"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
27 November 2003

255 Counties of Texas

Today, there are 254 counties in Texas but, there would have been 255, if you count Greer County.

Greer Co. was only a Texas county from Feb. 6, 1860 through March 16, 1896. The original Greer Co., Texas covered the current Oklahoma counties of Beckham, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, and parts of Texas counties Childress, Collingsworth, Hemphill, Lipscomb, and Wheeler.

On February 8, 1860, the Texas legislature passed an act providing for the formation of Greer Co., with boundaries "beginning at the confluence of Red River and Prairie Dog Town River; then running up Red River, passing the mouth of the South Fork (Elm Fork) and following main or North Red River to its intersection with the twenty-third degree of west longitude (the 100th meridian); thence due south across the Salt Fork to Prairie Dog River, and thence following that river to the place of beginning."

Greer Co. was named for John A. Greer who was a Senator, Secretary of State, Republic of Texas; Lieutenant Governor, 1847-1853. The county seat was at Mangum.

Greer Co. land was disputed between Texas and the U.S. over the ownership of the area. The controversy had origin in an 1819 treaty fixing the line between U.S. and Spanish territory. A map designating the Red River and 100th meridian as boundary lines was part of the treaty; but the map aroused dispute, for it incorrectly marked the 100th meridian and showed only one fork of a two-forked Red River.

Texas claimed the north fork and meridian shown on map-defined territory, and legislation and occupancy by Texans decided sovereignty. The U.S. contended south Fork (larger of the two) and true 100th meridian marked boundaries. Three joint survey commissions failed to settle the issue. In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the region was in 1819 part of the United States' unorganized Indian Territory.

To learn more about this 255th Texas county, go to http://www.rootsweb.com/~txgreer/ or the "Handbook of Texas."

Milam County Sheriff's Dept.

Visit the newly updated website for the Milam Co. Sheriff's Dept. at http://www.milamcountysheriff.com/. The website, designed by Deputy Gregg Kouba, contains a wealth of history of the department, jails, biographical sketches of all former sheriffs, photographs, and much more. It is well worth a visit and is a good guide for similar websites to support the rich history of law enforcement in Texas.

Milam County TXGenWeb

Milam County TXGenWeb page at http://www.geocities.com/milamco/ has added the following information on-line: Index to Military Discharges on file at the County Clerk's Office; Index to the book "A Pictorial History of Cameron, Texas;" biographical sketches; newspaper clippings and photographs of World War II servicemen and women; and several college thesis.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 15 Mar 2005 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604