There are a number of former United States counties. One of these is Klamath County, which was a county between 1851 and 1874. Before discussing the history of Klamath County in greater detail, it is perhaps interesting to know what constitutes a county in the first place.
Basically, within the United States, states are subdivided into counties. These have some form of governmental authority. Out of the 50 States, 48 use the term county, with the exception of Alaska (Boroughs) and Louisiana (Parishes). There are a total of 3,143 counties, boroughs and parishes in the United States, 3,033 of these are what are classed as “organized”. Although counties have powers, the extent of these vary tremendously depending on the State they are in.
In Rhode Island or Connecticut, for instance, they are geographic entities but have no jurisdictions on a governmental level. Maryland or the City of Baltimore, on the other hand, handle all public services, including education. On average, each state has 62 counties, with Texas having the most at 254 and Delaware having the fewest at just three. Generally, the population of a county is around 100,000. The largest is Los Angeles County, with just under 10 million inhabitants and Loving County, Texas, the smallest with just 82 residents.
Klamath County’s History
Back, however, to the original topic. Klamath County only existed for 23 years. During this time, the county seat actually moved on two occasions and the territory that it had was carved up and assimilated by other counties.
The original territory started at the north west point of Trinity County and once held all of the northwest of the State of California. This means it reached from Oregon in the North to the Mad River in the South and from Siskiyou County in the East to the Pacific Ocean in the West. In other words, it was actually a very large county.