The Lone Star State is known for its vast size and population, but it's also known for having more counties than any other state in the United States. But why is that? The answer lies in the state's long and complex history. When Texas became a state in 1845, it was important for Texans to be close to local governments, which were responsible for courts, jails, schools and highways. To make this possible, the state increased the number of counties to keep them small and accessible.
This was a trend that continued throughout the state's history, as it moved from Spanish to Mexican rule, the Republic of Texas, the United States, the Confederate States of America, and then back to the union. In 1850, nine additional counties were added when Texas sold land to the United States as part of the Compromise of 1850. The first counties in Texas history were called municipalities and date back to Spanish rule, according to the Texas Association of Counties. The land known as the Youth Territory in the Plains of the Panhandle was divided into 54 counties that year, which is why the counties of northwest Texas are square and rectangular.
The Constitution of 1876 established requirements for Texas counties, which are still in place today. Today, Texas is still the second largest state in terms of area and population, but it has 95 more counties than any other state. This is due to its long and complex history, which has seen many changes in government and land ownership over time. As a result, Texans have been able to remain close to their local governments and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.