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Bandera County, Texas facts for kids

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Bandera County
The Bandera County Courthouse in Bandera. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 31, 1979.
The Bandera County Courthouse in Bandera. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 31, 1979.
Map of Texas highlighting Bandera County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Texas
Founded 1856
Seat Bandera
Largest community Lakehills
 • Total 798 sq mi (2,070 km2)
 • Land 791 sq mi (2,050 km2)
 • Water 6.7 sq mi (17 km2)  0.8%%
 • Total 20,485
 • Density 26/sq mi (10/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 21st

Bandera County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population is 20,485. Its county seat is Bandera. The county was formed in 1856 from Bexar and Uvalde counties. The county and its seat are named for Bandera Pass, which in turn uses the Spanish word for flag.

Bandera County is part of the San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is officially recognized as the "Cowboy Capital of the World" by the Texas Legislature.


  • 8000 to 4000 BC Earliest human habitation.
  • In the 17th century Native Americans settled including Lipan Apache and later, Comanche.
  • 1841 or 1843 (exact date uncertain) – Battle of Bandera Pass, John Coffee Hays and a troupe of Texas Rangers defeat a large party of Comanche warriors.
  • 1853 John James and Charles S. DeMontel survey and plan the town of Bandera. A. M. Milstead, Thomas Odem, P.D. Saner, and their families camp along the river and begin making cypress shingles. James, Montel and Company build a horse-powered sawmill and open a store.
  • 1855 Sixteen Polish families arrive in Bandera to work in James and DeMontel's sawmill. August Klappenbach opens the first store and post office.
  • 1856 The legislature marks off Bandera County from portions of Bexar County, and the county is formally organized.
  • 1860 Population 399, including 12 slaves.
  • 1880 Sheep and Angora goats become more profitable for Bandera than farming.
  • 1920 Cora and Ed Buck began taking boarders at their ranch, beginning the tourist trade in Bandera.
  • 1933 Frontier Times Museum opens to the public.
  • 1979 Lost Maples State Natural Area opens to the public.
  • 1982 Eighty-two percent of the land in the county is in farms and ranches.
  • 1984 Hill Country State Natural Area opens to the public.
  • 2000 The Nature Conservancy purchases 1,400 acres (5.7 km2) of Love Creek Ranch from Baxter and Carol Adams, creating the Love Creek Preserve.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 798 square miles (2,070 km2), of which 791 square miles (2,050 km2) is land and 6.7 square miles (17 km2) (0.8%) is water.

Major highways

  • Texas 16.svg State Highway 16
  • Texas 46.svg State Highway 46
  • Texas 173.svg State Highway 173
  • Texas Park Road 37.svg Park Road 37
  • Texas RM 187.svg Ranch to Market Road 187
  • Texas RM 337.svg Ranch to Market Road 337
  • Texas RM 1077.svg Ranch to Market Road 1077
  • Texas FM 1283.svg Farm to Market Road 1283
  • Texas RM 2828.svg Ranch to Market Road 2828
  • Texas FM 3240.svg Farm to Market Road 3240

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 399
1870 649 62.7%
1880 2,158 232.5%
1890 3,795 75.9%
1900 5,332 40.5%
1910 4,921 −7.7%
1920 4,001 −18.7%
1930 3,784 −5.4%
1940 4,234 11.9%
1950 4,410 4.2%
1960 3,892 −11.7%
1970 4,747 22.0%
1980 7,084 49.2%
1990 10,562 49.1%
2000 17,645 67.1%
2010 20,485 16.1%
Est. 2015 21,269 3.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 20,485 people residing in the county. 92.8% were White, 0.8% Native American, 0.5% Black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 3.8% of some other race and 1.8% of two or more races. 16.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 17.6% were of German, 13.7% English, 10.2% Irish and 10.1% American ancestry.

As of the census of 2000, there were 17,645 people, 7,010 households, and 5,061 families residing in the county. The population density was 22 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 9,503 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.02% White, 0.33% Black or African American, 0.90% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.55% from other races, and 1.86% from two or more races. 13.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,010 households out of which 29.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.80% were married couples living together, 7.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.80% were non-families. 23.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 25.70% from 25 to 44, 27.60% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,013, and the median income for a family was $45,906. Males had a median income of $31,733 versus $24,451 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,635. About 7.70% of families and 10.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.20% of those under age 18 and 9.40% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

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