Texas has 254 counties ... My dad always told the story that the reason for that is back in the day news traveled by horseback ... That each county courthouse would be a days ride ... The Arcane Texas fact of the day: Collin Mckinney was not only the oldest signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence (at 70 years of age), but he also lived under at least seven sovereigns during his life. He was born in New Jersey in 1766, a subject of King George, and died in Confederate Texas in 1861, aged 95. During his life he was governed by England, the American Colonies, the United States, Mexico, the Texas provisional government, the Republic of Texas, and the Confederate States of America. Incidentally, it was McKinney who advocated making counties as nearly 30 miles square as possible, with the courthouse near the geographic center, so that citizens could vote without undue hardship. After he was 75 years old, he made eleven trips guiding Kentuckians and Tennesseans to new homes in North Texas, where he helped establish the Disciples of Christ.