Translation Powiat Biłgorajski 1867-1914
BIŁGORAJ PROVINCE IN 1867-1914
Biłgoraj county was officially established in 1867, initially incorporating four towns: Biłgoraj as the head of the county and Józefów, Tarnogród and Krzeszów, 13 village boroughs: Aleksandrów, Babice, Biłgoraj, Biszcza, Huta Krzeszowska, Kocudza, Krzeszów, Księżpol, Lipiny, Łukowa, Majdan Sopocki, Sól, Wola Różaniecka. Between 1869-1870 Krzeszów, Józefów and Tarnogród lost their town privileges.
As far as industry is concerned, Biłgoraj county was the least developed of all the new guberniya territories as its sole branch was farming, mainly flour milling. Craft and manufacture dominated in the area with sieve making centred around Biłgoraj and weaving and furriery in Tarnogród and nearby villages. Main obstacle for the development of industry in the region was appalling condition of roads. Till World War I there had only been 7 km of beaten track in the county, no railroad and the San River as the only waterway.
Another factor that contributed to such situation was the level of education. During partitions period schools offered only early basic education. Additionally, between 1880s and 1912, 57 Orthodox schools with 60 classes altogether opened in the region. Still, 80,4% of children between the ages of 8 and 11 did not attend any school.
According to data from 1900, 81,2% of all inhabitants of Biłgoraj county lived in villages, therefore the region was clearly agricultural in its character. Terraced villages were quite large. At the beginning of the 20th century, Łukowa with 520 houses was the largest village in the county and Lublin guberniya. Another large villages included Biszcza with 445 houses, Aleksandrów – 400, Zamch – 381. The town of Biłgoraj had 427 houses, Józefów – 135, Krzeszów – 154, and Tarnogród – 722. All in all, with 152 villages, Biłgoraj county was the least developed county in Lublin guberniya, and Biłgoraj poverty became a widely used metaphor.