Schunior High School (detail)|
TE Photo, 2002
Naming of La Joya, TexasThe
actual first settler of La Joya Texas was the family of Hilario Silva. La Joya
was called La Joya because the ranchers of Rio Grande City would take thier cattle
to the watering hole (called jollancas) in La Joya. Not because the water glistened
like a jewel. New people that have come to live in La Joya think they know the
history of La Joya, and get their facts from people that have lived there a very
long time although were not of the actual descendants of the 1st settlers. When
actually they should get their facts about La Joya from the descendants of the
original La Joyans which was my family. There are people like Vicente Garza, Roberto
Gonzalez Jr. Aurora G. Cavazos, who is 96 years old who was the granddaughter
of Hilario Silva, Manuel Gonzalez, Gonzalo Gonzalez Sr. who also happened to be
a direct descendant of Hilario Silva. I, myself am an Hilario Silva descendant
but I have learned my history through those people aformentioned. -
Yolie Flowers, September 27, 2009
in a Pecan Shell
"The Jewel" is said to be named after a small
natural lake once nearby. The town sits on land that was once known as Los Ejidos
de Reynosa Viejo.
The settlers of Reynosa Viejo shared grazing lands here called ejiidos in
Spanish. Settlement began in 1749, when José de Escandón brought the first settlers
here. Even today, many residents are descendants of the original colonists. Francisco
de la Garza, had founded a community called Tabasco, on this side of the
Rio Grande in the early 1900s. It prospered briefly after being abandoned (for
higher ground) because of severe flooding in 1908 and 1909.
In 1926 a
land developer from Houston named J. H. Smith arrived and coaxed the locals into
incorporating - which they did that same year - officially naming it after the
lake west of town. In 1930 the town was still in its infantcy, with just two businesses
and a few houses.
Development was curtailed due to the Great Depression
and by 1940 the town only had 175 people living there. Nothing much happened in
La Joya until the mid 1950s when a man with the redundant name of Leo J. Leo organized
the townspeople to hold an election. In 1965 Leo Leo became the town's first mayor.
By 1972 the town had over 1,200 people which doubled over the next ten years.
Leo Schunior School Marker|
La Joya Post Office|
TE photo, 2002