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DILLEY, TEXAS


Frio County, South Texas

2840'15"N 9910'11"W (28.670824, -99.169820)

I-35 and Hwy 85
16 miles S of Pearsall, the county seat
16 miles N of Cotulla
83 miles N of Laredo
58 miles E of Carrizo Springs
89 miles E of Eagle Pass
49 miles SW of Pleasanton
71 miles SW of San Antonio
ZIP code 78017
Area code 830
Population 4,489 Est. (2019)
3,894 (2010) 3,674 (2000) 2,632(1990)

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Dilley TX Downtown
Downtown Dilley.
TE Photo, 2002

History in a Pecan Shell

With all of the strange place names in Texas, perhaps this is the only town to be named after the first man to step off a train. The first man in this case was George M. Dilley of Palestine, Texas. Maybe it was the first rich and influential man to step off the train, for George was the president of Dilley Foundries - the firm that made the rails for the International and Great Northern Railroad, or at least the portion that went to Laredo. If the legend is true, then there are many far worse names that Dilley could've taken. Darlington was Dilley's working title when George showed up. It's not known if a Mr. Darlington stepped off an earlier train.

Before the railroad, stray longhorns were driven to Kansas up the Chisholm trail, and this provided an income for the few residents in the area. Later, irrigation provided a way to produce produce. They referred to this as truck farming to avoid sentences like the last one.

Our source states that in the 1920s tourists would ride the train from San Antonio to "enjoy the winter sunshine." Today we're not impressed with being 60 miles closer to the equator, but evidently they were in the 20s.

Dilley Texas - Watermelon
Watermelon
TE Photo, 2002

Dilley Today

Dilley has fewer citrus trees and more production of watermelons and peanuts. An oil boom occurred in the 1970s/ 80s. A large watermelon in the city park adds Dilley to the roster of towns that have larger-than-life animals, vegetables and minerals on their squares (Floresville, Seguin, Hidalgo, Ft. Stockton et. al.).

The lobby of the Dilley State Bank has a gallery of Texas landscapes in oil.


John Troesser
Source: Little Towns of Texas, Jayroe Graphics, Jacksonville, Texas, 1981

Frio River flood of 1935, north of Dilley, Texas
1935 Flood scene of the Frio River
north of Dilley, Texas

Dilley Texas water tower
Dilley water tower
TE Photo, 2002
More Texas Water Towers

Dilley Tourist Information
Chamber of Commerce: Miller and Main Streets - 830-965-1742

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Dilley, Texas Forum
Subject: Enjoyed Dilley, Texas website
I had to locate Dilley in association with my job duties and was very impressed with your Dilley, Texas website. I look forward to visiting with my family someday to say we've been to Dilley. Thanks for the smiles this morning. - Renee Zeller, Katy, TX, September 29, 2006



Take a road trip
South Texas

Dilley, Texas Nearby Towns:
Pearsall, the county seat
16 miles N of Cotulla
83 miles N of Laredo
58 miles E of Carrizo Springs
89 miles E of Eagle Pass
49 miles SW of Pleasanton
71 miles SW of San Antonio
See Frio County

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