McMullen County Historical Museum and Archives

Museum History

The Museum had its beginning in 1963 when the McMullen County Historical Survey was appointed and organized by the late Judge Jesse P. Crain.  The first repository was located in a closet in the McMullen County Courthouse and later a small room on the second floor was used for the museum.  The museum was opened in the Courthouse in 1967 and artifacts were displayed in the museum and the overflow was displayed in the Court Room.  In 1974 Nora and Clifton Wheeler gave the old Rock Store for a permanent Museum Home.  At this time private contributions financed some needed repairs.  In 1977 the Museum was dedicated during the McMullen County Centennial celebration.  Private financial contributions have made restoration possible.  Thanks to all the people who worked so hard to make the museum a reality and those who are still working on it.

The Museum and Archives are located on Main Street (Hwy. 16) across the street from the courthouse and is open by appointment during the week and weekends.  There is usually somebody available in town or at the courthouse during the week to open the doors and give some history about the items in the museum.  During the week from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm call the County Judge at 361-274-3341 or Mrs. Wheeler at Wheeler's Store 361-274-3331.  On weekends please call Wheeler's store for more information about an appointment.         

McMullen County History Book

There are also copies of the McMullen County History Book published in 1981 by the McMullen County History Book Committee available for purchase.  In July 2002 there were still 50 of these books available.  The books are $60.00 if you have them shipped to you.  You can call Wheeler's Store at 361-274-3331 and ask for Mrs. Wheeler for more information about obtaining a book.  Books may also be purchased at the museum for $50.00.  You are welcome to call Mrs. Wheeler or the Courthouse if you are interested in purchasing a book in town at the museum.


Photo of Old Rock Store in Tilden, McMullen County, Texas.


Old Rock Store

Historical Marker

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 1860's and 1870's. Preserved since 1929 by Clifton Wheeler, owner. Recorded Texas Historic Lankmark, 1966.



Museum Displays

Click the photos for a larger view.


The McMullen County Flag, pictured to the right, was designed and made by the County Historical Committee and is used on special occassions.  It was displayed for the first time during the 18th Annual Rodeo on August 30, 1968.  The original painting of the flag was drawn by Tom Shelton and hangs in the McMullen County Court Room.  The flag is on permanent display in the museum.

McMullen County Standard History


Photo of McMullen County Flag.  Click to view a larger photo.



Photo of the rocking chair and surrounding items.  Click to view a larger copy.



Photo of the cash register.  Click to view a larger copy



Many ancestral photos are located throughout the museum.  The photos in this frame were in a local barber shop.


Photo of some of the photos that are in the museum.  Click the photo to view a larger copy.



Photo of open store ledger.  Click to view a larger copy.


Photo looking towards the front door of the museum.  Click to view a larger copy.


Above is a old store ledger.  Most of the items in the museum were owned by McMullen County citizens.


Photo taken of view of the left side of museum.  Click to view a larger copy.



Sources: McMullen History Book (McMullen County History Book Committee, 1981), The Museums of South Texas (El Camino Real Market Trail, 2001), Photos taken by Renee Smelley (July 2002)

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