Medina County

Medina County, Texas

Medina County, Texas

The Medina County Museum is located in Hondo, Texas. Photograph by Billy Hathorn.

Medina County is immediately west of Bexar County in southwest Texas. Hondo, the county seat, is located near the geographic center of the county at 29°17' north latitude and 99°02' west longitude, 100 miles from the Mexican border at Eagle Pass. The Medina River, from which the county derives its name, traverses the northeastern portion of the county. The western part is drained by the Frio River. Medina County covers 1,331 square miles with elevations ranging from 1,995 feet in the northern Hill Country to as low as 635 feet in the southern region. The county is divided from east to west by the Balcones Escarpment, which separates the Edwards Plateau and Hill Country to the north from the Rio Grande Plains to the south. The climate is subtropical and subhumid; the summers are hot and dry. Annual rainfall averages 28.43 inches; average relative humidity is 81 percent at 6 A.M. and 49 percent at 6 P.M. The temperature averages a low of 42° F in the winter and a high of 96° in the summer. The annual growing season is 263 days. The northern Hill Country region has black waxy and limestone soils that support grasses, brush, junipers, mesquite, shinnery oaks, and live oaks. The larger southern region has sandy loam and clay soils that support bluestem, buffalo, and Arizona cottontop grasses, as well as post oak, live oak, and mesquite. Cypress and pecan trees are commonly found on the banks of rivers and creeks. Approximately 45 percent of the land in the county is considered prime farmland. Medina Lake Reservoir, completed in 1913 in the northeastern part of the county, furnishes impounded Medina River water for an extensive irrigation system throughout the eastern half of the county. Other man-made surface reservoirs have been built on Chacon, Parkers, Squirrel, Live Oak, and Elm creeks. Ranchers keep local stock tanks for water. Most subsurface or ground waters in Medina County are artesian; two major subsurface water belts are the Edwards Aquifer and the Carrizo Sand Aquifer. The county can be divided from north to south into three geological sections, the Lower Cretaceous of the Edwards Plateau, Lampasas Cut Plain, and the Comanche Plateau; the Upper Cretaceous of the Blackland Belt; and the older Tertiary of the Gulf Coast Plain. Mineral resources within the county include oil, gas, clay, sand, and gravel. High-quality clays for the production of bricks and tile are found in the D'Hanis area of western Medina County. Limestone, readily available and of good quality, is used extensively for buildings and hand-carved tombstones. Crushed limestone, flintstone, igneous pebbles, caliche, and clay are found in the county and are used widely as road materials. Bat guano is commercially mined in the limestone hills north of Hondo and marketed as a high-quality natural fertilizer. The guano mined at Ney's Cave, claimed to be one of the largest bat habitats in the world, was used in the manufacture of gun powder during the Civil War.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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County Map of Texas

Medina County

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Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Medina County is classified as a County

Altitude Range

570 ft – 1995 ft

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Medina County by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Medina County
Pop. Year Source
51,584 2019 United States Census Bureau

Civilian Labor Counts

Medina County
People Year Source
21,361 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Per Capita Income (USD) Year Source
$39,403 2019 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

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Property Values

Medina County
USD ($) Year Source
6,383,076,946 2019 State Property Tax Board

Retail Sales

Medina County
USD ($) Year Source
643,601,528 2019 State Comptroller of Public Accounts

Wages

Medina County
USD ($) Year Source
104,991,839 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Unemployment Percentage Year Source
7.3 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Rainfall (inches) Year Source
30.3 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Min. (January Average, °F) Max. (July Average, °F) Year Source
39.1 94.9 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Land Area

Medina County
Area (square miles) Year Source
1,325.4 2019 United States Census Bureau

Total Area

Medina County
Area (square miles) Year Source
1,334.4 2019 United States Census Bureau