature carved Swisher County from Young and Bexar districts. The county was organized in 1880, and Tulia, became the county seat. The county is named for James G. Swisher, a soldier of the Texas Revolution and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Handbook of Texas Online
The area that is now Swisher County was long the homeland of Apachean cultures, who were displaced by the more warlike Comanches by around 1700. The Comanches ruled the High Plains until they were crushed by the United States Army in the Red River War of 1874. During this war army troops crisscrossed Swisher County in pursuit of the Comanches, but no significant combat occurred in the county. However, after the battle of Palo Duro Canyon in late September 1874, the power of the Comanches was broken, and by the mid-1870s buffalo hunters were in the county exterminating the herds. In 1876 the Texas state legislature carved Swisher County from lands previously assigned to the Young and Bexar districts. In 1880 four people were reported living in the area. Ranching came to the county as the buffalo were eliminated. Swisher County remained largely unsettled until the JA Ranch of Charles Goodnight expanded into the county in 1883. This activity led to Goodnight's Tule Ranch, which occupied the entire eastern part of the county. By the late 1880s the scattered residents of the county perceived a need for a local government, and a petition for organization was circulated in June 1890. An election held on July 17 formally organized the county with Tulia, a tiny settlement, chosen as county seat. Swisher County remained wholly a ranching county almost until the beginning of the twentieth century; as late as 1890 there were only 535 "improved" acres on the county's seventeen ranches, and only 100 people lived in the area. By the late 1890s, however, a trickle of settlers began to take up school lands and begin stock-farming operations. The availability of good underground water at shallow depths meant that windmills could make any stock-farmer successful. By 1900 there were 186 ranches and farms in the area, and the population had increased to 1,227. More than 34,000 cattle were reported in the county that year. Few crops were grown in the area at that time- only twenty-five acres were planted in cotton- but farming grew steadily during the early twentieth century, especially after the introduction of rail service to the area. A Santa Fe Railroad branch line from Amarillo reached Swisher County in 1906 and later connected the county to Plainview in Hale County. When the line was completed to Lubbock in 1910, Tulia and Swisher County were on a major north-south rail line. Railroad construction also led to the establishment of two Swisher County towns, Happy and Kress, which became new population centers on the railroad More at
Donald R. Abbe and John Leffler, "SWISHER COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcs18), 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 901 square miles (2,333 km2), of which, 900 square miles (2,332 km2) of it is land and 0 square miles (1 km2) of it (0.03%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Randall County (north)
  • Armstrong County (northeast)
  • Briscoe County (east)
  • Floyd County (southeast)
  • Hale County (south)
  • Castro County (west)


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