City History


Then and now The Alamo area was originally part of a land grant from Mexico. Every tract of land had such colorful names as El Gato Grant (the pasture of the cat), Los Torritos Grant (pasture of the bulls) and the Santa Anna Grant.

The whole area combined was identified by the cottonwood trees along the river-front and became the "Alamo Pasture," for "Alamo" is a Spanish word for the cottonwood tree.

In 1902 P. Blalock and G.L.Hawkins started to consolidate the entire Alamo Grant by purchasing lands, which they eventually sold to John T. Beamer. Several financiers, represented by Mr. Beamer, organized a stock company and formed the Alamo Land and Sugar Company. The subsequent growing of sugar cane gave this area its first economical boost.

In 1914, Charles T. Knapp, Nick Doffling and C. H. Swallow began to colonize the area, which resulted in a town site three years later. Several attempts to name the town in honor of C.H. Swallow failed, and "Alamo" came into being.

In 1924 the community incorporated the town and Frank Denzer, originally from Minnesota and who migrated south in 1918 to improve the ill health of his wife, became the first mayor of Alamo. The major challenge to the city officials in those times was to keep the streets usable during the rainy season. This task took community effort, and was accomplished through volunteer efforts of loyal citizens.

Since those humble beginnings Alamo has grown tremendously due to the hard work of its citizens, and presents itself today as one of the jewels among the towns along the Rio Grande.

Originally, in the late 1700s and early 1800s, this area was heavily populated with deer, coyote, quail and rattlesnakes along with cattle ranches and sugar cane fields. It wasn't until the early 1900s that most of the brush and cattle were cleared and the town of Alamo was incorporated. The land was opened to farmers from the Midwest and to thousands of homeseekers from the south of the border. Our ranching and farming heritage along with the flow of immigrants from the south results in a unique and enjoyable blend of customs and cultures.

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Parades and floats bear strong testimony to the place in Texas history that Alamo and the Rio Grande Valley proudly lay claim to.