Welcome to Bandera County, Texas

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Bandera County Texas

In February 1855 sixteen Polish families arrived in Bandera to work in James and DeMontel's sawmill, and in August of the same year August Klappenbach opened the first store and post office. On January 25, 1856, the legislature marked off Bandera County from portions of Bexar County; the new county was formally organized on March 10, 1856. 

Because of its distance from the battlefields and the fact that there were so few slaves in the county, Bandera County was spared much of the trauma of the war and Reconstruction. The population continued to grow slowly, and by 1870 the number of residents in the county was still only 649, most of whom lived in or near the settlement of Bandera. The decade of the 1870s, however, brought signs that Bandera County was slowly losing its frontier character. Indian attacks became less and less frequent, new stores opened, and stone increasingly replaced cedar logs as a building material.. 

The lack of good roads, however, kept the county relatively isolated. Because of the county's hilly terrain, the railroads bypassed it to the north or south, and ranchers were forced to use the arduous overland road to ship their products to market in San Antonio. 

Despite the relative hardships, numerous new settlers arrived during the 1870s. In 1880 the population had grown to 2,158, and by 1890 the number of residents stood at 3,795. As before, the great majority of new settlers came from the South, though recent immigrants, especially Germans, formed an increasingly larger portion of the county's residents.  
[Excerpted from Christopher Long, "BANDERA COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online.  Published by the Texas State Historical Association]

Photo by Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0.


Bandera * Bandera Falls * Pipe Creek * Tarpley * Lakehills * Vanderpool * Medina   



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Website Updates:
May 2017: County Records: 1900 List of Fugitives from Justice
Jan 2017: Community News: CARMICHAEL, MILLER, PERNER, Bandera Stock Association
Aug 2016: Crime News: GINTON; Death News: STEVENS; Sick List News: DUGOST; Misc News: MONTAGUE
May 2016: County Records: 1916 County Officers
Feb 2016: World War I Casualties Honor Roll

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