Location: Pavilon Square, Rio Vista
Located in an area of Johnson County's earliest settlement, Rio Vista was founded on the railroad in 1885. The townsite, which affords views of both Nolan River and Mustang Creek, was given the spanish name for "River View". The post office that was established in Rio Vista in 1885 was discontinued in 1889, but was reinstated in 1890. By 1896, the community boasted 175 residents, eight stores, a lumber yard, steam gin, and a steam corn sheller. Rio Vista's public school system also began that year. Telephone lines were installed during the early years of the 20th century, when three passenger trains were arriving daily at the depot. The thriving economy was shattered, however, by a fire in 1914 that destroyed 24 buildings. Many of the businesses were hurt, and the rebuilding process was slow. Cotton sustained the economy during that time, and dairy farming later became important. Just as the coming of the railroad had initiated growth in Rio Vista during the 1880s, the building of State Highway 174 through town in the 1950s brought a boost to the economy. From its beginnings as a railroad community, Rio Vista has been an important part of Johnson County history.
Source: Texas Historical Commission