Back in the 1850's,  a young  Scott by  the name  of John  McAllen settled in what is now the town of Hidalgo. His good friend, John Young, also  settled in  this area  and soon  married into  a wealthy local family. Young soon thereafter died and John McAllen married Young's widow in 1862. John McAllen was no poor man to start with; however, with the combined wealth of his newfound bride  he became one of the  richest man  in the  area. Over  the next  few years, he continuously increased his land holdings to about 80,000 acres by 1904. It was at this time that he founded  a town  which he called West McAllen. At the same time another land developer, James Briggs  purchased from Sheriff Closner 8000 acres at the price of $ 3 an acre and founded East McAllen.  At this  time the  area was  still being  plagued  by  bandits  and  cattle  rustlers  but Sheriff  Closner reportedly soon established law and order  without the  use of  a gun.

McAllen, spurred on by the arrival of the Railroad in 1905, continued to grow and was finally incorporated in  1911.   By 1916  McAllen's population  totaled  about  1000.   The local  economy got  an incredible boost when 12,000 Soldiers where sent  here to  protect the local population from Revolutionary and  Counterrevolutionary activities in Mexico.

In 1936 McAllen  became the  first city  in the  world  to  deliver mail  across an  International border  by rocket. The project soon came to a halt when  rockets started  to crash in the streets of Reynosa;, however, of over 1500 pieces  of mail which were sent in this manner 952  made it  across the  Rio Grande intact.

 

Today McAllen is one  of the  most important  Gateway Cities  to Mexico and ranks among the top ten of the  fastest growing  areas in the United  States with  it's reputation  of eternal  springtime, easy living and tons of entertainment. Called the "City of Palms", McAllen not  only attracts  foreign businesses  and retirees  who spend the winter here, but also tourists from  the northern  part of the United States and Canada who make McAllen their last  stop before entering Mexico. However, McAllen is not only a Gateway city to Mexico but also a very popular destination for  Tour groups  from both sides of the border who continuously come to  visit the many interesting sites the Rio Grande Valley has to offer.
 

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