TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Hidalgo County TX
Hidalgo County

Texas Towns
A - Z
Mercedes Hotels

 

 

 

MERCEDES, TEXAS

Hidalgo County, South Texas

26°8'58"N 97°55'7"W (26.149315, -97.918675)
Highway 83
E of Weslaco
W of La Feria
21 Miles E of McAllen
14 miles W of Harlingen
9 miles N of the Progreso–Nuevo Progreso International Bridge over the Rio Grande
Population: 16,624 Est. (2016)
15,570 (2010) 13,649 (2000) 12,694 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Mercedes Hotels

Mision Luterana Emanuel ,  Mercedes Texas
Mision Luterana Emanuel in Mercedes
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
More Texas Churches

History in a Pecan Shell

First settled by Spanish ranchers in the late 1770s, the land was granted in 1789 to Juan José Ynojosa de Ballí. It was later acquired by Ramón and Manuel Cavazos, who founded the Anacuitas ranch in 1850. The land continued to be owned by the Cavazos family until developer Lon C. Hill, Jr. appeared around 1900. Hill bought 45,000 acres that extended sixteen miles from the Rio Grande, including property that would become Mercedes.

Hill constructed the Estarito Canal and in 1904 he developed a town (one mile east of present-day Mercedes). Hill modestly renamed the town Lonsboro and after developing it, sold it to new owners who renamed it Diaz (perhaps after the Mexican head of state Porfirio Diaz). The community underwent several more changes of name until Mercedes was (mercifully) agreed upon. Some sources say that Mercedes was the wife of Porfirio Díaz, but no documentation backs up the claim.

In July of 1904, Mercedes became a stop on the Sam Fordyce spur of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railroad.

Northern settlers were brought down by an aggressive promotional campaign. After 1907 large-scale citrus fruits and vegetable crops were introduced. Around that time the town had a enviable population of 1,000 residents.

The Rio Grande flooded in 1908 and Mercedes was one of the towns hardest hit. The population reached 2,000 by 1915.

Border incursions and unrest caused by the Mexican Revolution required a military presence on the border and Camp Mercedes and Camp Llano Grande were laid out – just outside the Mercedes city limits. The two camps had a combined population of 15,000 soldiers, dwarfing the town. By 1925 the population had increased to 3,414 in 1925.

The 1940 population grew to 7,600, bolstered by an oil discovery in 1935. In 1952 the B&P Bridge Company was formed by local businessmen and a contract was signed for a new international bridge. Construction was begun in the fall of 1952 and the bridge was completed in one year.

Mercedes’ population reached 10,065 in 1952, increasing to 10,943 by the early 1960s. The 1980 census reported 10,354 residents, growing to 12,694 for 1990.

Green Parrots
  • Green Parrots by Ken Rudine
    Mercedes is where we see the most parrots. Groups often roost there in or near the same place... more
  • Mercedes, Texas Images

    Mercedes TX Arroyo Colorado view from 491 Bridge
    Arroyo Colorado viewed from 491 bridge
    S of Mercedes city limits sign.
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, April 2008
    See Texas Rivers
    First bale of cotton in US ginned at Mercedes TX
    First bale of cotton in U.S. Ginned at Mercedes, Texas
    Postcard ca1910s courtesy Will Beauchamp
    Mercedes TX - Mercedes Ginning Co
    Mercedes Ginning Co
    Postcard circa 1910 courtesy Will Beauchamp
    More Texas Cotton & Cotton Gins
    Mercedes City Hall & Fire Station, Mercedes Texas
    Mercedes City Hall & Fire Station
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
    Mercedes City Hall plaqueTexas
    Mercedes City Hall Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
    Mercedes Texas mural
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
    More Murals
    Mercedes Texas mural
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
    Brain Freeze
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
    More Murals
    Mercedes Texas gas station
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2008
    More Texas Gas Stations
    Mercedes Texas water tower
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, March 2008
    More Texas Water Towers

    Take a road trip

    Mercedes, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Edinburg the county seat
    Mission
    McAllen
    See Hidalgo County | South Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
    McAllen Hotels | Mission Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Texas Towns A - Z Texas Regions:
    Gulf Texas Gulf Coast East East Texas North Central Texas North Central Woutn Central Texas South Panhandle Texas Panhandle
    South South Texas Hill Texas Hill Country West West Texas Ghost Texas Ghost Towns counties Texas Counties

    Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
    TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
    Texas Counties
    Texas Towns A-Z
    Texas Ghost Towns

    TEXAS REGIONS:
    Central Texas North
    Central Texas South
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Panhandle
    Texas Hill Country
    East Texas
    South Texas
    West Texas

    Courthouses
    Jails
    Churches
    Schoolhouses
    Bridges
    Theaters
    Depots
    Rooms with a Past
    Monuments
    Statues

    Gas Stations
    Post Offices
    Museums
    Water Towers
    Grain Elevators
    Lodges
    Stores
    Banks

    Vintage Photos
    Historic Trees
    Cemeteries
    Old Neon
    Ghost Signs
    Signs
    Murals
    Gargoyles
    Pitted Dates
    Cornerstones
    Then & Now

    Columns: History/Opinion
    Texas History
    Small Town Sagas
    Black History
    WWII
    Texas Centennial
    Ghosts
    People
    Animals
    Food
    Music
    Art

    Books
    Texas Railroads

    Texas Trips
    Texas Drives
    Texas State Parks
    Texas Rivers
    Texas Lakes
    Texas Forts
    Texas Trails
    Texas Maps
    USA
    MEXICO
    HOTELS

    Site Map
    About Us
    Privacy Statement
    Disclaimer
    Contributors
    Staff
    Contact Us

     
    Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved