Yarbrough Bend

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Promotion: Nearby Map of McMullen County

McMullen County is in southern Texas surrounded by Atascosa, Live Oak, Duval, and La Salle counties. Tilden, the county's largest town and the county seat, is in the north central part of the county at the intersection of State highways 72 and 16. The center of the county lies at 28°20' north latitude and 98°32' west longitude. McMullen County was named for John McMullen, the Irish empresario. The county comprises 1,159 square miles of usually flat to rolling terrain covered with mesquite, scrub brush, cacti, chaparral, and grasses. Elevation ranges from approximately 150 to 450 feet. Soils in the county vary: in some areas light to dark loamy soils cover reddish, clayey subsoils, with limestone within forty inches of the surface; in others cracking, grey to black clayey soils predominate. Most of the county is drained by the Nueces River, which flows northeasterly from the southwestern corner of the county and bisects its eastern border. The northern half of McMullen County is drained by the Frio River, which empties into the Choke Canyon Reservoir in the northeastern corner of the county. In 1982, 87 percent of the county's land was devoted to ranching and farming and 2 percent was cultivated. Livestock and livestock products accounted for 93 percent of its agricultural income. Mineral resources include uranium, salt domes, sand and gravel, oil, natural gas, and lignite coal. Crude oil production in 1982 totalled 899,661 barrels; 20,209,632,000 cubic feet of gas well gas, 693,355,000 cubic feet of casinghead gas, and 56,627 barrels of condensate were also produced. Temperatures in McMullen County range from an average high of 98° F in July to an average low of 42° in January; the average annual temperature is 71° F. Rainfall averages 24 inches per year, and the growing season lasts for 290 days.

Prior to settlement in the nineteenth century the landscape of the area was different in appearance than it is today. Grasslands punctuated by clumps of mesquite and oak trees supported several varieties of wildlife, including deer, turkeys, coyotes, wild horses, and panthers. In a few areas, small springs and seeps fed pools and waterholes that harbored beavers, alligators, fish, crawfish, and mussels. The springs and seeps also helped to keep streams like San Miguel Creek flowing all year round, and thus helped to perpetuate occasional stands of large oaks. Artifacts dating from the Paleo-Indian period (9200 B.C. to 6000 B.C) demonstrate that humans have lived in the area of McMullen County for perhaps 11,000 years. The local Indian population seems to have increased during the Archaic period (6000 B.C. to A.D. 1000), when many groups of hunter-gatherers spent part or all of their time in the area. During this period the inhabitants subsisted mostly on game, wild fruits, seeds, and roots. Tools were carved from wood and stone by these early inhabitants, who also wove baskets and rabbitskin clothing. The hunting and gathering way of life persisted into the Late Prehistoric period (A.D. 1000 to the arrival of the Spanish), though during this time Indians in the area learned to make pottery and hunted with bows and arrows. Many of the native inhabitants of South Texas traveled to the area that is now McMullen County to eat and gather prickly pear during the tuna season. By 1725 the Coahuiltecan Indians, native to the area of McMullen County, were squeezed out by Lipan Apaches and other Indian tribes, who were migrating into the area, and by the Spanish, who were moving up from the south. Some of the Coahuiltecans from the area that is now McMullen County might have been taken by the Spanish to missions at San Juan Bautista in Coahuila.

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John Leffler | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Yarbrough Bend is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Yarbrough Bend is classified as a Town

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated