McMullen County, Texas

McMullen County, located in southern Texas, is surrounded by Atascosa County to the north, Live Oak County to the east, Duval County to the south, Webb County to the southwest, La Salle County to the west and Frio County to the northwest. Tilden, the county’s largest town and the county seat, is in the north central part of the county.

Cities, Towns & Communities

Brazil | Calliham | Cross | Crowther | Loma Alta | McMullen | Nopal | Norwell | San Fernando | Tilden (Rio Frio, Dog Town) – county seat | Yarbrough Bend | Wentz | Zella


In 1877, when McMullen County was officially organized, Dog Town was chosen as the county seat. That same year, the town was formally surveyed, and its name was changed to Tilden. By 1880 stagecoaches on the San Antonio-Laredo road began making regular stops at Tilden, and in 1881 McMullen College, a small academy, opened. By 1884 Tilden was described as a “post village” with about 250 residents, but it included the college, Methodist and Catholic churches, two druggists, a blacksmith, a cabinetmaker, and the Tilden Ledger, a weekly newspaper. By 1890 the town had grown to 600 residents. The growth of Tilden in some ways indicated the development of the county as a whole in the late nineteenth century. Cattle ranchers established themselves in the county during this period, especially during the 1880s, when barbed wirefencing was introduced. During the 1870s a number of ranchers had begun to accumulate large herds and landholdings; some of the smaller ranchers were squeezed out. By the 1890s the era of the free range was over; most of the squatters in the Yarbrough Bend area, for example, had either moved, acquired ranches, or had been pushed off the land. Only seven farms or ranches existed in McMullen County in 1870 and only twenty-nine in 1880. 


Tilden, TX 28° 27′ 13.068″ N, 98° 32′ 37.3236″ W

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