Mercedes, Texas

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Mercedes is a city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States. The population was 13,649 at the 2000 census. It is part of the McAllenEdinburgMission Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

Mercedes is located at 26°8′58″N 97°55′7″W / 26.14944°N 97.91861°W / 26.14944; -97.91861 (26.149315, -97.918675)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22.4 km²), of which, 8.6 square miles (22.2 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.69%) is water.

History

Mercedes is known as "The Queen City of the Valley" or "La Reina del Valle." The city of Mercedes was founded September 15, 1907 by the American Rio Grande Land & Irrigation Company, and was incorporated March 8, 1909. It is one of the oldest towns in the Rio Grande Valley, and the city celebrated its centennial in 2007.

The city was located in Capisallo Pasture, part of Capisallo Ranch owned by Jim Welles. This location was known as the Pear Orchard owing to the vast numbers of prickly pear cactus growing there at that time.

Some sources state that the original name given to the city was Diaz in honor of Porfirio Diaz, then president of Mexico. Later it was renamed Mercedes Diaz in honor of the president's wife and from that, Mercedes became the Queen City. This story, however, is historically inaccurate, given that neither of Diaz's two wives were named Mercedes.

General Zachary Taylor's headquarters was to the southeast of Mercedes near the river. There the old Rabb Ranch was famous for its stagecoach stop and riverboat landing for the riverboats that plied up and down the Rio Grande carrying supplies to the settlements and military installations.

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