County Seat, South Texas
On US 281 and Hwy 285
36 miles S of Alice
33 miles SW of Kingsville
81 miles SW of Corpus
73 miles N of McAllen
Population: 5,055 (2010) 5,297 (2000) 5,900 (1990)
Street in 1940
Postcard Courtesy Lisa Lozano
name has several suggested origins. One was after a local shepherd
who was refered to as "Don Falfurrias" and another was "Heart's Delight."
Prior to receiving the photos provided by Ruben Hernandez we were
inclined to go with the former - but we are now decidedly on the side
of Heart's Delight.
CAN'T BELIEVE THEY'RE NOT BUTTER
Edward C. Lasater & the Dairy Industry
Edward C. Lasater had a hand in just about everything happening in
Brooks County - including the dairy business. But unlike political
bosses and other nefarious characters, Mr. Lasater's hands were clean.
It was these clean hands that brought in the cows that at one time
formed the largest herd of Jersey cattle in the entire United States.
Mr. Lasater started in 1895 with a plain run-of-the-mill cattle ranch.
In 1904 he encouraged the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad to
run a line to his property and in 1909 he brought in his Jersey cows
and started his creamery. In those days, the real milk money was in
products like cream, butter and cheese (which is where grade "B" milk
goes, in case you ever wondered). In the 1800s, city dwellers lived
in fear of tuberculosis and undulant fever and it wasn't until Louis
Pasteur invented his sterilizing bottle-washing machine that they
could enjoy the peace of mind their country cousins had from drinking
milk from cows they knew personally.
The Falfurrias chamber of commerce informed us that the butter that
made the town a household word across Texas is no longer produced
locally. The name was bought by a large dairy company and butter is
still marketed under the famous name - but it doesn't come from South
Texas. Falfurrias' famous butter is still remembered in a vintage
sign that remains mounted on a downtown wall.
reminder of the region's most famous product
|Oil and gas discoveries
in the 30's and 40's saw Falfurrias in good times. The population
started to decline in the 50s but those who weren't tempted to go
to the larger cities, the quality of life continued - and still does.
Today, Falfurrias sits and waits for your visit. A short but picturesque
main street includes some downtown trees - a rarity anywhere in Texas
- and until recently there were two theaters from the glory days when
they were packed with people every Friday and Saturday night. The
Alameda Theater which had had a unique hand-painted tile facade was
recently demolished - a sad loss for South Texas architecture.
The Falfurrias Chamber of Commerce is right on Business U.S.
- The Pioneer Theater in downtown Falfurrias
Right - The Alameda Theatre [closed]
More Texas Theatres
High School Marching Band
on photo for larger image
| "This was
a small band, but huge in heart and spirit. They performed at several
out of town events such at the Buccaneer Days in Corpus Christi and
the Battle of Flowers Festival in San Antonio. Some of the band members
included [band leader Carleen Frazier], majorette Isaura Garza, 2nd
row, 3rd from left; Betty Morales, 1st row on the left; David Gonzales,
1st row, 2nd from left; and Oscar Lopez, 1st row, 2nd from right."
- Ruben R. Hernandez
"I graduated from Fal Hi in May of 1952, and that's me leading
the band. I was Drum Major for the school years 1950-51 and 1951-52.
Thanks!" - Carleen Frazier, July 31, 2008
|The Ruth Story
Ranch circa 1980
Photo courtesy Ruben R. Hernandez
First National Bank, Falfurrias, Texas
Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/
More Texas Banks
I graduated from Fal Hi in May of 1952, and that's me leading the
Marching Band. I was Drum Major for the school years 1950-51 and
The FIRST movie theater, called the "Cactus", was on Main St. near
the Creamery. After the Pioneer was built it was kept open for awhile,
showing only the B-rated "oaters", while the "new" Pioneer Theater
showed the "latest" shows. It was closed after a relatively short
time. I don't know what happened to the building it was in. Then,
the Alameda was opened across Hwy.281, and, as your site shows,
it is no longer in operation. Thanks! - Carleen Frazier, July
I recently found the site about Falfurrias, and I wanted to make
contact to see if there were a remaining citizen who might have
known of my family there in the the late 40's early 50's. My parents
worked for Sun Oil, and supposedly I was born there in Falfurrias.
I have a birth certificate from a Dr. Crippen there at Mercy Memorial
Hospital, but it states my birthday to be March 5, 1951, while my
birthday was always told to me to be March 4, 1951. I have some
old hospital bills and receipts, but they actually do not support
either date, and are not consistent. My dad, now with Alzheimers,
has some interesting "thoughts". My parents had three other children,
all much older than me, all with severe handicaps. I believe this
was known to the community--and my father refers to my coming as
"when you came to live with us." I believe my parents were known
there, but the story goes that maybe I wasn't born at the hospital.
The only name I have heard of from there was Canales. My name is
Judy, and my parents were Voelkels. Maybe the birth certificate
needs correcting, I just don't know, or maybe every thing else is
wrong. There is some kind of story about being born also at a butane
company. - Judy Green, March 19, 2008
Folks of Falfurrias in the 1930s
Dear TE, I lived in Falfurrias from 1936 to 1937. I was 13 and living
there with my parents and 2 sisters. [Our family was] escaping the
cold weather in Iowa. My sister Jane worked in the bank shown in
your picture. In all my travels I have never met a more friendly
group of people than those in Falfurrias. A man named Scott owned
or operated the bank; his son was my scoutmaster. When we first
moved there we stayed at a tourist court run by the Knowles family.
We attended the Presbyterian church which was a few blocks off the
highway. The grade school and high school were close to the courthouse.
I remember the name Lancaster while living there. My father was
a linotype operator at the Falfurrias Facts newspaper located on
main street. I really enjoyed my one year there. We moved to Kingsville
in 1937. - Clark Bolt, Central Texas, January 03, 2007
Pictures of People and Places in Falfurrias, Texas
I had sent you some pictures about Mackay
about a year ago and you were kind to post them. My wife, the former
Betty Guerra Morales, was born in Falfurrias and was in the Class
of 1953, Falfurrias High School. Attached are some pictures of people
and places in Falfurrias. Perhaps you can use them.
The congregation of the Bethel
Presbyterian Church was Mexican for the most part. Here's a
personal note. One of my uncles, Rev Jose Angel C. Hernandez, was
pastor of the church in the mid 1950s. He had graduated from the
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1931. It was the time
in South Texas history when discrimination against Mexican-Americans
was at its peak. For example, on business trips with Anglo pastors,
Jose Angel was not allowed in restaurants to eat with the other
pastors, but was served separately by himself in the kitchen or
even outside. For Jose Angel, these were very painful and humiliating
experiences. - Ruben R. Hernandez, June 11, 2006
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