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8000 b.c. Early Native American inhabitants arrive. Numerous successive cultures inhabited the area in prehistoric times. Historic tribes encountered by Europeans included the Kiowa, Comanche and Lipan Apache.
1845 Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels secures title to 1,265 acres (5.12 km2) of the Veramendi grant, including the Comal Springs and River, for the Adelsverein. Thousands of German immigrants are stranded at port of disembarkation Indianaola on Matagorda Bay. With no food or shelters, living in holes dug into the ground, an estimated 50% die from disease or starvation.
1854 May 14–15, The Texas State Convention of Germans meet in San Antonio and adopt a political, social and religious platform, including: 1) Equal pay for equal work; 2) Direct election of the President of the United States; 3) Abolition of capital punishment; 4) “Slavery is an evil, the abolition of which is a requirement of democratic principles..”; 5) Free schools – including universities - supported by the state, without religious influence; and 6) Total separation of church and state.
1860-1861 County population of 634, includes 49 slaves. Sons of Hermann lodge, for descendents of German heritage, is established in the County. The lodge is named for German chieftain folk hero Hermann the Cherusker.
1862 The Union League forms companies to protect the frontier against Indians and their families against local Confederate forces. Conscientious objectors to the military draft are primarily among Tejanos and Germans . Confederate authorities impose martial law on Central Texas. Nueces massacre in Kinney County. Jacob Kuechler serves as a guide for 61 conscientious objectors attempting to flee to Mexico. Scottish born Confederate irregular James Duff and his Duff’s Partisan Rangers pursue and overtake them at the Nueces River. 34 are killed, some executed after being taken prisoner. Jacob Kuechler survives the battle. The cruelty shocks the people of Gillespie County. 2,000 take to the hills to escape Duff's reign of terror. Spring Creek Cemetery near Harper in Gillespie County has a singular grave with the names Sebird Henderson, Hiram Nelson, Gus Tegener and Frank Scott. The inscription reads “Hanged and thrown in Spring Creek by Col. James Duff’s Confederate Regiment.”
1866, August 10 - Treue der Union Monument ("Loyalty to the Union") in Comfort dedicated to the Texans slain at the Nueces massacre. It is the only monument to the Union outside of the National Cemeteries on Confederate territory. It is one of only six such sites allowed to fly the United States flag at half-mast in perpetuity.
There were 17,813 households out of which 25.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.80% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.90% were non-families. 27.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the county, the population was spread out with 22.70% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 22.20% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 24.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 92.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $34,283, and the median income for a family was $40,713. Males had a median income of $27,425 versus $21,149 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,767. About 10.30% of families and 14.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under age 18 and 8.40% of those age 65 or over.