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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 rabbit skin 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 natives 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.


McMullen County was named for John McMullen, the “Irish empresario.” 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 Texas Online Handbook

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