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History of Real County

The Formation of Real County

Lying at the southern edge of the Edwards Plateau along the Balcones Escarpment, the land destined to become Real County was composed of rugged mountains and narrow canyons.

Uvalde County to the south, Bandera County to the east and Kerr County to the northeast were all organized in 1856. Edwards County was established in 1858, but because of its western location, it was sparsely populated and remained unorganized until 1886 when a settlement in the Frio Canyon later called “Leakey” was declared the county seat. This was an unusual situation because the county line between Bandera County and Edwards County ran directly through the center of this little settlement. Five years later in 1891, the county seat of Edwards County was moved to Rocksprings.

Citizens of Leakey were forced to travel by horseback over mountainous terrain, across rivers and creeks, to the county seats of Bandera and Edwards counties to file official documents, acquire marriage licenses, serve on juries, and be away from home for an undetermined time.

Legislator A. M. Kennedy introduced a bill March 1, 1913, in the Texas House of Representatives, Thirty-Third Legislature, for a county to be called “Murphy” out of parts of Edwards, Kerr, and Bandera counties. The bill was read and approved March 24, 1913. On the same day, House Bill 706 was read in the state senate and an amendment was made to strike the word “Murphy” and insert in lieu thereof “Real.” The legislation was passed in that form to be effective April 03, 1913.

Thus Real County was formed and named for Julius Real, who was a former county judge of Kerr County and the only Republican State Senator of Texas at that time.

For more from the Texas State Historical Association, please go here.