South Texas Plains
2010 Census - 261
2000 Census - 500
Tilden, Texas
Tilden Texas History:
The Rio Frio community was founded in 1858 at the mouth of Leoncita Creek on the Frio River. It originally had 30 people. It slowly began growing in the 1860s after the residents built a road connecting their settlement to the old San Antonio-Laredo Road to the west of town. In 1862 Levi J. Edwards built a general store and saloon, and the town built its first school. The Twenty-ninth Brigade of the Texas Confederate Militia was stationed here during the Civil War. During the early 1860s the town became known as Dog Town. The Dog Town post office was established in 1871; the town was laid out and it was renamed Colfax. By 1876 the town had four general stores, one grocery store, two saloons, a drugstore and a hotel. In 1877 the town was named the county seat of the newly organized McMullen County. A county court was established but it only lasted approximately 5 months before it was disbanded because residents refused to use it. That same year the town was formally platted and its name changed to Tilden. In 1879 a ferry crossing was established on the Frio River. By 1880 the town became a stop for the stagecoaches traveling the San Antonio-Laredo Road. In 1884 Tilden had two churches, a college, a blacksmith, a cabinetmaker, two druggists and a weekly newspaper; the college closed in 1897. In 1990 it had 600 residents. Hunting is a popular activity in the Tilden area. Tilden is located on the Frio River at the intersection of SH 16 (River Street) and SH 72, west of the Choke Canyon Reservoir and Choke Canyon State Park, 23 miles west of Three Rivers, and 68 miles south of San Antonio.
Historic Boot Hill Cemetery:
Several cemeteries in the American West are called Boothill or Boot Hill. The name refers to burial sites of gunfighters or those who died violently with their boots on. Most Boot Hill graves were paupers’ graves. The most famous of these cemeteries is the Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone, Arizona. The Tilden Boot Hill Cemetery is considered one of the only two authentic cemeteries of its kind in the southwest. It was established after 1858. The cemetery is located across from the Sheriff’s new office, and behind the bank, less than a block north of the courthouse plaza on SH 72, and one half block east of SH 16.
Historic Boot Hill Cemetery, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Began with grave of a suicide. Some occupants are:
Dick Gosset, killed in Ft. Ewell gunfight, Feb. 1869.
E.M. Crain, Confederate veteran; one of 4 cholera victims, 1869.
John Smithwick, murdered, 1870.
Jim, assassinated from door of old Rock Store, 1872.
Unknown, killed in gun battle while standing in front of old Rock Store, 1873.
Unknown, killed unintentionally by Clabe Young while playing a prank.
S. Glenn Greer (12/7/1848-11/9/1874) thrown from a horse.
Unknown, a Negro drowned in the Nueces, 1875.
Unknown, murderer of James Minter, presumed to have been a Dalton gang member.
Lige Harrison, Jr., killed at age 17 in a hunting accident, 1876.
Samuel Wm. McCreery murdered at his sheep ranch, 1877.
Pemanio Palacios and Phelix Wheeler (infant) both died of natural causes.”  
Historic Old Rock Store, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Built about 1865 by Pat Cavanaugh, Irish Stonemason, assisted by Dick Barker. Site of gun battles in Dog Town (now Tilden), “wide open” during lawless era of the 1860s and 1870s. Preserved since 1929 by Clifton Wheeler, owner.” The store is located on the courthouse square across from the front side of the McMullen County Courthouse.
Historic McMullen County, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Created 1858. Organized 1862. Abandoned because of bandit activities in thicket area during the Civil War. Reorganized 1877, with Tilden as county seat. Named for John McMullen (1785-1853), founded with James McGloin of the Irish Colony at San Patricio; President Pro Tempore of the General Council which governed Texas in 1836, on the eve of the Republic. Of the 254 Texas counties, 42 bear Indian, French or Spanish names. 10 commemorate such colonizers as McMullen and Stephen F. Austin, "Father of Texas". 12 honor Washington and other American patriots. 96 were named for men who fought in the Texas war for independence (15 dying at the Alamo), signed the Declaration of Independence from Mexico, or served as statesmen in the Republic of Texas.
23 have the names of frontiersmen and pioneers. 11 honor American statesmen who worked for the annexation of Texas; 10, leaders in Texas since statehood, including jurists, ministers, educators, historians, statesmen; and 36, men prominent in the Confederacy during the Civil War. Rockwall and 8 others have geographical names. San Jacinto and Val Verde were named for battles; Live Oak and Orange, for trees; and Mason for a fort.” McMullen County’s population is approximately 900.
McMullen County Courthouse, 1930:
The brick courthouse was designed in Classical Revival by architect William Charles Stephenson, Jr. Stephenson designed many buildings, including approximately 53 of Beeville’s historic buildings. The 2010 McMullen County census was 707. The courthouse is located at 501 River Street (SH 16/72), Tilden, TX 78072.  
Old McMullen County Jail, 1880:
This jail was used until 1967 when a jail annex was built onto the rear of the 1930 McMullen County Courthouse. The jail is often called the “Old Dog Town Jail” because Tilden used to be called Dog Town. The jail is located behind the courthouse.  
Max’s Café & Motel:
The restaurant serves hamburgers, very good Mexican food and other menu items. (361) 274-3342. 100 River Street, Tilden, Texas 78072. Reviews