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    TILDEN, TEXAS

    McMullen County, South Texas
    State Hwy 16 and 72
    68 miles S of San Antonio
    23 miles W of Three Rivers

    Population: Est. 500 (2000)

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    Old jail in Tilden, Texas
    The old jail in Tilden >
    TE photo
    History 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 was built.

    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).

    McMullen County Courthouse
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    McMullen County Jail >
    McMullen County Courthouse, Tilden, Texas
    McMullen County Courthouse >
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    Old Rock Store, Tilden, Texas
    The Old Rock Store with a historical marker
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    Court House Cafe, Tilden, Texas
    The Court House Cafe.
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    Tilden TX  Bridge
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    Tilden TX Sandwich Shop
    TE photos, April 2001
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