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Real County TX
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RIO FRIO, TEXAS
Once known as "The Ditch"

On the Frio River

Real County
, Texas Hill Country

29 38' 10" N, 99 44' 12" W (29.636111, -99.736667)
Highway 83, FM1120
5 miles S of Leakey the county seat
22 miles SW of Vanderpool
35 miles N of Uvalde
86 miles NW of San Antonio
Population: 50 Est. (1985 to 2000)

Rio Frio Area Hotels › Uvalde Hotels | San Antonio Hotels
TX - Frio River
Frio River
Photo courtesy Linda Kirkpatrick, October 2007
The Frio River runs parallel between Highway 83 and FM 112 from Leakey . The 200 mile river flows into the Nueces River - a mile south of Three Rivers - after joining with the Leona River and Sabinal. (See Swimming to Mexico )

Rio Frio Topics:

  • Rio Frio History
  • The White Lady of Rio Frio - next page
  • Rio Frio Landmark Oak next page
  • Rio Frio Nearby Destinations

  • History in a Pecan Shell

    The town was settled between 1856 and 1860 and many early settlers had previously lived in Leakey . Rio Frio's population has never exceeded seventy-five people.

    Rio Frio was once known only as "The Ditch" after an irrigation ditch dug by the Lombardy Trading Company. Very near the tree the same company opened an Academy for the education of the area children which soon became a well-regarded institution.

    A timeline of significant historic events in Rio Frio

    1868: Local businessmen constructed a gravity-flow irrigation canal off the Frio River.
    1871: A school was established
    1875: A charter was granted for the Lombardy Irrigation Company and the town was granted a post office. The Irrigation Company then sold small plots to arriving settlers who had the responsibility of maintaining the canal.
    1918: Real County's last cotton gin closed after a boll weevil infestation and this gave birth to the mohair business.
    1920: A church building was built - serving both Baptists and Methodists. The building was later made a mission serving the Mexican and Mexican-Americans of the area.
    Rio Frio Texas LombardyIrrigation Ditch Historic Marker
    Lombardy Irrigation Ditch
    Historic Marker

    TE photo, 2001

    Lombardy Irrigation Ditch

    Dug in 1868, in pick-and-shovel operation, by Lombardy Irrigation Company, whose officers were N. M. C. Patterson, W. F. Smith, and T. Watkins.

    Besides channeling water to irrigate over 800 acres, the 2-mile ditch furnished power for a cotton gin, and shingle, grist, and flour mills.

    The settlement which grew up in the area was known as "The Ditch" until a post office was established in 1875. It was then named "Rio Frio" ("Cold River").

    For a century the ditch has irrigated lands of families of two original company officers. (1968)
    Rio Frio Chronicles
    TX - Rio Frio Cemetery
    Rio Frio Cemetery
    Photo courtesy Linda Kirkpatrick, October 2007
    The White Lady of Rio Frio
    by Linda Kirkpatrick

    Story of a ghost that haunts the banks of the Frio River
    Rio Frio Historic Tree
     Rio Frio, Texas - Rio Frio Landmark Oak
    Photo courtesy Don Eichler, 2006
    The Rio Frio Landmark Oak

    Rio Frio Nearby Destinations
  • A few miles north to Leakey or south to Concan
  • Lost Maples State Natural Area
  • Garner State Park
  • FM 337, a scenic drive
  • Swimming to Mexico, Part III - A trip

    Frio Canyon Chamber of Commerce
    P.O. Box 743 Leakey, TX 78873
    830-232-5222.
  • Rio Frio, Texas
    TE photo, 2001
    Frio River , Rio Frio Texas
    Frio River Texas
    TE photo
    Swimming to Mexico

    Take a road trip

    Rio Frio, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Leakey the county seat
    Vanderpool
    Uvalde
    See Real County | Texas Hill Country

    Book Hotel Here:
    Uvalde Hotels | San Antonio Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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