sidebar menu icon


TORDILLA HILL. Tordilla (Tordillo) Hill, the highest and most prominent hill in an area of flat-topped hills in northwestern Karnes County (at 28°52' N, 98°09' W), was well-known to early day travelers of the San Patricio Trail and later to geologists. This hill lies in a graben structure formed by the Fashing and Falls City geological faults. With an elevation of 525 feet, it was a landmark that could be seen many miles away by travelers. Rock Spring, a sure supply of water, and the post office called Tordilla Mound were at its base. During World War II an airplane beacon was built on its crown. Areas of anomalous radioactivity and surface exposures of uranium minerals near Tordilla Hill were discovered in 1954. The initial confirmation of uranium ore in commercial quantities was followed by a period of intense exploration activity by major oil companies and individual operators, which lasted until the summer of 1956. One of the first commercial uranium mines in Texas was dug at the base of Tordilla Hill.

Robert H. Thonhoff

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Robert H. Thonhoff, "Tordilla Hill," accessed November 24, 2017,

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