Merced County, California

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Merced County (pronounced /mərˈsɛd/ mər-SED), is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, north of Fresno and southeast of San Jose. As of 2000 the population was 210,554. The county seat is Merced. The county is named after the Merced River.

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History

The county derives its name from the Merced River, or El Río de Nuestra Señora de la Merced (River of Our Lady of Mercy); named in 1806 by an expedition, headed by Gabriel Moraga, which came upon it at the end of a hot dusty ride.

Between 1841 and 1844, during the era when California was a province of independent Mexico, four Mexican grants were made in what became Merced County: Orestimba, Panoche de San Juan y Los Carrisalitos, San Luis Gonzaga and Sanjon de Santa Rita

Merced County was formed in 1855 from parts of Mariposa County. Parts of its territory were given to Fresno County in 1856.

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