South Texas Plains
2010 Census - 129,877
2000 Census - 106,414
McAllen, Texas
McAllen Texas History:
The history of the area dates back to the Aztec Indians who made annual trips to the area to gather peyote for use in their tribal rituals. Early explorers to the area include Alonzo de Pineda who discovered the mouth of the Rio Grande River, and Cabeza de Vaca. In 1767, Juan Antonio Villareal and Antonio Gutierrez received a land grant from the Spanish government. They and their descendants lived on the land until at least the mid-1800s. Jose Manuel Gomez established the Santa Anita Ranch around 1797, helping to settle the area. His great-granddaughter Salome Balli eventually inherited the land. She and her second husband, John McAllen expanded the ranch and renamed it the McAllen Ranch. The City of McAllen lies within the original boundaries of this ranch. There were scattered ranches in the area when the Hidalgo Irrigation Company was established in 1903. In 1904, the Hidalgo and San Miguel Extension of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway completed a line to the Santa Anita Ranch. John McAllen and his son gave the railroad a right-of-way through their ranch. That same year John McAllen, Uriah Lott and others formed the McAllen Townsite Company and established the town of McAllen which was named for John McAllen. It had a depot, a general store, a restaurant, and several tents. The McAllen Post Office was established in 1907. In 1907, the town of East McAllen was established two miles east of McAllen. By 1909, East McAllen had an irrigation canal, a hardware store, a furniture store, five other stores, a brick building, the First State Bank building, and a newspaper. By 1911, East McAllen farmers were growing cotton, alfalfa, broom corn, citrus fruits, grapes and figs on approximately 5,000 acres. Because the original West McAllen no longer existed, East McAllen incorporated as McAllen that year. In 1941, the City of McAllen owned McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge replaced the old bridge. The new bridge enabled the city to become a winter resort and a Mexico port of entry. By 1970, agriculture, oil and the tourist industries were large contributors to the McAllen economy. Today McAllen had grown from a agricultural based economy to a strong tourism, retail, manufacturing and trade center. A wonderful mural is located at the Lamar Junior High School at 1009 N. 10th Street. The town is bordered by Colonias. McAllen, the largest city in Hidalgo County, is located a 8 miles north of the Rio Grande River and the City of Hidalgo on U.S. 83 (Old Military Road), 41 miles east of Rio Grande City, 53.6 miles east of Roma, 6 east of Mission, 11.3 miles southwest of Edinburg, 34.7 miles west of Harlingen, 21 miles west of Mercedes, 16.4 miles west of Weslaco, 12.5 miles west of Donna, 7.8 miles west of Alamo, 4.7 miles west of San Juan, 3 miles west of U.S. 281 and Pharr, 74 miles slightly northwest of South Padre Island, 60 miles northwest of Brownsville, 37 miles northwest of Los Indios, 30 miles northwest of Santa Maria, and 23 miles northwest of Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, and Progreso, Texas. 
McAllen War Memorial:
This memorial features a fountain with a center obelisk with 4 flying doves located on each side of the obelisk. The fountain marker reads “McAllen War Memorial honoring all McAllen War-dead. We gave because they gave.” The memorial was presented to the City of McAllen by the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign War, the Catholic War Veterans, the American Legion, the Veterans of WW I, Los Compadres, and the GI Forum. Additional park amenities include benches and two Historical Markers. One marker is dedicated to the Famed New York Infantry Regiment. Click on the above link for a photo. The memorial is located across the street from the historic Southern Pacific Railroad Depot (100 Bicentennial Street, 78501).
Veterans War Memorial of Texas:
The memorial consists of a beautiful center building surrounded by memorial walls dedicated to veterans from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and to Veterans of All Wars. The memorial also includes the Hispanic Medal of Honor Plaza and the Texas Medal of Honor Wall. Donations are greatly appreciated. Col. Frank Plummer: (956) 631-2511. The memorial is located adjacent to the City of McAllen’s new Convention Center at the corner of Galveston Avenue and 29th Street in McAllen, 78501. Facebook
Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery, Mission, TX:
The Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery is located on 75 acres purchased by the City of Mission from Bentsen Palm; Mission donated the land to the Texas Veterans Land Board. The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the second Texas State Veterans Cemetery was held September 27, 2005. The first internment was December 4, 2006. The cemetery is located just off U.S. Highway 83 on South Inspiration Road near its junction with Military Road. It is approximately 2.5 miles south of the exit, just past Seven Oaks Golf and Country Club. Open daily, 8am-5pm. (956) 583-7227. 2520 South Inspiration Road, 78572, Mission, Texas.
Mail Sent by Rocket between McAllen, TX & Reynosa, Mexico:
In order to pay the mortgage on the American Legion Post in McAllen, a decision was made in 1936 to ferry mail between McAllen and Hidalgo by rocket. Rocket Postage was 50 cents. The scheme worked and the mortgage was paid off. Photos and letters from the incident are located in the McAllen Museum at 1900 West Nolana Avenue, McAllen, 78504.