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Kinney County is located in an area
that has been the site of human habitation for several thousand
years. Artifacts recovered in the region suggest that the earliest
human inhabitants arrived around 6,000 to 10,000 years ago and
settled in rockshelters in the river and creek valleys. They left
behind caches of seeds, implements, burial sites, and petroglyphs.
Following these earliest inhabitants, Lipan Apaches, Coahuiltecans,
Jumanos, Tamaulipans, and Tonkawas inhabited the region; later,
Comanches and Mescaleros also drifted in.
Despite the region's
sparse population, the state legislature authorized the formation of
the county from Bexar County in 1850 and named it for early settler
and adventurer Henry Lawrence Kinney. In June 1852 the United States
Army established a fort on Las Moras Creek, which it named Fort
Riley; the name was changed a month later to Fort Clark, after John
B. Clark, who had died in the Mexican War. Brackett (now
Brackettville) was established nearby the same year and named for
Oscar B. Brackett, who came to set up a stage stop and opened the
town's first dry-goods store. Brackett became a stop on a stage line
from San Antonio to El Paso, but the settlement grew very slowly
because of continuous Indian attacks. Between 1850 and 1860 most
Kinney County settlers were persons of Mexican descent or families
of men stationed at Fort Clark. In 1860 the total population of the
county was only sixty-one-forty-six whites and fifteen free blacks.
As was typical on the frontier, men outnumbered women, thirty-seven
to twenty-four. The county seat of Kinney county is
Tourist attractions, of increasing importance
economically, include Kickapoo Cavern State Park, Alamo Village, Las
Moras Park, the Nueces River Canyon, Anacacho Game Preserve, the
Seminole Indian Scout Burial Ground, and Fort Clark, as well as
numerous dude ranches. The county's large deer population attracts
[Christopher Long, "KINNEY COUNTY,"
Handbook of Texas Online Published by the Texas State Historical
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