County Seat, South Texas
26° 18' 15" N, 98° 9' 50" W (26.304167, -98.163889)
US 281 and Hwy 107
8 miles N of McAllen
31 miles W of Harlingen
Population: 83,970 (2017) 77,100 (2010) 48,465 (2000) 29,885(1990)
Southern Pacific Station
Photo courtesy Edinburg Chamber of Commerce
| History in
a Pecan Shell
Edinburg's original name had been Chapin, but Mr. Chapin was
tried for murdering a man in San
Antonio's Buckhorn Saloon. Propriety demanded a name change, and
so John Young, prominent businessman, named it after his birthplace
of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1911. Somewhere along the way, the "h" was
602 West University
TE Photo, 1999
South Texas History
121 E. McIntyre St. Edinburg, Texas 78516
Ph. (956) 383-6911 Fax (956) 381-8518
The Museum is housed in the Former County Jail and also once served
as Edinburg's City Hall. The city hall and former courthouse were
a matched set until they decided to build what serves as a courthouse
A scarcity of Oaks (the tree of choice for hangings) and Cottonwoods
(popular in the Panhandle), prompted the county to install a trapdoor
in the jail for executions. The abundant palms just wouldn't work.
The door was sprung only once, hanging one J. Ortiz for murder.
We wanted to say the trapdoor was only used once because it was
a bother to move the sheriff's desk, but the museum director said
that that wasn't true. So we won't say that. We later found out
that a former museum director did indeed have a desk over the trap
door, but never had to move it.
In addition to the many other displays, one is included on McAllen's
famous "Rocket Mail" episode. See "Rockets
Over The Rio". All the displays are filled with artifacts, photographs
and informative text.
The museums gift shop also contains a book selection better than
the one at The Institute of Texas Cultures in San Antonio. Not as
big, perhaps, but the titles are well selected and pertain to the
entire South Texas region. They even had a book on the King Ranch
that was not available at the Ranch's Museum giftshop in Kingsville.
Municipal Waterparks - 123 E. Palm Drive. Admissions. 956-381-5631
Racetrack Association - 9 miles north on US 281 by the airport.
Posse Rodeo - 2 miles south on US 281, west on Wisconsin Rd.
Photo courtesy Museum of South Texas
"Harvest Of The RioGrande Valley"
courtesy Smithsonian Institution
| Lockwood’s mural
for Edinburg has since been painted over, but a cartoon (life-size
sketch) was found on the site of the Smithsonian Institution.
Edinburg Chamber of Commerce:
Edinburg Visitor Information Center
602 West University
956-383-4974 or 1-800-800-7214.
Edinburg's colorful, attractive and complete brochure lists attractions,
dining, lodging and general information and can be picked up at
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