168 of 254 Loving County Courthouse, Mentone, Texas. County Population: 82 (the smallest county)
"From 1837 to 1874 the area of Loving County was part of the Bexar Land District. In 1874 the Texas legislature separated Tom Green County from the Bexar District. In 1887 Loving County was separated from Tom Green County, but it remained attached to Reeves County for judicial purposes. It was named for Oliver Loving, an early Texas cattleman who was mortally wounded by Indians on the Pecos in the area of the county as he rode in advance of his herd in 1866.
"Loving County is the only Texas county to be organized twice. The first organization appears to have been a scheme to defraud on the part of the organizers. Early in 1893 six men from Denver, Colorado, organized the Loving Canal and Irrigation Company of Mentone, Texas, with the stated purpose of migrating to isolated Loving County and constructing an irrigation canal from the Pecos to surrounding farmland.
"County government was chaotic, and the state legislature deorganized Loving County on May 12, 1897, reattaching it to Reeves County.
"Oil activity in the county increased the population to 195 by 1930. The larger population produced the town of Ramsey and led to the second organization of Loving County in 1931. Ramsey was renamed Mentone and became the county seat."
Julia Cauble Smith, "LOVING COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Loving County and photographed the courthouse in Mentone on Saturday, July 28, 2012.
"The Loving County Hopper Annex came in $50,000 below budget for a total construction cost of $1.9 million and houses the offices of the sheriff, deputy sheriff, and justice of the peace, along with the vehicle registration, voter registration, appraisal and tax offices, said Hopper. The materials used to construct the adobe-style building – compressed earth blocks – along with other measures, such as the use of a ground-source heat pump versus a conventional heat pump, should lead to future savings." Texas County Progress magazine online