Marker Number 179 Created out of the coastal portion of Refugio County in 1871, Aransas County is the second smallest county in Texas. Within its boundaries are three bays of the Gulf of Mexico: Copano, St. Charles, and Aransas. The area was the site of early Indian inhabitation and Spanish exploration, as well as Anglo colonization efforts of the 1830s and 1840s. Aransas County communities are supported by such industries as fishing, agriculture, off-shore oil production, bird watching, and tourism. The county is home to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, created in 1937. (1990) Marker Number 180 Created September 18, 1871 from Refugio County, organized in 1871 with Rockport as the county seat. Named for the river Nuestra Senora de Aranzazu. (1936).