County, South Texas
US 83 and Hwy 107
3.5 miles N of the Rio Grande
18 miles SE of Edinburg
8 miles W of (and adjoining) McAllen
Joseph & St. Peter Seminary in Mission. |
This Seminary burned in 2009.
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, July 2004
in a Pecan Shell |
settlement of Mission is directly tied to once was the La
Lomita community, some 5 miles south. The French Oblates of Mary Immaculate
developed a chapel on this portion of land which had dated back to a Spanish land
grant. Up until 1904, the railroad had only advanced 5 miles from La
Lomita to a railhead town known as "Mamie." The railroad was enticed
(by a new depot and 20 acres of land) to extend the remaining distance to what
In 1907 when the railroad arrived Mission developed from
an influx of new arrivals and the moving of the operations of the Oblate fathers.
John J. Conway and J. W. Holt purchased the La Lomita Ranch from the religious
order and with other accquired properties, they parceled the land into small tracts
The naming of the post office in 1908 accounts for the name
change. Since another Lomita, Texas had been granted a post office under that
name, the name Mission was submitted to and accepted by postal authorities.
1908 was a busy year for the town with a school and pharmacy joining the
depot and post office. The next year a hotel was built and a newspaper was established.
Mission incorporated in 1910.
A developer named John H. Shary improved
the extant (but crude) irrigation system and sold small tracts of land for farms
around 1910. The long growing seaon allowed vegetable farmers to grow three crops
a year. Shary's name lives on with the community named Sharyland (adjoining McAllen).
Oil was discovered in the 1930s, providing a boost to the economy, but it
was nothing like the oil discoveries further north near Freer.
In 1941 Shary and other businessmen bought land northwest of Mission which they
then sold at cost to the government for use as an air field. Named Moore Field,
it maintained a population of about 3,000 during the years of WWII.
Former airmen and their families returned to settle in Mission after the war.
At the close of the WWII
it became Tri-Cities Airport and then during the Korean conflict it was activated
as Moore Air Force Base in 1953. It closed again in 1960.
1915: 2,000, 1940: 6,000, 1950: 10,700, 1960: 14,000, 1970: 13,000, 1980:
22,500, 1990: 28,600 and 2000: 45,000
Attractions & Nearby Destinations >
Attractions & Nearby Destinations
Grande Valley State Park - La
Lomita - On FM 1016, 3 miles south of US 83.
La Lomita Chapel, circa
1889, and the municipal historical park
Ebanos Ferry on the Rio Grande
The last hand-operated ferry on either border.
Birding Center Headquarters
Located in the Bentsen-Rio
Grande Valley State Park. Anzalduas
County Park - 4 miles S of Mission on the Rio Grande.
Ideal place for
butterfly and bird watching. 956-585-5311 Santa
Ana National Wildlife Refuge - 956-784-7500
23 miles SE of Mission
Abundant wildlife, plants, and birds (many not found anywhere else in the United
States.) Entrance quarter mile east of the intersection of US 281 and FM 907.
4 miles East of the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge.Shary-Shivers
Estate - 4 miles north on FM 494Tom
Landry Mural - In downtown Mission. Corner of North Conway and 101 E. Tom
Hotels > Book Here
the chamber for details - 800-580-2700 Texas
Citrus Fiesta -
Annual celebration in JanuaryTexas
Butterfly Festival - OctoberMission
Mendoza' and the Battle of the Bulge
Sgt. Jose Mendoza Lopez
in Mission, Texas, on July 10, 1910.
December 1944 found Lopez in a bloody
conflict known as the Battle of the Bulge. For his actions on Dec. 17, 1944, near
Krinkelt, Belgium, Lopez received the highest military decoration for valor in
combat – the Medal of Honor.
Mission, Texas, named a street and city park
First Christian Church|
1940 Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/
Memorial Chapel, Mission, Texas |
Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/
Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/
1978 a book written by local author Cleo Dawson was made into a movie titled
She Came to the Valley. It was filmed on location in Mission and La
Lomita || |
A movie filmed on location in Mission
|Book Hotel Here