Gaines County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 17,526. The county seat is Seminole.
Named for James Gaines, a merchant who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and was born in Culpeper County, Virginia in 1779. The land was occupied purely by wild Comanche and Mexican Comancheros, traders who had a thriving business with the Plains Indians. In October 1875, Lt. Bullis who commanded the 24th Infantry encountered a large group of Indians at Cedar Lake. Lt. Bullis took over the Indians for food, supplies, buffalo hides, and utensils. It was then that Col. Shafter established a camp at Cedar Lake and continued to scout the area as far south as the Pecos River. That November he came across a draw where he found a water development. He discovered over 70 wells that reached levels 4 to 15 feet deep. This area became a regular place to trade goods.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,503 square miles (3,890 km²), of which 1,502 square miles (3,890 km²) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) (0.03%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,467 people, 4,681 households, and 3,754 families residing in the county. The population density was 10 people per square mile (4/km²). There were 5,410 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.28% White, 2.28% Black or African American, 0.76% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 14.17% from other races, and 2.35% from two or more races. 35.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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