Ruben E. Ochoa

MURLO, TEXAS. Murlo, also referred to as The Murlo, Muela, and the Muela Settlement, was a frontier community on Muela Creek and the San Antonio-Eagle Pass Road, twenty-four miles southwest of Uvalde in northwestern Zavala County. Murlo is believed to have been one of the first permanent settlements in Zavala County. Four sections of land bordering the road, which at that time was the main stagecoach and freighting route between Eagle Pass and Uvalde, were settled around 1871 by Uvaldean John Fenley and his sons Joel, Jim, and Demp; joining the Fenleys were two bachelors, John Langford and Henry Packenham. The family dug a water well near the junction of the four sections and located its rock-lined opening in the middle of the much traveled San Antonio-Eagle Pass Road. A community, known as Muela, developed at the site; it eventually had a Baptist church, a school, a post office, a voting box, a store, a stage stand, an inn, and two blacksmith shops. Sometime after its initial development, the community became known as "the Murlo," though a post office at the site in 1888 was referred to as Muela. John Fenley and his wife Edie maintained the post office, stage stand, inn, and general store. Joel Fenley is credited with constructing the first windmill-driven water well in the region. With the coming of the railroads to the area in the early 1880s, commercial traffic on the San Antonio-Eagle Pass Road diminished considerably, and the community began to dwindle. By the turn of the century the Fenley Ranch headquarters had been moved, and the community had been abandoned.

Florence Fenley, Oldtimers: Frontier Days in the Uvalde Section of Southwest Texas (Uvalde, Texas: Hornby, 1939). Florence Fenley, Old Timers of Southwest Texas (Uvalde, Texas: Hornby, 1957). Zavala County Historical Commission, Now and Then in Zavala County (Crystal City, Texas, 1985).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Ruben E. Ochoa, "MURLO, TX," accessed August 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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