Welcome to McAllen, Texas
McAllen Then and Now (video) II Westside Park (video) II Drive down 10th Street (video)
Back in the 1850's, a young Scott by the name of John McAllen settled in what is now the town of Hidalgo. His good friend, John Young, also settled in this area and soon married into a wealthy local family. Young soon thereafter died and John McAllen married Young's widow in 1862. John McAllen was no poor man to start with; however, with the combined wealth of his newfound bride he became one of the richest man in the area. Over the next few years, he continuously increased his land holdings to about 80,000 acres by 1904. It was at this time that he founded a town which he called West McAllen. At the same time another land developer, James Briggs purchased from Sheriff Closner 8000 acres at the price of $ 3 an acre and founded East McAllen. At this time the area was still being plagued by bandits and cattle rustlers but Sheriff Closner reportedly soon established law and order without the use of a gun.
McAllen, spurred on by the arrival of the Railroad in 1905, continued to grow and was finally incorporated in 1911. By 1916 McAllen's population totaled about 1000. The local economy got an incredible boost when 12,000 Soldiers where sent here to protect the local population from Revolutionary and Counterrevolutionary activities in Mexico. And who do you think supplied the growing population with badly needed furniture? Guess or click here to find out!
In 1936 McAllen became the first city in the world to deliver mail across an International border by rocket. The project soon came to a halt when rockets started to crash in the streets of Reynosa;, however, of over 1500 pieces of mail which were sent in this manner 952 made it across the Rio Grande intact.
Today McAllen is one of the most important Gateway Cities to Mexico and ranks among the top ten of the fastest growing areas in the United States with it's reputation of eternal springtime, easy living and tons of entertainment. Called the "City of Palms", McAllen not only attracts foreign businesses and retirees who spend the winter here, but also tourists from the northern part of the United States and Canada who make McAllen their last stop before entering Mexico. However, McAllen is not only a Gateway city to Mexico, but home to the countries most sophisticated medical facilities, frequented by people who are looking for superior health care from all over the world.
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