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Cameron County TX
Cameron County

Hotels


SAN BENITO, TEXAS

Third largest town in Cameron County

Cameron County, Texas Gulf Coast

26°8'12"N 97°38'9"W (26.136603, -97.635878)
Hwys 77/ 83
5 miles S of Harlingen
20 miles N of Brownsville
Population: 24,250 (2010) 23,444 (2000) 20,125 (1990)

Book Hotel Here > San Benito Hotels
San Benito TX Bridge - Fishing in Gravity Canal
Fishing Gravity Canal - San Benito, Texas
Courtesy The Will Beauchamp Collection
History in a Pecan shell

In 1904 the San Benito Land and Water Company was formed

1907: Lots are sold.

A post office was opened under the name San Benito. According to the Handbook of Texas - the town was first called Bessie, after the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Yoakum, a St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway official. The name San Benito was an invention of Rafael Moreno, who combined the given names of Benny Hicks and Sam Robertson. Sam became San and Benny became Benito.

1915-16: San Benito was a base camp for Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Tennessee National Guard troops.

1916: The train to Brownsville was derailed at Olmito - ten miles south of San Benito.

San Benito was a major shipper of citrus fruits and vegetables. The last citrus-packing facility was said to have closed after the freeze of 1983, but produce delivery continues - at least locally.

The Community-owned Dolly Vinsant Memorial Hospital, was named for Lt. Wilma R. (Dolly) Vinsant Shea, an army flight nurse, killed over Germany in May 1945.

The Stonewall Jackson, a former hotel, is now in used as a retirement home.
"Hog Waddle, Cabbage Day, San Benito, Texas"
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
San Benito, Texas - Dolly Visant Memorial Hospital
"Dolly Visant Memorial Hospital, San Benito, Texas"
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
"Public Library, San Benito, Texas"
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
San Benito TX Samuel Arthur Robertson House
Samuel Arthur Robertson House in San Benito
Vintage photo courtesy Cruse Aviation
Samuel Arthur Robertson

by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" column)
[Robertson founded] the city of San Benito and later supervised construction of an irrigation system capable of watering 68,000 acres. He also built a system of rail feeder spurs across the Valley and established the area’s first ice plants to facilitate the shipment of produce from the farms that sprang up because of the irrigation network he helped develop. While he was at it, he served as San Benito’s first postmaster and twice as sheriff of Cameron County... more

San Benito Architecture

  • San Benito's Exotic, Eclectic Aztec Building
    Photos Courtesy Cruse Aviation and the San Benito Historical Society
  • Freddy Fender on San Benito Texas water tower
    "San Benito - Hometown of Freddy Fender"

    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2006

    San Benito Chronicles

  • Freddy Fender by Ken Rudine
    "Freddy Fender is probably the greatest singer, writer and musician of Mexican-American heritage."

  • Patrolling the Mexican Border by Air
    Cruse Aviation in the late 40s and early 50s
  • Queen Citriana Betty Jo Knox, San Benito, Texas
    Queen Citriana Betty Jo Knox
    Photo courtesy Cruse Aviation
     
    Plane flying into San Benito, Texas, 1946
    Flying into San Benito, 1946
    Photo courtesy Cruse Aviation
     

    Take a road trip

    San Benito, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Harlingen | Brownsville
    See Cameron County | Texas Gulf Coast

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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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