South Texas Plains
2010 Census - 15,798
2000 Census - 14,768
Donna, Texas
Donna Texas History:
The town of Donna is located on a portion of the La Blanca land grant given to Lino Cabazos in 1834 by the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. In 1839, John F. Webber became the first Anglo-American to settle in the area. T.J. Hooks helped establish the La Blanca Agricultural Company which purchased 23,000 acres of land in Hidalgo County in 1902. When his 21 year old daughter Donna Fletcher divorced in 1904, he gave her some acreage so she could establish a business and financially support herself. She established the Alameda Ranch, purchased Jersey cows and developed a successful butter business. When a family emergency arose in Beaumont, she needed fast transport to that town. At that time one could take a 40 hour stagecoach ride from Brownsville to the railroad depot in Alice, or one could take a narrow gauge train from Brownsville to Port Isabel, and from there take a steamship to Galveston; both options were slow. She knew the valley’s first rail line of the St. Louis-Brownsville and Mexico Railroad had reached Barredo, just north of Brownsville. Passenger trains were not running along that line, but a work train ran a daily round trip between Robstown (near Corpus Christi) and Barredo. She decided this would be her there the fastest so she rode out to Barredo and talked with Sam A. Robertson, the subcontractor laying the tracts. Robertson explained that the train had no accommodations for passengers, not even a caboose. She convinced him to allow her to ride the train, though because of the rough characters on the prowl along the track, she had to be locked into a box car with a wire cot, a sack of sandwiches, and a bucket of water. She safely arrived in Robstown the next day. In 1906 the Brownsville and Mexico Railroad established a stop in current day Donna. Because railroad president Uriah Lott admired Donna Fletcher’s spunk, he named the new town Donna. When the town of Donna received a new post office the next year, Donna Fletcher served as the town’s first postmistress; she spent the remainder of her years in Donna, Texas. Five Colonias are located south of Donna off FM 493. The town is popular with Winter Texans. Donna, Texas is located at the intersection U.S. 83 and State Spur 374, 20 miles east of Mission, 13.9 miles east of McAllen, 4.5 miles east of Alamo, 10 miles southeast of Pharr, 6.6 miles southeast of San Juan, 17.2 miles southeast of Edinburg, 23.8 miles west of Harlingen, 16.6 miles west of La Feria, 10.3 miles west of Mercedes, 3.9 miles west of Weslaco, 26.5 miles northwest of Los Indios, 19 miles northwest of Santa Maria, 14 miles northwest of Progreso, Texas and Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, and 20.5 miles northeast of Hidalgo, Texas.