California Counties
  Keith Broaders
 
Chronology
On January 4, 1850, a committee of California’s first constitutional convention, chaired by General Mariano Vallejo, recommended the creation of eighteen counties. They were Benicia, Butte, Fremont, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Mt. Diablo, Oro, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Sutter.

Between January 4 and February 18, 1850, the California legislature added nine counties to the list recommended by General Vallejo’s committee, some of the changes based on additional recommendations by the committee. The nine added counties were Branciforte, Calaveras, Coloma, Colusi, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Trinity, and Yuba. This brought the total number of counties to 27. The legislature also approved several name changes. Benicia was renamed El Dorado, Fremont was renamed Yola, Mt. Diablo was renamed Contra Costa, San Jose was renamed Santa Clara, Oro was renamed Tuolumne, and Redding was renamed Shasta.

Effective February 18, 1850, twenty-seven counties were created in California. The new counties were Branciforte, Butte, Calaveras, Colusi, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yola, and Yuba.

In early 1850, not long after the legislature adopted its first statute creating counties, new statutes were adopted changing some county names. Branciforte was changed to Santa Cruz, Colusi was changed to Colusa, and Yola was changed to Yolo.

On September 9, 1850, California became the State of California with the same twenty-seven counties.

In 1851 Nevada County was created from the eastern part of Yuba County.

In 1851 Placer County was created from parts of Sutter and Yuba Counties.

In 1851 Klamath County was created from the northern part of Trinity County.

In 1852 Sierra County was created from part of Yuba County.

In 1852 Siskiyou County was created from parts of Shasta and Klamath Counties.

In 1852 Tulare County was created from part of Mariposa County.

In 1852 Pautah County was formed. The California Legislature believed Congress would cede to California a part of the Territory of Utah (now part of the State of Nevada) adjacent to California’s mining frontier. So Pautah County was formed in territory outside of California adjacent to California’s eastern boundary, roughly from the southern end of present Lassen County to the middle of the present eastern boundary of Mono County.

In 1853 Alameda County was created from parts of Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties.

In 1853 Humboldt County was created from the western part of Trinity County.

In 1853 San Bernardino County was created from part of Los Angeles County.

In 1854 Amador County was created from part of Calaveras County.

In 1854 Plumas County was created from part of Butte County.

In 1854 Stanislaus County was created from part of Tuolumne County.

In 1855 Merced County was created from part of Mariposa County.

In 1856 Fresno County was created from parts of Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties.

In 1856 San Mateo County was created from the southern part of San Francisco County.

In 1856 Tehama County was created from parts of Butte, Colusa, and Shasta Counties.

In 1857 Del Norte County was created from the northern part of Klamath County.

In 1859 the 1852 California legislation forming the prospective Pautah County in the then Territory of Utah was repealed.

In 1861 Lake County was created from the northern part of Napa County.

In 1861 Mono County was created from Calaveras, Fresno and Mariposa Counties.

In 1864 Alpine County was created from parts of Amador, El Dorado, Calaveras, Mono, and Tuolumne Counties.

In 1864 Lassen County was created from parts of Plumas and Shasta Counties.

In 1866 Inyo County was created from parts of Mono and Tulare Counties.

In 1866 Kern County was created from parts of Los Angeles and Tulare Counties.

In 1872 Ventura County was created from part of Santa Barbara County.

In 1874 Modoc County was created from part of Siskiyou County.

In 1874 San Benito County was created from inland Monterey County.

In 1875 Klamath County was dissolved with land distributed to Humboldt and Siskiyou Counties.

In 1889 Orange County was created from southern Los Angeles County.

In 1891 Glenn County was created from the northern part of Colusa County.

In 1893 Madera County was created from northern Fresno County.

In 1893 Kings County was created from part of Tulare County.

In 1893 Riverside County was created from parts of San Bernardino and San Diego Counties.

In 1907 Imperial County, the only county formed in the 20th Century, was created from the eastern part of San Diego County.
Last updated  2018/06/20 13:40:36 PDTHits  8