Eden is on Harden Branch at the junction of U.S. highways 83 and 87 and Farm Road 2402, twenty-one miles southeast of Paint Rock in south central Concho County. The first settlers in the area were the family of Harvey and Louisa McCarty. The town was founded by Frederick Ede, who moved to Concho County with his family about 1881. In February 1882 Ede designated forty acres of his land as a townsite and donated land for the town square. When the settlement received a post office in 1883 it took the name of Eden, an adaptation of Ede's name. The first school in the community opened in 1884–85. By 1890 Eden had a Baptist church (organized in 1886), a general store, a saloon, a jeweler, and a population of 107. It acquired a bank in 1906 and telephone service about 1907, and by 1908 had a windmill and public well. Its early fraternal organizations included the Praetorians, the Woodmen of the World (organized in 1900), the Masons (1903), the Order of the Eastern Star (1907), and the International Order of Odd Fellows (by 1908).
Eden voted to incorporate on December 15, 1910, and formally incorporated on February 4, 1911. The following year it became the terminus of a Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway line built westward from Lometa. By 1914 the population had reached 600, and the community had a newspaper called the Eden Echo, Baptist and Methodist churches, a restaurant, two hotels, two general stores, two hardware stores, two lumber companies, and two cotton gins. The Eden Independent School District was approved in June 1920. As sheep ranching in the area increased after 1925, Eden became a trade center for wool and mohair. By 1940 the local ram sale was advertised nationwide. In addition to sheep, goats, and cattle, area ranchers also raised polo ponies for the eastern market. The population rose from 593 in 1925 to 1,603 in 1941, partly as a result of the increased use of tractors and the consequent displacement of tenants from farm to town. The population reached a high of 1,993 in 1954 and was 1,567 in 1990. In 2000 the population was 2,561.