Gillespie County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 24,837. The county seat is Fredericksburg. It is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Gillespie is named for Robert Addison Gillespie, a soldier in the Mexican–American War. On December 15, 1847, a petition was submitted to create Gillespie County. In 1848, the legislature formed Gillespie County from Bexar and Travis Counties. While the signers were overwhelmingly German immigrants, names also on the petition were Castillo, Pena, Munos, and a handful of non-German Anglo names. Gillespie County comprises the Fredericksburg, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,062 square miles (2,750 km²), of which 1,058 square miles (2,740 km²) is land and 3.5 square miles (9.1 km²) (0.3%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, 20,814 people resided in the county, organized into 8,521 households, and 6,083 families. The population density was 20 people per square mile (8/km²). The 9,902 housing units averaged nine per square mile (four per km²). The racial makeup of the county is 92.82% White, 0.33% Native American, 0.21% Black or African American, 0.18% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 5.27% from other races and 1.18% from two or more races. About 15.90% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. In terms of ancestry, 40.8% were of German, 10.3% were of English, 10.0% were of Irish, 6.0% were of American, 3.1% were of Scotch-Irish, 2.5% were of Scottish,2.5% were of French. In 1990, about 3,000 speakers of Texas German were in Gillespie and Kendall Counties, but this is believed to have declined since.
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