Bexar County, Texas

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Bexar County (pronounced /ˈbɛər/ "bear")[1] is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of July 1, 2009, The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population at 1,651,448, the 19th most populous county in the nation.[2] Its county seat is San Antonio[3]. In Spanish, "Béxar" is pronounced [ˈbexar].

Bexar County is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area. Despite being situated in the reliably Republican state of Texas, Bexar County is a major bellwether in presidential elections. The county has a perfect record of voting for the winning candidate in every presidential election since 1972.

Contents

History

Bexar County was created on December 20, 1836, and encompassed almost the entire western portion of the Republic of Texas, including the disputed areas of western New Mexico northward to Wyoming. After statehood, 128 counties were carved out of its area.

The county gets its name from San Antonio de Béxar, one of the twenty-three municipalities (administrative divisions) of Texas at the time of its independence. San Antonio de Béxar—originally Villa of San Fernando de Béxar—was the first civil government established in the Spanish province of Texas. Specifically, the municipality was created in 1731 when fifty-five Canary Islanders settled near the system of missions that had been established around the source of the San Antonio River. The new settlement was named after the Presidio San Antonio de Béjar, the Spanish military outpost that protected the missions. The presidio, located at the San Pedro Springs, was founded in 1718 and named for Viceroy Balthasar Manuel de Zúñiga y Guzmán Sotomayor y Sarmiento, second son of the Duke of Béxar (a city in Spain).

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