Baylor County was separated from Fanin County in February 1858 out of the Young Territory. Its name honors Henry W. Baylor, an Indian fighter and surgeon in a regiment of Texas Rangers during the Mexican War. The county was not organized, however, until 1879. The depletion of the buffalo herds in the mid-1870s and the defeat of the Comanche in 1874 by the US Army opened the county for settlement. It became a major supply area for the Western Trail, and the population and economy boomed. The legacy of the Western Trail was historic ranches and a cattle industry that became the cornerstone of the countys economic system. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the ranchers were joined by farmers and their families, and together they set the stage for a modern agricultural economy. Over 130 years after the county was founded, farming and ranching still form the commercial base. Today, the Western heritage in Baylor County lingers, reflecting the past and shaping the future.