in a Pecan Shell|
In 1801, long before Independence, Phillip
Nolan, an American horse-trader, was killed near here. Nolan had made several
forays into Spanish Texas to capture wild horses. A marker three miles south of
town on highway 174 commemorates the event. Nearby Nolan River was named after
Anadarco Indians occupied the area during the 1830s and discouraged
settlement until 1849 when Henry Briden, his wife and father-in-law came into
the area and built the first cabin in Johnson County.
First known as
Grange Hall, and then Kimbell, the town was bypassed by the Gulf,
Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad who planed to lay their rails a mile east.
As Rio Vista, the new town drained the populations of the nearby hamlets
of Derden, Nathan, Hart, and Sullivan.
By 1900 Rio Vista had all the
commercial components to make a town thrive, but a fire in 1914 destroyed many
of the businesses.
State Highway 174 was rerouted in the mid-1950s and
it gave Rio Vista an economic shot in the arm.
The population was just
541 for the 1990 census, which grew to 656 for 2000.
Vista Historical Marker
Rio Vista Landmarks:
Rio Vista City Limit POP 509|
Gibson, August 2013
Johnson County map showing Rio Vista S of Cleburne|
Texas General Land Office
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