History of McAllen:
In 1904, John McAllen, a prominent rancher, donated his land for the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway, becoming the town's namesake. The town of McAllen was incorporated in 1911 with the arrival of the modern railroad, bringing industrious pioneers and rebellious bandits who settled the area. Within a few years, irrigation made the new town an agricultural powerhouse and McAllen developed into a farming community, shipping cotton, corn, alfalfa and citrus fruits out of the Rio Grande Valley to the rest of the country.
When National Guardsmen arrived in the Rio Grande Valley to help quell border disturbances, McAllen's population soared from 1,200 to 12,000. During this population explosion, modern conveniences filtered into the community, and many business began to spring up to serve the now bustling community.
By the 1950’s and 60’s, McAllen had grown into an important hub for international trade with Mexico, a retail shoppers’ mecca, and a highly desirable destination for snowbirds, or, as they are affectionately called locally, “Winter Texans.”