Hays County is located in south-central Texas, covering an area of 693.5 square miles. The county center is 98°00' west longitude and 30°00' north latitude, twenty-three miles southwest of Austin. It is situated on the border between the Edwards Plateau and the southern Black Prairie region. The county is named after John Coffee Hays, a Texas park ranger and Mexican-American war officer.
Hays County has been inhabited for thousands of years, with evidence of Paleo-Indians found in the region dating back to 6000 BC. Archaeological evidence of native agriculture dates back to 1200 AD. In 1880, the first Hays County railroad, built by the International-Great Northern Railroad, was completed to San Marcos from Austin; it was later extended to San Antonio. George Neill led the first herd of cattle from Hays County to Kansas in 1867, and other campaigns followed. The population of Hays County 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% from 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. Democratic voters primarily reside along the I-35 Corridor and the communities of San Marcos, home of Texas State University, and the city of Kyle generally vote for Democrats. Buda, Dripping Springs and Wimberley generally vote for Republicans. The Balcones escarpment divides Hays County into mountainous, tree-covered ranches in three-quarters of the northwest and grassy agricultural plains in the southeastern quarter. The main natural grasses are the large blue stalk and indigenous grass; the trees commonly associated with Central Texas, including live oak, cedar, walnut and mesquite, are native to Hays County.
The elevation rises from east to west, ranging from 600 to over 1,400 feet. The county's many streams generally flow in an eastward direction; the main waterways are the Bear, Cypress and Onion streams and the Blanco and San Marcos rivers. The soil ranges from fine limestone to black, waxy, chocolate and gray marl. The average annual rainfall is 33.75 inches. The average maximum temperature in July is 96° F; the average minimum temperature in January is 40°.
Hays County has a 254-day growing season. Hays County's first settlers were a mix of old Texans and immigrants from Georgia and Arkansas. With the advent of the Civil War, most residents were in favor of secession. Woods's thirty-sixth Texas cavalry regiment was organized at Camp Clark, in neighboring Guadalupe County, in 1862; Company A consisted primarily of men from Hays County. During Reconstruction, a Ku Klux Klan group was formed and, in May 1876, a military organization, the San Marcos Greys, was formed. On March 1, 1848, the state legislature formed Hays County from the territory that was formerly part of Travis County. The ethnic and racial makeup of Hays County is difficult to document accurately but certain general features emerge from its census history.
Since the turn of the century, Hays County has enjoyed a steady influx of tourists attracted by its caves, springs and spas in Wimberley and San Marcos. Until 1964 when Gary Job Corps Training Center was established on the site of former Gary Air Force Base and enrollment at San Marcos University increased significantly; Hays County did not begin a period of steady growth which saw its population rise from 19 934 in 1960 to 27 642 in 1970 40 594 in 1980 and 65 614 in 1990. Although Democrat Jimmy Carter won majority votes there in 1976 Republican presidential candidates elected Hays County in nearly every election between 1980 and 2004. The boundaries remained stable for nearly a century until 1955 when re-establishment of border between Hays-Travis County added more than 16 000 acres to Hays County. Each of 254 counties in Texas has a county number (also known as county ID) assigned sequentially in alphabetical order For example Ellis County is numbered before El Paso and counties that begin with Mc are numbered before all other counties that begin with M If you sort list of Texas counties by county name counties will not be ordered by county number.