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    PHARR, TEXAS

    Hidalgo County, South Texas
    US 83 and US 281
    5 miles E of McAllen
    25 miles W of Harlingen

    Population: 46,660 (2000) 32,921 (1990)

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    Pharr Texas bank, post office and cigar store, Pharr, Texas
    Pharr Texas Bank and Post Office (and cigar store)
    1918-1920 photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
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    History in a Pecan Shell

    Originally a Spanish land grant made in 1767, heirs broke the grant into smaller tracts in the late 1800s. John Connely Kelley and Henry N. Pharr arrived about 1909 and bought 16,000 acres of land. Pharr, a Louisiana sugarcane grower founded the Louisiana and Rio Grande Canal Company to construct an irrigation system for a sugar plantation. Kelley formed the Pharr Townsite Company, naming the new town after his partner.

    Pharr became a stop on the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway around 1911. Four thousand acres had already been sold to settlers and the town had a depot, hotel and bank. The Rio Grande valley sugarcane industry went bust - dashing Pharr's hopes. Kelley assumed control of the existing irrigation system and supplied water to vegetable and cotton farmers. In 1915 the population was a mere 600.

    In 1916 the town incorporated and it had its own newspaper three years later. That same year Pharr and two other small communities formed the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD.

    By 1920 Pharr had grown to 1 nearly 1,560 and eleven years later it had doubled. The population was 4,784 in 1940. In 1956 a vote to merge with neighboring McAllen was soundly defeated. By 1960 the population had reached 14,000 and by 1990 it was nearly 33,000.
    The first school in Pharr, Texas

    Photo courtesy Stephen & Elizabeth Taylor, March 2004

    First Pharr School, 1911

    Pharr-San Juan-Alamo School

    Photo courtesy Stephen & Elizabeth Taylor, March 2004

    Pharr-San Juan-Alamo School, 1915

    Pharr Hotel in Pharr, Texas
    Pharr Hotel
    1913 photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
    See Rooms with a Past
    Downtown Pharr, Texas

    Downtown Pharr
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

    Post Office, Pharr, Texas

    Pharr post office
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    See Texas Post Office

    Pharr, Texas Attractions:

  • Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge - 956-784-7500
    Abundant wildlife, plants, and birds (many not found anywhere else in the United States.) Entrance quarter mile east of the intersection of US 281 and FM 907. 4 miles East of the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge.
  • Smitty's Juke Box Museum - 956-787-0131
    116 West State. Mon. -Fri. 9AM- 4PM
  • Ye Old Clock Museum - 956-787-1923
    East Preston Ave. Mon.- Fri. 1 -5PM

    Pharr Tourist Information
    Pharr Chamber of Commerce - 956-787-1481
    308 W. Park. Hours Mon.- Fri. 8:30AM - 5 PM

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  • Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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