kids encyclopedia robot

Hays County, Texas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Lua error in Module:Hatnote at line 201: attempt to index local 'options' (a nil value).

Quick facts for kids
Hays County, Texas
Map of Texas highlighting Hays County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the USA highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded 1848
Seat San Marcos
Largest City San Marcos
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

680 sq mi (1,761 km²)
678 sq mi (1,756 km²)
1.9 sq mi (5 km²), 0.3%
 - (2010)
 - Density

232/sq mi (90/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Named for: John Coffee Hays
Hays County Annex Bldg. San Marcos, TX IMG 4114
Hays County Annex Building across from the courthouse in San Marcos
Hays County, TX, Veterans Monument, San Marcos IMG 4122
Hays County Veterans Monument in San Marcos

Hays County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its official population had reached 157,107. The county seat is San Marcos. The county is named for John Coffee Hays, a Texas Ranger and Mexican–American War officer.

Hays County is part of the Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Hays, along with Comal and Kendall counties, was listed in 2017 of the nation's ten fastest-growing large counties with a population of at least ten thousand. From 2015 to 2016, Hays County, third on the national list, had nearly ten thousand new residents during the year. Comal County, sixth on the list, grew by 5,675 newcomers, or 4.4 percent. Kendall County, the second-fastest-growing county in the nation, grew by 5.16 percent. As a result of this growth, the counties have experienced new home construction, traffic congestion, and greater demand for public services. Bexar County. which includes San Antonio, grew by 1.75 percent during the year, but its sheer number of new residents exceeded 33,000.


  • 6000 BC Paleo-Indians were the first inhabitants.
  • Archeological evidence at Timmeron site indicated the Tonkawa tribe was involved in agriculture around 1200 AD.
  • Father Isidro Félix de Espinosa, Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares, and Pedro de Aguirre were in an expedition in the area in 1709.
  • French-Canadian explorer Louis Juchereau de St. Denis was attacked by Comanches in 1714.
  • In 1755, Mission San Francisco Xavier de los Dolores was established among the Apache tribe.
  • In 1831, Coahuila y Tejas issued a land grant to Juan Martín de Veramendi, to Juan Vicente Campos in 1832, and to Thomas Jefferson Chambers in 1834.
  • The Mexican government issued a land grant to the first Anglo-American settler in the county, Thomas G. McGhee of Tennessee in 1835.
  • On March 1, 1848, the legislature formed Hays County from Travis County. The county is named for Tennessee transplant Captain John Coffee Hays of the Texas Rangers. San Marcos was named as the county seat.
  • The legislature established Blanco from part of Hays in 1858, but incorporated part of Comal into Hays. Risher and Hall Stage Lines controls 16 of 31 passenger and mail lines in Texas.
  • In 1861, voters in the county favored secession from the Union.
  • The legislature transferred more of Comal County to Hays County in 1862.
  • In 1867, the first cattle drive from Hays County to Kansas occurred.
  • International-Great Northern Railroad was completed from Austin to San Marcos in 1880.
  • Camp Ben McCulloch, named after a brigadier general, was organized in 1896 for reunions of United Confederate Veterans.
  • A teacher’s college, Southwest Texas State Normal School, was established in San Marcos in 1899.
  • Wonder Cave opened to the public in 1900.
  • The current Hays County Courthouse in San Marcos was erected in 1908. Beaux-Arts style by Architect C.H. Page & Bros.
  • The Aquarena Springs tourist site opened in 1928 in San Marcos.
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson graduated from Southwest Texas State Teachers College in 1930.
  • In 1942, construction of San Marcos Army Air Field began.
  • San Marcos Army Air Field was renamed Gary Air Force Base in 1953 to honor Second Lieutenant Arthur Edward Gary, the first San Marcos resident killed in World War II.
  • The state legislature resurveyed the Hays and Travis County lines, adding 16,000 acres (65 km2) to Hays County in 1955.
  • In 1964, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson announced the establishment of a Job Corps center based at the deactivated Gary Air Force Base.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 680 square miles (1,800 km2), of which 678 square miles (1,760 km2) are land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (0.3%) are covered by water.

Major highways

  • I-35.svg Interstate 35
  • US 290.svg U.S. Highway 290
  • Texas 21.svg State Highway 21
  • Texas 80.svg State Highway 80

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 387
1860 2,126 449.4%
1870 4,088 92.3%
1880 7,555 84.8%
1890 11,352 50.3%
1900 14,142 24.6%
1910 15,518 9.7%
1920 15,920 2.6%
1930 14,915 −6.3%
1940 15,349 2.9%
1950 17,840 16.2%
1960 19,934 11.7%
1970 27,642 38.7%
1980 40,594 46.9%
1990 65,614 61.6%
2000 97,589 48.7%
2010 157,127 61.0%
Est. 2015 194,739 23.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, 97,589 people, 51,265 households, and 22,150 families resided in the county. The population density was 144 people per square mile (56/km²). The 55,643 housing units averaged 53 per mi2 (20/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 78.92% White, 3.68% Black or African American, 0.69%Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.36% from other races, and 2.49% from two or more races. About 29.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 33,410 households, 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.10% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.70% were not families; 21.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.21.

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found there were about 7.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.

In the county, the population was distributed as 24.50% under the age of 18, 20.50% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 19.10% from 45 to 64, and 7.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,006, and for a family was $56,287. Males had a median income of $35,209 versus $27,334 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,931. About 6.40% of families and 14.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.30% of those under age 18 and 9.70% of those age 65 or over.


Cities (multiple counties)



Census-designated place

Ghost town

  • Goforth


kids search engine
Hays County, Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.