Hale, Hidalgo
South Texas Plains
2010 Census - 15,570
2000 Census - 13,649
Mercedes, Texas
Mercedes Texas History:
Ranchers began settling in the area in the 1770s. In 1790, the area was part of the Llano Grande land grant given to Juan Jose Ynojosa de Balli by the Spanish government. During the 1850s the present Mercedes townsite was the location of Ramon and Manuel Cavazos’ Anacuitas Ranch, and in the early 1900s it became the Fuste Ranch, which was also owned by the Cavazos family. Lon C. Hill, Jr. constructed the Estarito Canal on his land which by then included the Mercedes townsite. In 1904, he created the Capisallo Town & Improvement Company and established the town of Capisallo a mile east of current day Mercedes. The American Rio Grande Land and Irrigation Company purchased the company and renamed the town Diaz. After a few more name changes, the town was renamed Mercedes. In July 1904, the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway completed a line to the town. In an unusual move, the American Rio Grande Land and Irrigation Company restricted business buildings to those made of brick, stone or concrete, and decreed they must cost at least $3,000. Residential units must cost at least $2,000. The company also put a 15 year ban on alcohol sales within the town limits. The company promoted the town and brought in prospective settlers by railroad. In 1907 local farmers began growing grapes. They later began large scale growing of citrus and truck farming vegetables. By 1908, Mercedes had a hotel, a school, a bank, a lumberyard, a feed store, a livery stable, a weekly newspaper, and 1,000 residents. The town incorporated in 1909, and the public library was established in 1911. During World War 1, Camp Mercedes and Camp Llano Grande were located nearby. The Mercedes Oil Field was discovered in 1935. In 1952, Mercedes and Weslaco businessmen spearheaded the construction of the Progreso International Bridge which was completed by 1953. The Arroyo Colorado flows just south of town. Mercedes is known for fine boot makers who have included Bill Clinton, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and Dwight Yoakam as customers. Mercedes is located 29 miles northeast of Hidalgo, 29 miles slightly southeast of Mission, 21miles slightly southeast of McAllen, 18.7 miles east of Pharr, 16.4 miles east of San Juan, 26 miles southeast of Edinburg, 20 miles southeast of Monte Alto, 10 miles southeast of Donna, 5 miles east of Weslaco, 12.6 miles south of Ed Couch, 35 miles southwest of Raymondville, 14.5 miles slightly southwest of Harlingen, 20.4 miles northwest of San Benito, 6 miles west of La Feria, 15.8 miles northwest of Los Indios, 8.6 miles northwest of Santa Maria, and 7.5 miles northeast of Progreso, Texas and Nuevo Progresso, Mexico.