Baca County, Colorado

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Baca County, Colorado
Baca County Courthouse.JPG
The Baca County Courthouse in Springfield.
Map of Colorado highlighting Baca County
Location in the U.S. state of Colorado
Map of the United States highlighting Colorado
Colorado's location in the U.S.
Founded April 16, 1889
Named for Felipe Baca
Seat Springfield
Largest town Springfield
Area
 • Total 2,557 sq mi (6,623 km2)
 • Land 2,555 sq mi (6,617 km2)
 • Water 2.4 sq mi (6 km2), 0.09%
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 3,568[1]
 • Density 1.5/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website bacacountyco.gov
Dust Storm in Baca County, 1935.

Baca County is the southeasternmost of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,788,[2] the county seat is Springfield.[3]

History[edit]

Baca County was created by the Colorado legislature on April 16, 1889, out of eastern portions of Las Animas County. Baca County was named in honor of pioneer and Colorado territorial legislator Felipe Baca.

Prior to the 1880s there was little activity in the county, other than along the Cutoff Branch of the Santa Fe Trail that crosses its extreme southeastern corner, the 1910s saw wet years and expansion due to the increase in acreage that could be homesteaded. World War I also brought increased demand for agricultural products, the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1926 created new towns and a population increase.

The Dust Bowl arrived in the 1930s, with Baca County being one of the hardest hit areas,[4] this prompted soil conservation efforts by the federal government. Part of this effort was the purchase of cultivated land by the government in order to return it to grassland. Today the U.S. Forest Service supervises 220,000 acres of Comanche National Grassland which was purchased in the 1930s, these areas include Carizzo Creek and Picture Canyon. The Colorado Division of Wildlife maintains the recreational areas at Two Buttes Lake and Turk's Pond.

On May 18, 1977, an F4 tornado struck the southeastern portion of Baca County, causing an estimated 2.5 million dollars in damage. It tracked from Oklahoma, where damage was estimated between 25,000 dollars,[5] it was the first F4 tornado in Colorado since at least 1950.[6]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,557 square miles (6,620 km2), of which 2,555 square miles (6,620 km2) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) (0.09%) is water.[7]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National historic trail[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 1,479
1900 759 −48.7%
1910 2,516 231.5%
1920 8,721 246.6%
1930 10,570 21.2%
1940 6,207 −41.3%
1950 7,964 28.3%
1960 6,310 −20.8%
1970 5,674 −10.1%
1980 5,419 −4.5%
1990 4,556 −15.9%
2000 4,517 −0.9%
2010 3,788 −16.1%
Est. 2016 3,568 [8] −5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2015[2]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 4,517 people, 1,905 households, and 1,268 families residing in the county, the population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 2,364 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.73% White, 0.04% Black or African American, 1.20% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 2.99% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. 7.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,905 households out of which 28.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.80% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% were non-families. 30.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.50% under the age of 18, 5.90% from 18 to 24, 22.70% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 22.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years, for every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,099, and the median income for a family was $34,018. Males had a median income of $23,169 versus $18,292 for females, the per capita income for the county was $15,068. About 12.90% of families and 16.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under age 18 and 13.30% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Like all of the High Plains, Baca County has long been overwhelmingly Republican, the last Democrat to carry the county was Lyndon Johnson in his 1964 landslide – when he carried all bar three Colorado counties – and since the “Reagan Revolution” only Michael Dukakis had exceeded thirty percent of the county’s vote for the Democratic Party, whilst in 2016 Hilary Clinton received a mere thirteen percent.

Baca County vote
by party in presidential elections
[14]
Year Republican Democratic Others
2016 81.4% 1,753 13.1% 283 5.4% 117
2012 74.0% 1,559 22.2% 467 3.8% 80
2008 72.3% 1,572 24.6% 536 3.1% 67
2004 76.9% 1,680 22.1% 483 1.1% 23
2000 73.0% 1,663 23.3% 531 3.7% 84
1996 59.5% 1,321 29.7% 659 10.8% 239
1992 47.3% 1,240 27.7% 726 25.0% 656
1988 65.3% 1,670 33.3% 851 1.4% 35
1984 75.9% 1,903 23.1% 580 1.0% 26
1980 74.3% 1,999 20.5% 551 5.3% 142
1976 52.0% 1,303 46.4% 1,164 1.6% 40
1972 73.9% 1,645 23.7% 527 2.4% 53
1968 57.6% 1,441 28.7% 719 13.7% 344
1964 47.4% 1,241 52.2% 1,366 0.4% 11
1960 65.5% 1,815 34.3% 952 0.2% 5
1956 59.6% 1,715 40.0% 1,150 0.4% 11
1952 65.6% 2,122 33.8% 1,094 0.6% 20
1948 47.5% 1,260 51.6% 1,368 0.9% 24
1944 61.9% 1,528 38.1% 941 0.0% 0
1940 56.5% 1,567 42.1% 1,167 1.4% 38
1936 39.5% 1,288 55.1% 1,797 5.5% 179
1932 34.0% 1,349 56.7% 2,247 9.3% 369
1928 78.5% 2,108 19.5% 524 2.0% 54
1924 46.4% 1,174 25.8% 653 27.9% 706
1920 63.2% 1,615 27.2% 695 9.6% 245
1916 35.0% 826 54.9% 1,294 10.1% 238
1912 28.2% 318 38.2% 430 33.6% 378

Communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. August 15, 2017. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Laskin, David (December 17, 2005). "Laying Bare Dust Bowl's Scar Tissue". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Event 9987497". Storm Events Database. National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Colorado EF4+ tornado search". Storm Events Database. National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved May 26, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°19′N 102°34′W / 37.32°N 102.56°W / 37.32; -102.56