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RIO VISTA, TEXAS

Johnson County, North Central Texas

3214'16"N 9722'38"W (32.237783, -97.377151)

Highway 174
8 miles S of Cleburne the county set
20 miles S of Fort Worth
25 miles SW of Dallas
29 miles NW of Hillsboro
W of Grandview
30 miles NE of Meridian
Population: 1,037 Est. (2018)
873 (2010) 656 (2000) 541 (1990)

Rio Vista, Texas Area Hotels › Cleburne Hotels

TX - Rio Vista road sign
Rio Vista City Limit POP 509 (1980 census)
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2013

History 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 him.

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 873 for 2010.


See Rio Vista Landmarks / photo Gallery

Rio Vista Tx Historical Marker
Rio Vista Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2013

Historical Marker: (on the Pavilon Square, Rio Vista)

Rio Vista

Located in an area of Johnson County's earliest settlement, Rio Vista was founded on the railroad in 1885. The townsite, which affords views of both Nolan River and Mustang Creek, was given the spanish name for "River View". The post office that was established in Rio Vista in 1885 was discontinued in 1889, but was reinstated in 1890.

By 1896, the community boasted 175 residents, eight stores, a lumber yard, steam gin, and a steam corn sheller. Rio Vista's public school system also began that year. Telephone lines were installed during the early years of the 20th century, when three passenger trains were arriving daily at the depot.

The thriving economy was shattered, however, by a fire in 1914 that destroyed 24 buildings. Many of the businesses were hurt, and the rebuilding process was slow. Cotton sustained the economy during that time, and dairy farming later became important.

Just as the coming of the railroad had initiated growth in Rio Vista during the 1880s, the building of State Highway 174 through town in the 1950s brought a boost to the economy. From its beginnings as a railroad community, Rio Vista has been an important part of Johnson County history.

1985



Rio Vista, Texas Landmarks
Photo Gallery


Rio Vista Tx Buildings
Downtown Rio Vista
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2013

Rio Vista Tx Gazebo
Pavilon Square with Rio Vista historical marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2013

Rio Vista Tx Methodist Church
Rio Vista Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2013
More Texas Churches

Rio Vista Tx closed Church
A closed church?
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2013

Rio Vista Tx Cemetery
Rio Vista Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2013
More Texas Cemeteries

Rio Vista Tx Mill
Feed & Grain. A former gin?
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2013
See Cotton & Cotton Gins

Johnson County TX 1907 Postal Map
Johnson County 1920s map showing Rio Vista S of Cleburne
From Texas state map #10749
Courtesy Texas General Land Office


Take a road trip

Central Texas North

Rio Vista, Texas Nearby Towns:
Cleburne the county seat
Fort Worth
Dallas
Hillsboro
Grandview
Meridian
See Johnson County

Book Hotel Here:
Cleburne Hotels | More Hotels

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