Don Freeman Memorial Museum

Paint Rock Street on the Square
Eden, TX 76837

325- 869-2211

History of Eden, Texas

Edenites refer to their city as a garden, "The Garden of Texas." One would think the name came from the Bible but actually the founding father was Frederick Ede, hence the name Eden.

Paraphrasing from county historian Emsy H. Swaim: Early inhabitants of this area were the Jumano and Apache Indians. Later the Comanche Indians lead a war of extermination against the Apaches. The Eden area was part of the Spanish Territory and traversed extensively by Spanish explorers, treasure seekers, and priests.

The first "settlers" in the county were reported to be the Rich Coffey family who located near the mouth of the Concho River during the Civil War. The first surveys made in Concho County were in 1847 with J.J. Giddings being the deputy surveyor for Fisher and Miller who had obtained permission from Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas, to settle emigrants in the central part of Texas. The Commissioner for the Fisher and Miller Colony issued 3,488 land certificates for their colonies. These certificates contained 1,735,200 acres of land.

The City of Eden is located within the Giddings survey tract. Giddings was later killed by Indians in Arizona. After the battle of San Jacinto, the state of Texas was divided into three districts: Brazos, Bexar, and Nacogdoches. The current area of Concho County was first located in Bexar County, then San Saba County, then McCulloch County. The Act creating Concho County was dated February 1, 1858. The first election of county officials was held on March 11, 1879. On February 10, 1882, Fred Ede dedicated the plat to the Original Town of Eden. The Town of Eden was incorporated as the City of Eden on February 4, 1911. The first building in Eden was constructed of logs and was the home of John Hardin. The home was built on Hardin Creek which bears his name. This creek runs about one-half mile west and south of the public square. Brady Creek runs through the county about two miles south of Eden.

Fred Ede was appointed as the first post master of Eden in 1883. The first bank in Eden was built in 1906 and still stands in the same location. The first telephone service and switch board were installed in Eden in 1907. During the Great Depression, Concho County distinguished itself by not having a single foreclosure on its farms and ranches. Mr. Swaim attributes this fact to the efforts of Concho's two banks, Eden and Paint Rock, and the the high quality of the county's citizens.

Famous Edenites - For a small town, Eden has contributed more than its share of distinguished individuals to history: 

Gwen Henry: Broke the world's record in the 100 yard dash in Madison Square Garden in New York City on July 4, 1911.

J. Waddy Bullion: Was born and raised in Eden and taught at Eden High School for several years. Completed the University of Texas Law School in three years, majoring in tax law, and each of those years made the highest grades in the history of the school. After graduation he served as Special Attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. This lasted until World War II erupted and he went to serve as a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve. During the last three years of the war, he was Assistant to the Administrative Aide to the Commander-in-chief of the United States Fleet.

Jack Canning: Eden Rancher who is known as father of the Brangus Breed of cattle.

Gregory McLerran: Distinguished himself in the diplomatic service and served as administrative counselor to Mrs. Jean Kirkpatrick, the Representative from the United States to the United Nations. McLerran served in ten countries around the world, and traveled in all but four.

Major General J. Earl Rudder (U.S.Army): In World War II headed the Rangers ("Rudder's Rangers" as they came to be known) who were ordered by Eisenhower to silence the big guns on the one hundred foot cliffs of Normandy during D-Day. Rudder served many years as President of Texas A & M University.

General Ira C. Eaker (U.S. Army Air Corps): Eaker was the first to fly a plane across the United States on instruments and pioneered mid air refueling. In World War II he formed and commanded the Eighth Air Force in England and was the father of the Daylight Precision Bombing concept which, according to most experts, shortened the war. Later he commanded all the Allied Mediterranean air forces and toward the end of the war was recalled to Washington to spell his old friend, Five Star General Hap Arnold, who was deathly ill. In retirement in Washington, D.C., he wrote a weekly column which appeared in more than one hundred daily newspapers.

Colonel Joe B. Green (U.S.A.F.): Commanded the historic rescue mission in Hamburg, Germany during the flood of 1962. Commanded helicopter crews in the first mapping expedition of Ethiopia. Commanded rescue helicopter crews in Vietnam for two tours. Introduced night vision goggles to air craft in the military. Was one of the most decorated aviators in the Vietnam War.

Jody Evans: Volunteer Firefighter of the Year for the State of Texas.

Karen Loveless: American Legion Auxiliary Girl Scout of the Year for the State of Texas - 1987

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