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Refugio County TX
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Refugio County, Texas Gulf Coast

2827'39"N 9653'29"W (28.460839, -96.891470)

Hwy 35
11 miles E of Hwy 77
33 NE of Refugio the county seat
18 miles SW of Port Lavaca
33 miles N of Rockport
5 miles N of Austwell on Hwy 239
2 miles S of the Guadalupe River
Zip Code 77990
Population: 479 (2010) 550 (2000) 540 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Refugio Hotels

Tivoili Tx water tower
Tivoili water tower
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
More Texas Water Towers

History in a Seashell

According to the Handbook of Texas Tivoli (pronounced Ty-vole-ah) was founded in 1907 by rancher Preston R. Austin. Austin (with partners) was also responsible for the founding of nearby Austwell, Texas. Tivoli was the name of Austin's ranch.

("It was, in fact, Captain Newton Cannon Gullett who founded Tivoli, Texas on his ranch of the same name." - Randy Neumann.
Please see complete letter below.)

The town was first platted in 1907 and a post office was granted in 1912. The St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway was extended through Tivoli (to the terminus at Austwell) that same year. The Lieuen Rogers Masonic lodge was chartered in 1914.

The town was re-platted in 1913 - doubling the size of the town from five blocks to ten. Austin donated the town's first church and school. Hurricanes hit Tivoli in 1919 and 1942, but the shallow bay, high bluffs and slight population spared the community from obliteration.

The town reached its population zenith in 1928 with a population of 700.

Tivoli Texas 1913 flood scene
Tivoli Texas September 25, 1913 flood scene
9-25-1913 photo courtesy William Beauchamp

Tivoli Texas 1912 Scene with houseand women
Tivoli Texas 1912 Scene with house and women
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp
More Vintage Photos

Tivoli Tx Post Office
Tivoli Post Office, TX 77990
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
More Texas Post Offices

Tivoli Tx First Lutheran Church
First Lutheran Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006

Tivoli Tx First Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006

Tivoli Tx Presbyterian Church
Presbyterian Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
More Texas Churches

Tivoli Tax & Water Office
Tivoli Tax & Water Office
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006

Tivoili Tx Grain Elevators
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
More Texas Grain Elevators

Tivoili Tx Closed Gas Station
Closed Gas Station
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
More Texas Gas Stations

A stream near the Gulf coast
A stream near Tivoli
TE photo, May 2003

Texas old tractor by a pond
An old tractor near Tivoli
TE photo, May 2003

Tivoli, Texas Forum

  • Tivoli, Texas Town Founder

    I recently read, with pleasure, your brief history of the town of Tivoli, Texas. While your story is technically accurate, it lists Preston Rose Austin as the founder of Tivoli. Actually, Preston R. Austin platted the town of Tivoli which had been in existence and actually serviced by a U.S. Post Office since the 1890's. A telegraph station was actually in place (the first in Refugio County) at about that same time.

    It was, in fact, Captain Newton Cannon Gullett who founded Tivoli, Texas on his ranch of the same name. Gullett erected a cotton gin, store and a boat landing on the Guadalupe River to export cotton and receive supplies. He was instrumental in bringing the railroads into that section of Texas, establishing the Gulf Coast Fair Association, and is reputed to be the first person to use wire fencing in Texas to close the open ranges. He was a familiar face in Washington D.C. and a pioneer member of several cattlemen's organizations.

    In deference to history, please preface your story of Tivoli, Texas with a mention of its actual founder, a colorful character, indeed! - Randy Neumann, May 03, 2006

  • Subject: Tivoli-Barber Family

    Dear TE, My name is Robert Barber of San Antonio, TX. I have many family members buried in Tivoli cemetery, an aunt whom still resides there, and an uncle in Austwell, TX. Also, we have a road named after us on the outskirts of town where my great uncle had his ranch which is still in his daughters possession. My question to you is what history do you have on my family with regards to Tivoli? I know from listening to older family members about how much my ancestors had to do with the founding of the town and operations of daily business and the cattle industry. Any info would be dearly appreciated. My father is Amos R. Barber (b.1942, Refugio, TX), his uncle was Dick Barber (b.1899-1987?). Thank You. - Robert F. Barber, San Antonio, Texas, October 21, 2006

  • Take a road trip

    Texas Gulf Coast

    Tivoli, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Refugio | Port Lavaca | Rockport
    See Refugio County

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    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.


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