The City of Rio Grande City officially turned 25 this month. Mayor Joel Villarreal took time observe the occasion at the regular meeting of the city commission held on Wednesday, May 9, at commission chambers.
Also recognized at the meeting was the Rio Grande City Main Street program for receiving national accreditation by the Texas Mainstream Program. A full video of the meeting is available for viewing online.
According to the May 6, 1993 edition of the Rio Grande Herald newspaper, on Saturday, May 1, 1993 Starr County residents voted by roughly a 4-3 margin that Rio Grande City should be incorporated as a city. According to the Texas State Historical Association, although the most recent incorporation of the city was just twenty years ago, Rio Grande City, is one of the oldest settlements in South Texas. It was originally part of the Carnestolendas Ranch, established in 1762 by José Antonio de la Garza Falcón in the Spanish colony of José de Escandón. Almost 170 years later, in August 1926 residents voted for incorporation for the first time, but the city went into debt during the Great Depression, and residents voted to unincorporate in May 1933.