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County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. In 2000, its
population was 851. Its seat is Tilden. McMullen is named for John
McMullen, founder of a colony in Texas.The McMullen County Courthouse
was designed by the architect William Charles Stephenson, originally
from Buffalo, New York. Stephenson also designed some fifty buildings
in Beeville, including the Bee County Courthouse.
Tilden was one of the first two settlements in McMullen County when it
was founded in 1858 at the mouth of Leoncita Creek on the Frio River.
The settlement, then known as Rio Frio, had eight to ten crude
dwellings that housed about thirty people by the fall of that year.
Soon afterward the townspeople built a road connecting their settlement
to the old San Antonio-Laredo road, which lay to the west. In the early
1860s the town grew slowly. In 1862 Levi J. Edwards built its first
general store, and shortly after he added a saloon. About that time,
too, the town built its first school. The settlement acted as a
home-guard post for the Twenty-ninth Brigade of the Texas Confederate
Militia during the Civil War. During the early 1860s Rio Frio became
known as Dog Town. One explanation of this name holds that drunken
cowboys on a shooting spree left about fifteen dead dogs on the street.
The other popular explanation is that many ranchers used dogs to work
their cattle. By 1870 Dog Town had a population of 190, and in 1871 the
community was granted a post office.
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