Tow is a small community in Llano County, Texas inhabited by 1,249 people (Source: 2010 Census). It is not yet incorporated.
The residents of the community pronounce the name as if it rhymed with “cow”.
The oldest settlement in Llano County was founded in 1852 by Cowan family from Tennessee. The family used to run a salt bed on the Colorado River which supplied salt to the residents of the area as well as the Confederate army during the Civil War. The salt operation was destroyed by a tornado in 1871.
William Tow settled in the area in 1853 and is the namesake of the town. He named his place of settlement as Tow Valley. A post office was set up in 1886 and the name “Tow” was accepted as the town name. Since the 1970s, the town has become a prominent retirement destination.
The town never saw the increase in population that other towns see; however, the town’s population grew from 50 in the mid-20th century to over 300 in the 1970s. The state map currently shows the population as 305.
Geography of Tow
The town is located on the Ranch Road 2241 on the west shore of the Lake Buchanan. Austin is located 61 miles to the southeast; Llano is 20 miles to the southwest.
The area has a humid subtropical climate (Source: Köppen Climate Classification system). The summers are hot and humid while the winters are mild to cool.
History of Tow
It is the oldest settlement in Llano County. The first residents were the Cowan Family who started a successful saltworks operation near the Colorado River. The operation was known as the Confederate States of America Salt Works for its prominence and its contribution to the Confederate war effort. A cyclone destroyed the salt work in 1871. In 1853 the Family of John F. Morgan settled in the area and started a hat business. They used beaver and other fur available locally to make their hats. Soon the Tow brothers settled in the area and gave their name to the town. A post office was set up in 1886 and was named after Tow; Matthew B. Clendenen served as the first postmaster.
The town grew after the 1970s and developed as a retirement and recreation haven. The growth led to an increase in population from 50 in 1950 to more than 300 in 1974 with many businesses in the area. By the year 2000 the town had 305 residents and 31 businesses.
The students from Tow mostly attend schools under the Llano Independent School District; however, some areas are served by the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District.
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