History of South Texas Towns and Cities
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Historical Towns and Cities in South Texas

Last Update: 28 Jan 1997

bulletCameron County
bulletStarr County
bulletZapata County

Cameron County

Carricitos (Cameron County)
This community evolved from the original ranching village on the Concepcion de Carricitos land grant.
Highland (Cameron County)
La Paloma (Cameron County)
Formerly known as San Ysidoro. In the mid 1800's it was a steam boat landing for a freight line operated by Mifflin Kenedy and Richard King ( King Ranch). It was named after the many doves which can be found in the area. In 1912 it also became on the Spider Web Rail Road between Highland and Carricitos.
Rangerville (Cameron County)
Ranching community located south of Harlingen which became a railroad stop on the San Benito and Rio Grande Valley Rail Road. 106-156
San Benito (Cameron County)
Was also know as "Bessie", "Sam Robertson's Town", and "The Resaca City". This town was founded by Col. Sam Robertson, who was also responsible for the construction of various Rail Roads and irrigation projects across the lower Rio Grande Valley. Large tracts of land were purchased from owners of the Powers Estate to use the San Benito Canal and the town of San Benito. Founded in 1904. Town was named in honor of Benjamin Hicks, an early Railroad Engineer and land owner in the area.

Starr County

Arkansas City (Starr County)
A supply point and cotton ginning center in the 1930's. It slowly disappeared as farming activities diminished. Located in the northeastern part of the county, south of San Isidro.
Carnestolendas (Starr County)
Although this was not an official town, it signified the earliest known Spanish settlement in Starr county. This mission was established in 1751 by Jose de Escandon and was located just north of present-day Camargo, Mexico.
Casas Blancas (Starr County)
A rural community whose name means "White Houses"
Delmita (Starr County)
Formerly known as Zaragoza. It's Name was changed in 1931. An early settler, Niceforo G. Peņa named the town by combining the initials of his seven sons.
El Centro (Starr County)
Located between Delmita and San Isidro, it flourished during the 1930's. It was founded by Trinidad M. Valverde at a well known highway intersection and established a grocery store and gas station, as well as install electricity and telephone service.
El Sauz (Starr County)
Serves as a supply center for area ranches. Located northwest of Rio Grande City.
Escobares (Starr County)
Located adjacent to Roma. It was named for local land owners, the Escobares Family.
Everettsville (Starr County)
Falcon Heights (Starr County)
This village is located near the headquarters of the Falcon Dam State Park. It was established in 1949.
Garceņo (Starr County)
Located about half way between Rio Grande City and Roma. It was named for an early settler and can trace it's beginnings back to 1753.
Garciasville (Starr County)
Established in 1839 by Mier and Camargo Mexico settlers, Ramon Garcia and family. Formerly known as "Los Garcias de Abajo"
Kelsey (Starr County)
Named after John Peter Kelsey, an early Starr county settler who arrived in 1849. Also known as Kelsey Bass Camp and located in the northeastern part of the county. It was established by the Humble Oil Company for it's employees. It was abandoned by the early 1960's.
La Casita (Starr County)
This small community is located just to the east of Rio Grande City, and northwest of Garciasville.
La Gloria (Starr County)
Located in the northeast part of the county about 5 miles west of San Isidro, this small community also serves as a supply center for area ranches.
La Grulla (Starr County)
This community whose name means "The Crane", was named after the large birds that migrate through the area. At one time it occupied both sides of the Rio Grande.
Las Escobas (Starr County)
This ghost town is located about 5 miles north of El Sauz and was the center for the ranch by the same name. It was founded by settlers from Mier, Mexico and was named after the broom grass that grew in the area.
Los Saenz (Starr County)
This town was founded prior to 1767 and is part of the Roma-Los Saenz as it is often called. It is named after the Saenz family, grantees of land in this area.
Midway (Starr County)
Olmos (Starr County)
A station on the Rio Grande City railroad. "Olmos" means elm tree.
Rio Grande City (Starr County)
The county seat and largest city in the county. It was incorporated in 1850. It was formerly known as Davis' Landing and was named after Henry Clay Davis, an early settler who married in the wealthy de la Garza Family and aquired land through his wife. In 1848 he sold land that was used for the Fort Ringgold barracks, as well as town lots. The earlier ranching settlement at this location was Carnestolendas which was founded in 1767 by Francisco de la Garza Martinez
Robberson (Starr County)
Located north of Rio Grande City on Hwy. 755
Roma (Starr County)
This site saw activity as early as 1751, when a mission was built for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Missionaries. It was previously known as Garcia Ranch. It is unclear as to how it got it's name. There are two general theories; one that it was named after Rome, the city of Italy, another that is was named after a Major Roman, a Mexican war hero. It may also have had something to do with it's Mexican counter-part, Miguel Aleman located just across the border, and also known as San Miguel de Roma.
Rosita (Starr County)
Another farming community located between Rio Grande City and Roma.
Salineņo (Starr County)
Located in the southwest part of the county. Apparently named after a family named "Salinas". Dates back to at least the mid 1800's.
San Isidro (Starr County)
This town is situated in the northwest portion of the Santa Cruz Grant and the northwest part of the county. This area of the grant was marked with a stone naming it "El Lindero de San Isidro".
Santa Catarina (Starr County)
Santa Cruz (Starr County)
A station on the Rio Grande Railroad.
Santa Elena (Starr County)
Located north of Rio Grande City on Hwy. 755 in the northern part of the county.
Viboras (Starr County)
Located on Hwy. 649 north of El Sauz. Named for the large quantity of "Snakes" in the area.
Villarreales (Starr County)
A farming community located west of Rio Grande City on Hwy. 83.
Zaragoza (Starr County)
See Delmita

Zapata County

Dolores (Zapata County)
Hacienda de Dolores was founded by Jose Vazquez Borrego 22 Aug 1750 and was authorized by Jose de Escandon. Jose Vazquez-Borrego had already settled the land with twelve families on a provisional grant given to him by Escandon earlier in the year. Dolores was meant to be a stopping-off point between Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and the Fort of Espiritu Santo Bay on the Nueces River and other Texas Missions. Vazquez-Borrego was a friend of Escandon and had already established the Hacienda del Alamo on other lands granted to him about twenty-five leagues northeast of Saltillo. Two other haciendas were established on the Dolores grant, "Corralitos" and "Hacienda San Ygnacio". Corralitos was assigned to Jose Fernando Vidaurri a grandson of Jose Vazquez and "San Ygnacio" was assigned to his son Jose Fernando Borrego. "Dolores" and "San Ygnacio" were abandoned around 1818 due to Comanche Indian raids and the colonists moved to "Corralitos" for better protection. It was again resettled by 1830 with new buildings being erected to until at least 1860. 77-127.136
Lopeņo (Zapata County)
Located on Porcion 21 in Zapata County which was originally granted to the widow Isabel Maria Sanchez. Sometime early in the nineteenth century it passed to the Ramirez Family which owned porciones 14 thru 17 and established Ramireņo. The first stone house was contstructed here in 1821 by Benito Ramirez. 77-7 Apparently it was named after a family named "Lopez". This rural community also has it's "new" counterpart as it was submerged when Falcon Lake was formed.
Old Falcon (Zapata County)
Formerly Known as Ramireņo. Jose Tomas Ramirez who was a relative of the original grantee of Porcion 15 in Zapata County Clemente Ramirez. Jose received porciones 14 thru 17 sometime around 1780. In that same year he married Rita De-La-Garza-Falcon and moved to the northern side of the river. He built a stone house (which still stands) and called his new settlement Ramireņo by which it was known until 1915 when the name was changed to Falcon in honor of the wife of the original settler. 77-6,7 "Old Falcon" was submerged when the Falcon lake was formed in 1952.


Last Updated: August 30, 2002

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