A Brief History of Mission, TX
Mission is a town in Texas located in Hidalgo County with a population that is over 80 thousand. The economy of the town is primarily based on their citrus industry and hosts the Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade every year. With a healthy economy and many things to do around town, the city is seeing major growth. Like many other cities in Texas, Mission started from a mixture of Native Americans, Mexicans, and Americans settling into the area at different times. There are unique aspects of the city’s upbringing. Here’s a brief history of how the city of Mission, TX came to be.
Early Settlement for Mission, TX
Before becoming an American settlement, the area of Mission was home to the Coahuiltecans, a name given to the people of 200 Native American tribes in the area between the Gulf of Mexico to the Pecos River and both sides of the Rio Grande. The people survived off the natural resources of the land until the Spanish arrived in the 18th century. The colonizers brought with them diseases that quickly diminished the tribes’ populations. The Spanish king in 1762 established the area into porciones, one of which was named La Lomita and would become the town of mission a lot later on.
The settlement of Mission truly began in 1845 when the land was purchased by M. Guillermo Rene Guyard. He used the land for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, where the fathers built a small chapel in 1865. The Oblates’ mission was carried out for many years and people began to settle around the area.
Mission's Growing Community
When the railroad was built through the town in 1904, the area began to grow even more. The Missouri Pacific was extended at this time to the west and north from Brownsville. It was close enough to La Lomita that it served the merchants and farmers of the community. Two years later, J.W. Holt and John J. Conway purchased large amounts of land in the area. This land included the land that housed the Oblates’ chapel. With the land purchased, the two established the La Lomita Land Company. A new train station was built a couple of years later and, as there was already a station in Texas with the name Lomita, the station was named Mission.
Soon the town built a school, a pharmacy, and a post office and the town of Mission, TX was incorporated in 1910. It was also around this time that the large-scale production of citrus fruit began. It was thanks to this development by John H. Shary that the town was seen as an agricultural paradise. Thanks to the citrus market, many farmers moved from northern states to the valley.
The Town Today
While citrus production is still a major staple of this Texas community, the area has grown exponentially into a place for other commerce and agriculture. The town continues to grow and is a popular spot for snowbird to settle as well golfers and bird watchers. Although the city is still rapidly growing, the community has not forgotten the history of the town.