San Antonio is in Bexar County, one of the 254 counties in the state of Texas, You can trace the name to Villa de San Fernando de Béxar, the first civil government established by the Spanish in what was then the province of Texas. Our city was created in 1731 when 55 Canary Islanders settled near the system of missions that had been established around the source of the San Antonio River. (Not to confuse you, but the city will be celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2018. This date marks the first European visit to the area. They named the area and the river San Antonio, after St. Anthony of Padua, but they didn’t hang around long enough to set down roots.)
When Mexico won its independence from Spain they inherited Texas and gave the name Bexar to the area that encompassed the entire western part of Texas.
So how do you pronounce it? Most newbies assume it is BEX-are, with a hard X as in X-ray. Spanish speakers tend to give it the Spanish pronunciation: bay-HAR. They are both wrong. Here in San Antonio we live in BEAR County. Now you know.
This post has been updated for the 2019 Texas Trail Roundup.