Outline History of

McAllen, Texas

and the Surrounding Area

Note: Particularly cold weather events have an unnaturally strong effect on the economy of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and it is for that purpose that they are listed in this historical sketch.

1519 Alonso Alvarez de Pineda conducts the first recorded survey of the general area, sailing the coast and mapping that area. He sailed under the authority of Francisco de Garay, Governor of Jamaica.

1740's Jose de Escandon establishes first organized settlements in the Lower Rio Grande area. Most of the communities are established on the south side of the river.

1749 March 14 - Town of Reinosa (Reynosa) was founded. It was dedicated to Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, its captain was Don Carlos Cantu. Reynosa had 50 families of settlers with 238 persons, one captain one sergeant, and 9 soldiers with 41 persons which comprise, with the ones above, 279.
Reinosa's mission, el Monte, was dedicated to Senor San Joaquin. Its minister was the the R.F. Fray Agustin Fragoso. It has in residence 96 families of Indians with 300 persons...
Note: The original townsite of Reynosa is some distance from the existing town. The town was moved for practical reasons early in its history.

1767 The Spanish crown granted porcione 63 to Antonio Gutierrez. Porcione 64 was granted to Juan Antonio Villareal. Parts of these grants were later to become the City of McAllen.

1797 The Santa Anita Ranch was established by Jose Manuel Gomez, who received a land grant from the Spanish crown this year. Salome Balli was his great grand-daughter.

Early 1850's John McAllen arrives in Rio Grande Valley from Scotland ? ( or N. Ireland?)

J. McAllen begins working as a clerk in John Young's store in Edinburgh (now Hidalgo).

1853 November 9 John Young marries Salome Balli Dominguez. Salome had inherited the Santa Anita Ranch, one of the original Spanish Land Grants in what is now northern Hidalgo County. That ranch was established around 1797. (It was a very large land grant.)

1857 Young's livestock holdings recorded over 5,000 head of cattle, and even greater number of sheep. During this time John McAllen was busily buying commodities such as: cotton, sugar, and salt, which were then shipped down the Rio Grande on steamboats to the port at Brownsville. McAllen was also involved in land acquisition for his business associate Mr. Young.

1862 John Young dies, and John McAllen marries Mrs. Young. (Salome Balli Dominguez Young) Mr. McAllen continued to acquire land for his Santa Anita ranch.

1895 La Piedad cemetry founded.

1899 February 12. Coldest tempreture ever recorded at the Brownsvile weather station 12 degrees Fahrenheit. The whole Rio Grande Valley got a very hard freeze

1903 March . The Hidalgo Irrigation Company was organized.

1904 James McAllen's land holdings amount to more than 80,000 acres.

1904 August 20. The St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railroad reach the Santa Anitas ranch. McAllen decided to establish a townsite on the rail line eight miles north of the town of Hidalgo, then the county seat of Hidalgo County.

1904 December 5. McAllen Townsite Company was launched with a capitalization of 40,000 dollars. Incorperators were John McAllen, James B. McAllen, Uriah Lott, Lon C. Hill, and John J. Young. Little interest is shown for developing the new townsite, called McAllen (later known as West McAllen).

1905 February 27. Railroad depot (a frame building) was opened in McAllen.

1907 May 16. William Briggs, O.Em. Jones and John Closner started a town on their own tract 2 miles east of the John McAllen Townsite. As the railroad had already provided a depot, they had to provide their own. They named their town East McAllen.

William Briggs purchased 1200 acres of land from James McAllen. John Closner, O.E.M. Jones and Briggs used this land to establish a second townsite two miles east of McAllen's settlement. This became known as East McAllen. (Another source lists this as an 8.000 acre purchase.)

A post office named McAllen was established.

1908 First buildings erected in East McAllen included a Presbyterian Church, the Osborn and Dewey residences, and a grocery store. Mr. Briggs had a two story building moved from the West McAllen Depot area to East McAllen, and operated it as a hotel for the McAllen Townsite Company.

Roselawn Perpetual Care Burial Park (Cemetary) founded.

1908 September. The Rio Bravo Irrigation Company was completing its canal to East McAllen. A new hardware and furniture store was being built. By the end of the year East McAllen had 5 stores, 2 taverns, 2 lumber yards and a population over 300.

1909 McAllen Chamber of Commerce established. December 11th, the _McAllen Monitor_ begins publication.

1910 East McAllen population about 150 people. Businesses continued to develop and relocate in the vicinity of Main Street.
Click here to view a 1910 Map of McAllen.

1911 February 20th - The City of McAllen incorporated. Latitude 26.13 N Longitude 98.15 W.    the 100 ft. line above sea level runs through McAllen.
Click here for a list of Mayors of McAllen.

Frank G. Crow elected Mayor of McAllen

1912 O. P. Archer elected Mayor of McAllen

1916 July 4th - 12,000 national guard soldiers arrived to help stop border banditry. The soldiers brief stay in McAllen brought rapid economic growth to the city. (the Handbook of Texas reports that there were 20,000 New York State troops stationed in McAllen.)

The (unofficial) population of McAllen is 1,200.

1917 O.P. Archer deeded to the city of McAllen a one block square tract of land for use as a public park. Click here for Historical Marker text.

1918 Casa de Palmas Hotel built.

1919-21 McAllen becomes the broom corn center of the valley. Judge E.A. McDaniel supervised the final details of getting the country club's golf course into playing condition.

1920 US Census population for McAllen 5,331

1923 Frank B. Freeland elected Mayor of McAllen

1925 McAllen Municipal Hospital with facilities for twenty- five patients was completed.

1926 1st International Bridge to Reynosa opened on July 10th. McAllen Mayor F. B. Freeland greeted Reynosa Mayor Rodriguez in the middle of the bridge.

1927 January - McAllen is chartered as a home rule city.

1927 A 2 year college was created in Edinburg, TX managed by the Edinburg School District. This was later to become Pan American.

1929 Frank E. Osborn elected Mayor of McAllen

1930 US Census population for McAllen 9,074

1930 Sam Miller donates land to establish the Miller Airport. (Now the McAllen-Miller International Airport)

1931 John W. Ewing elected Mayor of McAllen

1933 a second (replacement) bridge was built across the Rio Grande at Hidalgo. This was necessary due to damage caused by a hurricane.

1933 College in Edinburg, TX renamed Edinburg Junior College.

1934 McAllen reputation for being a being a leading winter tourist resort area established.
Major oil boom in the valley.

The Reynosa bridge collapsed.

1935 Construction begins on Quinta Mazatlan - a house made of 12 inch adobe brick. Jason and Marcia Mathews built the house over a number of years.

A. L. Landry elected Mayor of McAllen.

1936 The basement of the Archer Park bandstand becomes home to the McAllen Library.

1936 January 22 . US Post Office building on SE corner of Chicago Ave. and Main St. is dedicated.

The City of McAllen built a new bridge to Reynosa to replace the one which had collapsed. (collapse in 1939 ?)

1937 Horace Etchison elected Mayor of McAllen

1940 US Census population for McAllen 11,877

1944 September 1st - McAllen elects to be operated as a city manager, mayor, commission form of government. As such, was geared to good citizenship, civic loyalty, co-operation, growth and sound management.

1945 Allen F. Vannoy elected Mayor of McAllen

1946 Convention & Civic Center built.

1947 T. B. Waite, Jr elected Mayor of McAllen

Runways paved at Miller Field (McAllen's Airport)

1948 Edinburg Junior College is renamed Edinburg Regional College. This change also separated it from the Edinburg School District and put it into a college district.

1949 January. Hard freeze.

C. W. (Napper) Davis elected Mayor of McAllen.

1950 US Census population for McAllen 20,067

On May 28, the McAllen Memorial Library building was dedicated and opened for business. Circulation for 1950 was 28,496 items.

Valley Memorial Gardens (Cemetary) founded. - according to a Sanbons Fire Insurance Map an earlier cemetary in McAllen was named Valhalla.

1951 February 1-2. Hard freeze.

1951 Pan American College was created out of Edinburg Junior College. It became a 4 year institution and was supported by a county tax district.

1952 Runway expansions at Miller Airport completed to accommodate Trans Texas Airlines.

Angus McLeod appointed Mayor of McAllen after Mayor C.W. (Napper) Davis steps down.

1953 Phillip Boeye elected Mayor of McAllen

1954 Falcon Dam, (on the Rio Grande in far western Starr County) is dedicated. President Dwight Eisenhower was at the festivities.
The reservoir offers irrigation water and flood control and controls the major water source for the City of McAllen.
The mid 1950's were a period of drought for south Texas.
Rain from a slow moving thundershower adds considerable water to the lake.
- June, Rain from Hurricane Alice fills Falcon Dam in a single day.

1956 Miller Airport receives FAA designation of "International Airport"

1955-1956-1957 drought. It was broken by a major rain that filled the floodways. (not a hurricane) in 1958. (information from Charlie Rankin)

1957 June 22 Rudolf Ivanovich Abel - Russian spy in federal custody - was flown from New York to Brownsville, then driven to McAllen, TX. He was detained and questioned by the FBI. He was held in the alien detention camp in McAllen (west of 25th Street and north of Quince - where the McAllen Senior Citizen's Center - now called the las Palmas Center - stands.) Rudolf Abel was held there until August 7, 1957 when he was moved to New York to stand trial. Eventually his release was arranged in a trade for U2 Spy Airplane pilot Francis Gary Powers on February 10, 1962 in Berlin, Germany.

1959 The McAllen Civic Center was completed in December. The total cost for the building, seating, equipment etc. was $1,074,970.

1960 US Census population for McAllen 32,728

On April 1, the city of McAllen bought the bridge across the Rio Grande at Hidalgo. This was a suspension bridge.

1961 McAllen was: the oil capital of the valley; leading winter resort of Texas; second or third most important port of entry to Mexico; favorite valley shopping city; the location of one of Texas' finest civic centers; an important shipper of cotton, vegetables and citrus.
A new Airport terminal was built in July.

Robert F. Barnes elected Mayor of McAllen

1962 January 12. Hard freeze. The tempreture reached 18 degrees Fahrenheit at Texan Gardens.

1963 December 24 hard freeze.

1964 November 64 Jason Matthews, builder of Quinta Mazatlan died.

1967 A new bridge (replacement) was constructed across the Rio Grande at Hidalgo. It was opened July 1.

A third terminal was built at Miller International Airport.

A new City Hall building was built at 301 N. 15th Street.

1967 September 20. Hurricane Beulah flooded Hidalgo and Cameron Counties with torrential rain. The water took weeks to drain off the land.

1968 The second largest addition to McAllen Memorial Library was built. It cost about $300,000. This addition more than doubled the size of the previously existing library. The oldest portion of the library became the children's section, and a new wing with two stories was added on the north side. After a two-week shutdown, the library was reopened Monday March 11, 1968. The public had the use of the new wing while the old portion underwent remodeling. At the end of the year, the library had increased its collection to 42,000 books.

1968 Frank and Marilyn Schultz purchased Quinta Mazatlan. (a large adobe brick house in SE McAllen)

1969 McAllen Museum, later to become McAllen International Museum (MIM), later to become International Museum of Arts and Science (IMAS), begins operations in a building at Quince and 25th Street. This is the site of an old alien detention camp where, in 1957 Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, the Russian spy who was traded for U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, was held.

Jack Whetsel elected Mayor of McAllen.

1970 US Census population for McAllen 37,636

1971 February 6. Minor civil unrest in Pharr (sometimes called the Pharr Riot.) Did not spill over into McAllen.

1975 The new Main Post Office, on the SW corner of McColl Road and Pecan Ave. (FM 495) was dedicated. This is a regional post office for the whole Lower Rio Grande Valley area.

1975 A library addition, at a cost of $650,000, was completed in mid 1976. A three story wing was added on to the north side of the existing structure and the library took on it's present form. This expansion housed a collection of 82,820 books.

1976 An addition was made to the Convention Hall of the Civic Center. This addition cost $373,579.
- July 4. The McAllen International Museum dedicated its new building at Nolana and Bicentennial.
- La Plaza Mall opened giving McAllen a second strong retail sales area, later to become the most productive shopping mall in the United States. JC Penny, Sears & Dillards are anchor stores

1976 September 1. The Mexican peso devalued from 12.5 pesos to 1 dollar to 22 pesos to the dollar. Before this evaluation a 100 peso note was commonly treated as an 8 dollar bill by most merchants in McAllen. The peso had been at 12.5 to 1 for some 22 years, from 1954 to 1976.

1977 Othal Brand elected Mayor of McAllen.

- Rio Grande Cancer Treatment Center opened on 501 N. Ware (in cooperation with M.D. Anderson)

1978 December 9. hard freeze. 1979 January 2. hard freeze. McAllen reached a low of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Texas Gardens registered 20 degrees.

1980 Official Census Population of McAllen is 66,281

1980 Neuhaus Tower - a 17 story highrise located at 200 S. 10th Street, is built. It houses McAllen State Bank, and offers many offices. The exclusive Tower Club occupies the top floor.

1980 August 10. Hurricane Allen came up the Rio Grande Valley. Damage is not as great as it was during Beulah.

1981 Rio Grande Cancer Treatment Center goes independent & is re-named the Vannie Cook Cancer Treatment Center.

1981 December 24 A major and disastrous freeze kills much tender foliage, and sets back the citrus industry for many years. It actually gets well into the Fahrenheit teens (17 deg.) and stays there for over 24 hours with a strong wind from the north, effectively freeze drying many plants, including most of the orange and grapefruit trees.

1982 Mexican Peso is rapidly devalued leading to economic crisis. It began this year at 25 pesos to 1 dollar, and by the end of 1982 the exchange rate was 150 pesos to 1 dollar, and by the beginning of the next year was about 200 to the dollar.

1982 September Rio Grande Regional Hospital (HCA) opened.

1983 May Charter Palms Hospital opened. ( a mental health facility ) located at the eastern edge of McAllen just south of Expressway 83.

1983 December 24-25 very hard freeze seriously hurt citrus industry. Trees were hurt or killed and it was years before production recovered. A second freeze the evening of December 29th would have been more notable if it had not been preceded by the more disasterous freeze days earlier.

1984 Texas State Technical Institute, a branch of the Harlingen campus is operating in McAllen on land and in buildings provided by the City of McAllen, on west Pecan Blvd.

1985 December 31, McAllen Medical Center (Hospital) open in its present building at SW corner of Expressway 83 and 2nd Street. McAllen has grown to be a major medical center.

1987 SAM's Wholesale club in El Centro Mall (Pharr)

1987 November 19. Mexican peso devalues. The official Mexico City rate was 2,700 to one dollar, but in Reynosa, Tamaulipas and Hidalgo, Texas it was trading at 2,900 to 1 dollar.

1989 The Vannie Cook Cancer Treatment Center moved to the Medical Center Complex, near 2nd Street, South of Expressway 83.

1989 September 21. Alton School Bus accident - 21 children die when a school bus is knocked off the road by a Dr. Pepper truck. The bus landed in a waterfilled pit at the corner of 5 Mile Line Road and Bryan Road.

1989 December 23 - 26. hard freeze. Some additional damage was suffered by the citrus industry but not nearly as bad as the 1983 freeze. The sugarcane harvest was damaged.

1990 US Census population for McAllen 89,000 It is a contested number. Local officials believe there was a serious undercount.

1991 Work was begun on the new McAllen - Miller International Airport terminal.

1991 September 20 SAM's Club (store) moved to McAllen from Pharr and opened new store east of las Tiendas S. of Expressway 83

1992. It was decided to build a new City Hall building on the site of the old McAllen Hospital. Plans for the demolition of most of the hospital building are made.
- In a nonbinding referendum the voters decided to go ahead with plans to build a new Civic Center and Performing Arts facility at the site that is the northeast corner of Ware Road and Expressway 83.

1992. - Las Tiendas Shopping Mall opened. S. of Expy. 83 Target, Builder's Square, Mervyns, Michael's Crafts, Office Depot, Solo Serve Ross clothing, Best Buy,

1993 May. Demolition was completed on the old McAllen hospital located on Houston St.
1993 May. In a contested election Mayor Othal Brand was re-elected Mayor of McAllen, over City Commissioner, Charles Wilson.
Note. Charles Wilson (a Dr. and funeral Director) died soon after the election.

1993 June 2. Governor Ann Richards signed the bill that created South Texas Community College. - STCC occupies the campus previously occupied by Texas State Technical College, Harlingen - McAllen Branch. STCC was created to serve the people of Hidalgo and Starr Counties.

1993 September 8. First students registering at South Texas Community College in McAllen.

1993 September 23. The completely new terminal of McAllen - Miller International Airport was dedicated.

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) passed by Congress.

1993 July Service Merchandise opens a second store in the Las Tiendas addition. (Their first store in La Plaza Mall remains open.)

1993 December Overpass at Expressway 83 and US 281 is dedicated.

1994 December - Mexican Peso is devalued.

1995 Office Max (discount office supplies putting stress on local office supply stores) opens in McAllen Pavillion shopping mall, next to Petsmart McAllen Pavillion is on the Frontage south of Expresway 83, West of S. McColl Road and East of S. Cynthis St. It is just east of Rio Grande Regional Hospital (which is just E of 2nd Street. AKA Col Rowe Blvd)

1995 October 9, New CITY HALL building opened at 1300 Houston (old McAllen hospital site)
- The old City Hall building became the Tax Office, Teen Court, and housed the Lower Rio Grande Development Council (LRGVDC) offices (The local Council of Government or COG).

1995 December. McAllen Heart Clinic opens. South of Ridge Road, just West of S. McColl Rd. and East of both McAllen Medical Center and Rio Grande Regional Hospital.
- Well established businesses Cook Office Supply and Jones Office Supply merge.

1996 January 26. Texas State Library Internet Connectivity Grant for South Tesxas Libraries OK'd by Library Commission in Austin.

1996 January. Stores close in McAllen: J. Edelsteins (75 years old - furniture store) Valley Mercantile (over 55 years old - clothing store)

1996 April 29 After about 170 days without more than a passing drizzle there were thundershowers and significant rain in a late season frontal passage.

1996 May. McAllen's longtime upscale department store, Jones & Jones sells out to the Foleys chain (part of the May group of stores.)

1996 August 22. Internet site up at McAllen Memorial Library. with world wide web address http://www.mcallen.lib.tx.us

1997 May. Leo Montalvo elected Mayor of McAllen.
Half-cent sales tax for Economic Development passes. This is defined under State of Texas code 4B legislation.

1998 February . The City of McAllen purchases Quinta Mazatlan from Frank Schultz for 1.4 million dollars. It is one of the larger adobe structures in South Texas. Quinta Mazatlan was built in the 1930's by Jason Matthews who published American Mercury magazine. (details in Monitor article Oct. 11, 1998 p. 1B)

1998 July. The long term drought continues. McAllen starts phase 3 of water conservation efforts. So far in 1998 McAllen has had less than 1 inch of rain, when the normal average would be over 8 inches of rain by this time of the year. Falcon Reservoir is at the 22 percent level. It is anticipated that the river flow will be sufficent for the municipal use of the towns along the Rio Grande, but it is not sufficient for agricultural use unless there is a significant recharge in the system (ie. rain above the dam.)

1998 August. Texas State Bank opened its new building, the third major multi-story bank building in McAllen. It is located on the Southeast corner of 10th Street and Nolana.

1998 August. Major improvements to Expressway 83 (US Hwy 83) are in progress. The beams to support the Bicentennial Blvd. overpass are mounted over Expy. 83 and the elevation of Expy. 83 to allow an underpass allowing McColl Road access to the Las Tiendas and McAllen Pavillion shopping areas, south of the Expressway and East of 2nd Street (Col. Rowe Blvd.)

1998 August. Longtime local grocery chain, CARLS, declares insolvency and is taken over by creditors, who say they will operate the stores.

1998 August 27. Tropical Storm Charley missed the Rio Grande coming in from the Gulf of Mexico. It came ashore in the mid-Texas coast, then hooked west, stalling over Del Rio, TX which had serious flooding. A great deal of rain was dumped into the lower Rio Grande watershed, offering some respite from the serious drought conditions. (In mid-August 1998 Falcon Lake was at 17.5 percent of capacity.)

1999 April 6. Trans World Airlines establishes scheduled service to McAllen Miller International Airport with direct service to Austin, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri. Other existing carriers are American Airlines and Continental Airlines.

1999 May 4. A very unusual weather pattern caused the daily high tempreture to reach 110 degrees Farenheit. This is by far a record for this season.

1999 July 4. Heavy rain causes annual fireworks display to be re-scheduled to July 5.

1999 August 22. Hurricane Brett makes landfall about 30 miles north of Port Mansfield, TX, in Willacy County. Brett was a category 4 hurricane by the time it made landfall. It developed quickly in the Gulf of Mexico and moved north along the Mexican coast and threatned Brownsville before it turned in farther north.

1999 October 20. McAllen Development Corporation votes to recommend the construction of both a north and a south Library Branches/Recreation Centers. Information based on construction bids opened on October 19.

1999 December 13 & 2000 January 10. Ground breaking for Library Branches/Community Centers
Photos of ground breaking ceremonies.
At first the plan was to build the south branch first and some time later build the north one.
Grassroots political pressure caused a re-think and it was decided to build both at the same time.

2000 January 27 McAllen Vision 2000 a report of the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team is presented at City Hall. The report was commissioned by the City of McAllen and the Lower Rio Grande Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

2000 March 13 McAllen City Commission adopts the Green Jay as McAllen's official city bird.

2000 March 13 McAllen City Commission officially called for a special election to ammend the McAllen City Charter to increase the number of City Commissioners from 4 to 6 and changing the method of their election from at-large to single member districts. This election to be held on May 6, 2000.

2000 April 28 The new City of McAllen Recycling Center, on Bentsen Road, is dedicated today.

2000 May 6 . Both Proposition 1 - creating single member districts for city commissioner, and Proposition 2 - giving the Police collective bargaining - were passed by popular vote at the election today.

2000 September . City Commission prefered voter districting plan B, as proposed by the hired consultants, but did not vote on the issue. Click here to see map of proposed districts.
This proposal was later approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.

2000 November. New phone numbers for many City of Mcallen departments - beginning with 972- (for instance the Lark Branch Library is assigned 972-7963 as its main number.)

2000 _ . Hastings Books and Music opens at 4500 N. 10th Street. A second national chain bookstore in McAllen. (Walden Books exists in La Plaza Mall)

2000_ McAllen Memorial Library received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for computer equipment.

2001 January 18 . Both the Palm View Community Center and Branch Library and the Lark Community Center and Branch Library were dedicated. The ribbon cutting at Palm View was at 10:00 AM and the ribbon cutting at Lark was at 11:00 AM. Both centers were open for business immediately after the ribbon cutting. Photos

2001 January 25 . Ribbon cutting for the Intermodal Transit Terminal (Central Station). McAllen City Officials were joined by Texas Governor Rick Perry; Texas Secretary of State, Henry Cuellar; U.S. Representative Ruben Hinojosa and Robert C. Patrick, regional director of the Federal Transit Administration.
This bus station will be served by Valley Transit Co, Turimex, Sendor, Noreste, and McAllen Express.

2001 February 13 . Commissioner John Shrock and Commissioner Phyllis Griggs tender resignations from City Commission. At the Commission Meeting the official call for the May 5, 2001 election was made. This is the election that will chose new commissioners under the 6 single member district system.

2001 February 18. The water level behind Falcon Dam, on the Rio Grande, is as low as it ever has been for this season since it first filled. Although there have been periodic rains during the last 12 months the effects of the ongoing drought continue.

2001 March 22 . - From a front page article in the MONITOR, at the end of the filing period the following are registered candidates for office in the May 5, 2001 election:

2001 May 5 . - City Election Day
Results from an unofficial tally published in the Monitor - May 6, 2001 page 1.
There will be a runoff between Leo Montalvo and Othal Brand.
In District 1, Carlos Garza was a clear winner. In District 2, there will be a runoff between Marcus C. Barrera and Ricardo R. Chapa. In District 3, there will be a runoff between Hilda Salinas and Alfonso - Poncho - Liguez. In District 4, Aida Ramirez was a clear winner. In District 5, Ric Godinez was a clear winner. (note: Andrew Perez withdrew in this race) In District 6, Jan M. Klinck was a clear winner.
The runoff is scheduled for Saturday, June 2, 2001.

Results in the McAllen School Board election
Alex Palacios was elected and Sara Tippit was re-elected.

2001 June 2 . Runoff election for McAllen City Commission.
In District 2, Marcus C. Barrera won. In District 3, Hilda Salinas won.

2001 September 11. World Trade Center (twin towers) in New York destroyed by terrorist attack by commercial airliners, Pentagon in Washington DC also attacked. These events caused many changes throughout USA, including McAllen. Generally security is heightned. For several days the only airplanes flying were Federal Government flights, some into and out from McAllen Miller International Airport.

2002 McAllen Chamber of Commerce moves into its new building on the NW corner of Ash Ave and 12th Street.

2002 Trenton Crossing Shopping strip mall opens on the NE corner of 10th Street and Trenton Rd. a Target store is the major anchor on the south end. Other major stores include Kohls, Best Buy, Marshals. On the 10th Street side restaurants include. Olive Garden, Logans Roadhouse, Chic-fil-a, McDonalds, Which-with, Le Peep and others.

2003 April 29. The new McAllen Public Safety Building is dedicated. It is on the NW corner of Pecan Avenue and Bicentennial Blvd.

2003 May 3. In contested elections incumbents Aida Ramirez, Dist. 4 - Ric Godinez, Dist. 5 and Jan M. Klinck, Dist. 6 were re-elected to the McAllen City Commission.

2003 May 6. Driscoll Childrens Specialty Center (Hospital) ribbon cutting and opening - located at 1120 E. Ridge Road, McAllen.

2003 October . Ground breaking for Texas State Vetrans Home in McAllen.

2003 October 20 . Fire at Main Library in emergency stairwell closes the Library for several days while smoke damage is cleaned.

2004 - Northwest Airlines begins servicing McAllen.

2004 - Simon Property Group paid $17 million for the property at the NE corner of Expressway 83 and Ware Road which later became the Palms Crossing shopping center. The City of McAllen sold it to help pay for the new McAllen Convention Center planned to be just North adjacent to this shopping center development.

2004 December 25 - Snow fell starting late Christmas Eve and lasted on the ground throughout Chrismas morning. This is the first time in recorded history that McAllen had snow on Christmas.

2005 January 11 - Ground breaking for new McAllen Convention Center

2005 _ . Barnes and Noble Bookstore opens in Northcross Mall - the strip mall on the NW corner of 10th Street and Nolana Ave. This is the 3rd national book store chain to have a store in McAllen.

2006 (late in year). Sharyland Crossing Shopping center opens at the NE corner of Shary Road and Expressway 83
a huge HEB store which includes many non-grocery departments and a Target store are anchors.

2007 October - Palms Crossing shopping center becomes populated with upscale stores and restaurants. , BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse followed by P.F. Changs were some of the first to open.

2007 December . Barnes and Noble Bookstore opens a second store in Palms Crossing, the shopping district on the NE corner of Expressway 83 and Ware Road.

2008 July 24 - Hurricane Dolly arrives in Rio Grande Valley - the most destructive winds come from the West, as the eye of the storm travels just at the northern edge of the most heavily populated area of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

2009 Summer - hottest summer on record for McAllen, TX

2010 January McAllen Library totally cuts over to a new web presence at www.mcallenlibrary.net

2010 January 28 - Hastings Books and Music on 4500 N. 10th closes.

2010 February 23 - gun battles between Mexican military and organized drug trafficers in Reynosa and Miguel Aleman result in at least 12 deaths. Law enforcement on the USA side strengthen their presence in case the violence spills across the border.

2010 February 24 - US Consulate in Matamoros closes temporarily due to violence. Recommendation that travel to Reynosa also be curtailed until violence ceases.

2011 December 10 - the new Main building for McAllen Public Library opens. Located on the NW corner of Nolana Ave and 23rd Street. It is built in the shell of an old Walmart building and is the largest public library on a single floor in USA.

2011 December - Cook and Jones, merged with Gateway printing and Office Supply close their McAllen store on N. McColl Rd. They maintain their store in Edinburg, TX.

2013 - The building which was the McAllen Main Library - at 601 N. Main St. - has become the McAllen Creative Incubator which offers office space to up and coming artistic endeavor.

2013 May 28 - Jim Darling, is elected Mayor of McAllen. He had been a City Commissioner for 2 terms. He had been the City Attny. for McAllen for many years.

2013 July 2 - Neuhaus Tower (Chase Bank Tower) 200 S. 10th Street - is sold by Brookfield Asset Management (of Toronto, Canada) to Cielo Realty Partners. Cielo plans a major renovation. The building has not had a major renovation since it was constructed in 1980. The 17th (and top) floor, which once was occupied by the Tower Club has been vacant for years.
The building has 17 floors, encloses 238,843 sq ft of space on 9.09 acres. It has an assessed value of just over 9 million dollars.

2014 - McAllen begins to have a Holiday Season parade down Bicentennial Blvd - balloon floats. Traffic signal arms had to be temporarily twisted from across the streets along the balloon parade route to keep them from interfering from the balloon lines. They were restored to their proper position hours later.

2016 November 18 - The Performing Arts Center, opens - at 801 Convention Center Blvd. built on the east side of and next to the Convention Center in what has become to be called the Convention Center District / Crossed Palms Shopping district (Ware Road and Expressway 83 - now Interstate 2). It was built at a cost of $44.9 million It has 1800 seats and 93741 gross square feet.
A number of hotels were built between McAllen Convention Center and the Palms Crossing shopping district stores.

2017 - City of McAllen election year - 3 are running for Mayor - incumbent Jim Darling - Othal Brand (Jr) - and ___ - 2 slots on the City Commission are also to be decided. in May.

2017 May - Jim Darling was re-elected Mayor of McAllen

2017 November - Richard Cortez, who had been Mayor and after stepping down ran for and won a position on City Commission resigned to run for Hidalgo County Judge (Head of Hidalgo County government)

2017 - December 8 - Snow in McAllen - Air temperature was 34 degrees at surface but colder moist air aloft caused snowfall in mid-morning. At first it did not stick, then it snowed heavier and it came down faster than it could melt on the ground. About 1 inch accumulated before it stopped. It remained for about 2 hours then all melted. By 4:00 PM It cleared off to a sunny afternoon with no trace of any precipitation of any sort.

2018 February 8 - 12 Railroad tracks replaced and much improved in McAllen. Much equipment from Northern Pacific RR was used replacing much track (rails) and generally improving it.

update 7 September 2013 - 5 Dec 2016 - 15 March 2017 - 4 Jan 2018 - 19 Feb 2018
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