in a Pecan Shell|
The town was named to honor Samuel J. Tilden,
the runner-up in the 1876 Presidential election.
In 1858, there were
two communities in the area. Thirty people who had congregated near the mouth
of Leoncita Creek on the Frio River looked around for something to name their
town after. They came up with Rio Frio.
In 1862 when Rio Frio was the
home post for the 29th Brigade of the Confederate Militia, the town’s first store
Rio Frio was once called Dog Town for a mass execution of
the towns canine population by drunken cowboys. Dog Town had 190 people by 1870
and the town got its own post office the following year. Dog Town was chosen as
the county seat in 1877 when McMullen County was organized, but propriety demanded
a change of name. In 1878 a Union church was shared by Baptists and Methodists
and in 1879 a ferry across the Frio was established near town to service the stagecoaches
traveling the San Antonio-Laredo road.
In 1884 the settlement got their
own weekly newspaper, the Tilden Ledger.
In 1896 Tilden's population
was 450 and it increased to just over 500 by 1900. In the thities it dropped by
half and then rebounded back to 500 with the discovery of oil In 1949 it had 380
people and now it’s back to an estimated 500.
Today, the generous courthouse
square of Tilden would allow the playing of softball games or the landings of
small planes (in theory).
County Courthouse >
McMullen County Jail
Old Rock Store with a historical marker |
TE photo. More Texas Stores
Court House Cafe.|
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