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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.”


has developed from a farming community to a visitor’s delight. Known for its mild winter weather, tropical breezes, brightly colored birds, and low cost of living, it’s also a shopping mecca drawing millions of visitors annually to its many shopping districts.

Today, McAllen is one of the fastest growing cities in America. The City and surrounding areas have a population of 780,000. Within 60 miles is a total population of nearly 2.5 million. Drive 150 miles from McAllen and the population jumps to 10 million.

McAllen, Texas is on the move. We’re glad you’re moving through our City and invite you to stay to enjoy some or all of what we have to offer – world-class nature tourism, the best shopping in South Texas, nearly 700 restaurants, outstanding arts and entertainment opportunities, great sporting and outdoor activities, enchanting cultural diversity and a lively spirit that you’ll notice and appreciate.

McAllen –the City of Choice!

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