Kinney County Courthouse
National Historic Register - 2004
The state legislature
formed Kinney County from Bexar County in 1850 and named it for
Henry Lawrence Kinney.
The United States Army
established Fort Clark in June 1852 on Las Moras Creek, and named it
after John B. Clark, who had died in the Mexican War.
Brackettville was founded in
1852 originally as the town of Brackett and named for Oscar B.
Brackett, who came to set up a stage stop and opened the town's
first dry-goods store. Brackett became a stop on a stage line from
San Antonio to El Paso, but the settlement grew very slowly because
of continuous Indian attacks. The town received its first post
office in 1875.
On February 18, 1861, on orders from United States
Army General David E. Twiggs, Fort Clark was surrendered to the
Texas Commission. Twiggs was dismissed by the United States for the
act, and subsequently joined the Confederacy. The fort was evacuated
by federal troops on March 19 and occupied by Confederate troops
under the command of Confederate Colonel John R. Baylor. It remained
in the hands of the Confederates until the end of the war, but was
not garrisoned. In December 1866 it was reestablished as a federal
In the early 1872 a
number of Black Seminole Indians living along the border were
organized into a company of scouts and brought to Fort Clark. Others
joined them, and by the mid-1870s they numbered some 400 or 500. For
the next quarter century they lived on a reservation along Las Moras
Creek. In 1914 the Black Seminoles were removed from the Fort Clark
reservation, but some of their descendants still live in the county.
The Seminole Indian Scouts cemetery was founded on Fort Clark in
Organized and Growth
The county was
organized in 1874. 1875 saw the first county government in place. In
1876 Brackettville was designated county seat after the final
boundaries of the county were set by the legislature.
In 1870 the county had 14,846 cattle, and large
numbers of cattle were driven north during the great drives of the
middle 1870s. By1880 sheep outnumbered cattle 55,597 to 7,966, and
Kinney County became an important source of wool. The construction
of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway in 1883 gave
the wool and mohair industry access to markets. At the same time it
also helped to bring in numerous new settlers. In 1925 a branch line
of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad was built from near Spofford
to connect with the Mexican National Railroad at the Rio Grande. A
large Civilian Conservation Corps camp constructed adjacent to Fort
Clark helped to employ some people during the Great Depression. With
the onset of World War II wool and mohair were in demand for the
defense industries. Fort Clark was closed in 1946.
Fort Clark, Texas
Black Seminole Scouts
Seminole Indian Scout Cemetery
Seminole Nation, Indian Territory
Find A Grave - Kinney Co.
Family Group Sheets
Social Security Death Index
1890 Texas Union Soldier Schedule
Index to Military Rolls of
Republic of Texas 1835-1845
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