Square Miles Than People
Kenedy County, Texas
Kenedy County has the distinction of being the
smallest county (by population) in the United States,
following Kalawao County, Hawaii, Loving County, Texas
and King County, Texas . It is also the
easternmost county in the United States to have more square
miles than people.
In 1875, vigilantes and outlaws from Corpus Christi raided
the area, killing virtually all of the adult males on four
ranches-La Atravesada, El Peņascal, Corral de Piedra, and El
Mesquite-and burning the stores and buildings; many of the
remaining Mexican rancheros were forced out. One vaquero who
witnessed the raids later recalled that "there were many small
ranches belonging to Mexicans, but the Americans came in and
drove them out....after that they fenced the
ranches...[including] some land that wasn't theirs."
Today, 77% of the residents are of Hispanic or Latino
descent according to United States Census Bureau estimates.
Although Kenedy County was a ranching area from the advent
of the Spanish to the early 1990s, there have never been more
than twenty-five ranches in the county, and most of the land
still remains in the hands of just four ranches; Armstrong,
King, Kenedy, and Yturria.
Today, Sarita, the county seat, is home to a Catholic
church, a school, several homes, and a post office, but no
businesses are active other than the Kenedy ranch. The 1921
Kenedy County Courthouse is a two-story white Beaux-Arts
structure on a large green and the most prominent building in
town (many county employees actually live in Kleberg County,
just to the north). Across the street sits the whitewashed,
two-story headquarters of the Kenedy Pasture Company, which
owns most of the land in the county and employs many of