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Mason County, Texas facts for kids

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Mason County
The Mason County Courthouse in Mason
The Mason County Courthouse in Mason
Map of Texas highlighting Mason 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 1858
Named for Fort Mason
Seat Mason
Largest city Mason
Area
 • Total 932 sq mi (2,410 km2)
 • Land 929 sq mi (2,410 km2)
 • Water 3.4 sq mi (9 km2)  0.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 3,953
 • Density 4.2414/sq mi (1.6376/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 11th

Mason County is a rural county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. At the 2020 census, its population was 3,953. Its county seat is Mason. The county is named for Fort Mason, which was located in the county.

History

  • Original inhabitants Lipan Apache, Comanches
  • 1847 Meusebach–Comanche Treaty
  • 1851, July 6 – Fort Mason is established.
  • 1858, January 22 – Mason County, named for Fort Mason, is established by an act of Texas state legislature. First post offices are established.
  • 1860 Population of 630 includes 18 slaves.
  • 1861
February – County, spurred in part by anti-slavery sentiments of German residents, overwhelmingly votes against secession from the Union.
March – Fort Mason surrendered to the Confederacy, who leave it mostly vacant and thereby cause an uptick in Indian attacks on the area.
May 20 – Voters select town of Mason as County Seat.
  • 1866–1868 Federal troops occupy Fort Mason, only to eventually abandon it.
  • 1869 Courthouse and jail are erected.
  • 1870 May 16 – Herman Lehmann and brother Willie are captured by Apaches, but Willie escapes within days.
  • 1870–1898 The county had four women homesteaders: Louisa J. Hendryx, Mahala Hunnicutt, Sarah E. Morris and Priscilla Sparks
  • 1875–1877
County’s first newspaper begins publication.
Hoo Doo War over cattle rustling.
Most famous participant in the war is Johnny Ringo, who on September 25, 1875, kills James Cheyney.
Courthouse fire destroys all records.
  • 1878, May 12 – Herman Lehmann, escorted by soldiers, finally returns to his family.
  • 1880s Manganese is discovered. Wakefield Company opens Spiller mines. Iron ore is discovered. Prospecting begins for gold, silver and coal.
  • 1882–83 Hereford cattle are introduced into the county. Provisions made for county wide road work.
  • 1887 The county petitions for state aid for needy residents.
  • 1897, May 27 – John O. Meusebach dies at his farm at Loyal Valley, is buried in the Marschall Meusebach Cemetery at Cherry Spring.
  • 1890s County places a bounty on wolves, wildcats and mountain lions.
  • 1902 Mason installs its first telephone in the county judge's office.
  • 1913 County hires an agricultural agent.
  • 1918 October 3 – Eighteen months after United States Congress declares war on Germany, the Mason County Council of Defense draws up resolution to abandon the use of the German language in the county. The majority of County residents are of German heritage.
  • 1919 First oil and gas lease in the county. Construction begins on the Mason County section of the Puget Sound-to-the-Gulf Highway.
  • 1920s Radios come to Mason County.
  • 1938 Pedernales Electric Cooperative is formed to provide rural electrification . Mason County joins in June.
  • 1946 Local soil-conservation board organized. County schools consolidated.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 932 square miles (2,410 km2), of which 929 square miles (2,410 km2) is land and 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 87.svg U.S. Highway 87
  • US 377.svg U.S. Highway 377
  • Texas 29.svg State Highway 29
  • Texas 71.svg State Highway 71

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 630
1870 678 7.6%
1880 2,655 291.6%
1890 5,180 95.1%
1900 5,573 7.6%
1910 5,683 2.0%
1920 4,824 −15.1%
1930 5,511 14.2%
1940 5,378 −2.4%
1950 4,945 −8.1%
1960 3,780 −23.6%
1970 3,356 −11.2%
1980 3,683 9.7%
1990 3,423 −7.1%
2000 3,738 9.2%
2010 4,012 7.3%
2020 3,953 −1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010 2020

2020 census

Mason County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 3,092 2,948 77.07% 74.58%
Black or African American alone (NH) 14 4 0.35% 0.10%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 11 0 0.27% 0.00%
Asian alone (NH) 7 2 0.17% 0.05%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 0 0.00% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 4 16 0.10% 0.40%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 20 100 0.50% 2.53%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 864 883 21.54% 22.34%
Total 4,012 3,953 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

Communities

City

Unincorporated communities

Notable people

  • J. Marvin Hunter (1880–1957): Born in Mason County. Historian, journalist, printer of the American West, founder of Frontier Times magazine and the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera
  • Anna Mebus Martin (1820–1864): Chartered the Commercial Bank of Mason, wealthy business woman and rancher.
  • Louis (Ludwig) Martin (1820–1864): Co-founder of Hedwigs Hill, Mason County Justice of the Peace.
  • Governor Coke Stevenson (1888–1975): Born in Mason County.
  • Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch (1882–1944): Born in Mason County. Pioneer dentist.
  • Gene Zesch (1932–) Sculptor
  • Fred Gipson (February 7, 1908 – August 14, 1973), author of Old Yeller

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