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.
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