Medina County is located in the southern central part of Texas, the largest state in the continental United States, and houses a population of roughly 46,000, as of the last census in 2010. The county seat is in Hondo, a city settled in 1881 and incorporated in 1942 that stands as part of the greater San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area.
With a wide open landscape and temperate climate, Medina is a land filled with potential. The county covers a total land area of 1,335 square miles, of which only 9.2 square miles is water. Across this vast area, a few intriguing historical markers dot the landscape: ghost towns New Fountain, Quihi, and Vandenburg all add a dose of Old West authenticity.
The county goes back even further, as the first Spaniard to explore the area, Cabeza de Vaca, arrived in the early 1530s, only a few decades after Christopher Columbus showed up in the western hemisphere. The original inhabitants were the Coahuiltecan people. Settlers from Germany, Belgium and Mexico created local businesses and farms that are still owned and operated by their descendents today.
The biggest drivers of the economy in Medina are farming and ranching. Median income for households just crosses $36,000 while median income for families stands just above $40,000, a relatively modest number for the country as a whole but less so in comparison to similarly rural areas. The county holds a large youth population, with the vast majority of residents being under age 44.
Named after the Medina River, the county is also home to the Medina Dam, a nationally recognized historic place that was the fourth largest in the nation when completed in 1913. The result of an irrigation project that created Medina Lake, the dam was constructed in under two years by 1500 skilled workers, swapping shifts over 24 hours a day, every day.