Presidio County

Presidio County, Texas

Presidio County, Texas

Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa. Presidio County, Texas. Photograph by Talshiarr at English Wikipedia.

Presidio County is in the Trans-Pecos region of southwest Texas and is named for the ancient border settlement of Presidio del Norte. Presidio County is triangular in shape and is bounded on the east by Brewster County, on the north by Jeff Davis County, and on the south and west for 135 miles by the Rio Grande and Mexico. Marfa, the county seat, is 190 miles southeast of El Paso and 150 miles southwest of Odessa. The center of the county lies at 30°30' north latitude and 104°15' west longitude. Presidio County comprises 3,857 square miles of contrasting topography, geology, and vegetation. In the north and west clay and sandy loams cover the rolling plains known as the Marfa Plateau and the Highland Country, providing good ranges of grama grasses for the widely acclaimed Highland Herefords. In the central, far western, and southeastern areas of the county some of the highest mountain ranges in Texas are found. These peaks are formed of volcanic rock and covered with loose surface rubble. They support desert shrubs and cacti and dominate a landscape of rugged canyons and numerous springs. The spring-fed Capote Falls, with a drop of 175 feet the highest in Texas, is located in western Presidio County. In the southern and western parts of the county the volcanic cliffs of the Candelaria Rimrock (also called the Sierra Vieja) rise perpendicular and run parallel to the river, separating the highland prairies from the desert floor hundreds of feet below them. The gravel pediment, which allows only the growth of desert shrubs and cacti, extends from the Rimrock to the flood plain of the river. Along the river irrigation allows the farming of vegetables, grains, and cottons. There are no permanent streams in the county, although many dry arroyos become raging torrents during heavy rainfalls. Major ones are Alamito Creek, Cibolo Creek, Capote Creek, and Pinto Canyon. San Esteban Dam was built across Alamito Creek and on the site of a historic spring-fed tinaja in 1911 as an irrigation and land promotion project. The prairies, mountains, desert, and river give Presidio County an unusual beauty. Altitudes in the county vary from 2,518 to 7,728 feet above sea level. Temperatures, moderated by the mountains, vary from 33° F in January to 100° F in July. Average rainfall is only twelve inches per year, but it comes mainly in June, July, and August. The growing season extends for 238 days. Natural resources under production in 1982 were perlite, crushed rhyolite, sand, and gravel. Silver mining contributed greatly to the economy of the county from the 1880s to the 1940s. Presidio County has no oil or gas production.

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

Presidio County

Highlighted:
  • Presidio County

Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Presidio County is classified as a County

Altitude Range

2400 ft – 7728 ft

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Presidio County by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Presidio County
Pop. Year Source
6,704 2019 United States Census Bureau

Civilian Labor Counts

Presidio County
People Year Source
3,200 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Per Capita Income (USD) Year Source
$42,848 2019 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

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Property Values

Presidio County
USD ($) Year Source
1,252,737,310 2019 State Property Tax Board

Retail Sales

Presidio County
USD ($) Year Source
65,026,983 2019 State Comptroller of Public Accounts

Wages

Presidio County
USD ($) Year Source
24,779,518 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Unemployment Percentage Year Source
17.2 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Rainfall (inches) Year Source
15.4 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Min. (January Average, °F) Max. (July Average, °F) Year Source
23.2 88.5 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Land Area

Presidio County
Area (square miles) Year Source
3,855.2 2019 United States Census Bureau

Total Area

Presidio County
Area (square miles) Year Source
3,855.9 2019 United States Census Bureau