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Frio County was formed by the Texas legislature from parts of Atascosa, Bexar, and Uvalde counties on February 1, 1858, but was not organized until May 22, 1871. In the interim the county remained under the jurisdiction of Bexar County. In accordance with the 1871 legislative mandate the county seat was named Frio and located on the William Eastwood Rancho near the Presidio Road Crossing.
The decade between 1870 and 1880 was a period of rapid development. The county population rose dramatically from a reported 309 in 1870 to 2,130 in 1880. The fourteen farmers reported as operating in the Siestadera-Bigfoot area of northeastern Frio County in 1870 were actually stock raisers of cattle or sheep; farmers raised small vegetable gardens and some corn production for domestic consumption.
Frio City developed as a "cowboy capital" and outpost cultural center of Southwest Texas during the 1870s; ranchers in the area controlled huge numbers of cattle on expansive landholdings. Other settlements developed at Bigfoot, Moore Hollow, Brummet, and Tehuacana in the northeastern part of the county; Bennett Settlement and Bishop Hollow in the southwestern part of the county; and Todos Santos in the western part of the county. Although the county was expanding rapidly, the frequency of Comanche raids led to the establishment in 1876 of Ranger Camp, commanded by Maj. John Bones, on Elm Creek three miles southwest of Frio City. The last Indian disturbance in the county occurred in 1877.
[Excerpted from Ruben E. Ochoa, "FRIO COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online; Published by the Texas State Historical Association]
Cities, Towns and Populated Areas
Bigfoot * Dilley * Frio Town * Hilltop * Moore
North Pearsall * Pearsall * West Pearsall