kids encyclopedia robot

Weslaco, Texas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Weslaco, Texas
City of Weslaco
Downtown Weslaco
Downtown Weslaco
Hidalgo County Weslaco.svg
Country  United States of America
State  Texas
County Flag of Hidalgo County, Texas.png Hidalgo
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor David Suarez
Gregory P. Kerr
Leo Munoz
Leticia "Letty" Lopez
Gerardo "Jerry" Tafolla
Olga Noriega
Fidel Peña
 • City Manager Mike Perez
Area
 • Total 12.8 sq mi (33.0 km2)
 • Land 12.7 sq mi (32.9 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation
79 ft (24 m)
Population
 (2014)
 • Total 37,601
 • Density 2,123.1/sq mi (819.7/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
78596, 78599
Area code(s) 956
FIPS code 48-77272
GNIS feature ID 1349656

Weslaco is a city in Hidalgo County, Texas. The population was estimated to be at 37,601 as of the 2014 United States Census. It is located at the southern tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley and is part of the Southern United States. It is near the Rio Grande, across the border from the Mexican city of Nuevo Progreso, Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, and is about 59 miles (95 km) west of South Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico.

Weslaco derives its name from the W.E. Stewart Land Company. It was the hometown of Harlon Block, one of the Marines photographed raising the flag at Iwo Jima, and of film and television actor David Spielberg.

Streets north of the railroad tracks have Spanish names, and streets south of the railroad tracks bear names in English as a consequence of a 1921 municipal ordinance which declared that land north of the tracks be reserved for Hispanic residences and businesses, and land south of the tracks be reserved for “Anglo” residences and businesses. During World War II, sandbag production reached a peak in Weslaco, and the town declared itself the "sandbagging capital of the world."

Weslaco is part of the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission and Reynosa–McAllen metropolitan areas.

History

The present location of Weslaco was originally part of the Llano Grande land grant to Juan José Ynojosa de Ballí in 1790. After Ynojosa's death the grant was allocated to his children. Manuela and María received the land on which Weslaco is located today. The Ballí family ranched and maintained ownership of the land until 1852. In 1904, the Hidalgo and San Miguel extension of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway made its way to the site. It was promoted by Uriah Lott, Lon C. Hill, Jr. and others interested in developing the area through farming as opposed to ranching. The American Rio Grande Land and Irrigation Company of neighboring Mercedes purchased a major portion of the Llano Grande grant and platted the West Tract in 1913. In an effort to control raids from Mexico, the United States government stationed troops along the Rio Grande in 1916. A camp was established at the Llano Grande railroad depot. This camp was located between Mercedes and the current site of Weslaco. A watchtower was constructed at Progreso by these troops.

On December 14, 1917, the irrigation company sold 30,000 acres at ninety dollars an acre to the W. E. Stewart Land Company. The town name Weslaco was derived from this company’s name. The Stewart Company later sold the town site to Ed C. Couch, Dan R. Couch, R. C. Couch, and R. L. Reeves. The site was surveyed and platted on September 18, 1919, by H. E. Bennett, a civil engineer hired by Ed Couch and R. L. Reeves, whose partners, fearing failure, had backed out of the venture. Nearby communities circulated flyers discouraging settlement at the proposed town. Nevertheless, the sale of lots was held on December 8–10, 1919. Prices ranged from $50 to $400 per lot. To make a claim, individuals had to choose a lot and camp on it until the day of the sale. Lots were given away free to church groups. Three cars were also given away as promotion during the sale.

Geography

Weslaco is located at 26°9′33″N 97°59′15″W / 26.15917°N 97.9875°W / 26.15917; -97.9875 (26.159130, -97.987374).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.8 square miles (33 km2), of which 12.7 square miles (33 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.55%) is water.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Weslaco has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. The average high in January is 71 °F and the average low is 49 °F. The average high is 97 °F and the average low is 76 °F in August. The warm season is extremely long, as average high temperatures from May through September are above 90 °F (32 °C) and average low temperatures are above 70 °F (21 °C), with relatively high dew point values resulting in higher relative humidity values and heat index values. Heat index values can consistently reach over 100 °F during these months.

Average annual precipitation is only 24.89 inches (632 mm). Most precipitation occurs in the warm season, with the least precipitation distinctly occurring in the cooler winter. As September is the peak of the north Atlantic hurricane season and tropical storms and hurricanes occasionally drop copious amounts of rainfall on the region, this month tends to be by far the wettest, averaging 4.92 inches (125 mm) of rain. The driest month is March, with only 1.06 inches (27 mm) of precipitation. Weslaco has had an average annual snowfall of 0.1 inches over the last 30 years. The record snowfall was 3.00 inches (76 mm) on December 25, 2004.

Temperatures are frequently above 100 °F (38 °C), occasionally as early as February and as late as the end of October, the highest temperature ever recorded in Weslaco is 110 °F (43 °C), once in 1998 and once in 1999. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Weslaco is 13 °F (−11 °C), on January 12, 1962.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 4,879
1940 6,883 41.1%
1950 7,514 9.2%
1960 15,649 108.3%
1970 15,313 −2.1%
1980 19,331 26.2%
1990 21,877 13.2%
2000 26,935 23.1%
2010 35,670 32.4%
Est. 2015 39,474 10.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

According to the census of 2000, there were 26,935 people, 8,295 households, and 6,602 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,123.1 people per square mile (819.5/km²). There were 10,230 housing units at an average density of 806.4 per square mile (311.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 14.92% White, 0.27% African American, 0.49% Native American, 1.14% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 20.93% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 83.76% of the population.

There were 8,295 households out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.4% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.21 and the average family size was 3.68.

In the city, the population was spread out with 31.8% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,573, and the median income for a family was $29,215. Males had a median income of $24,202 versus $19,688 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,235. About 26.5% of families and 30.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.6% of those under age 18 and 23.5% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Highways

  • I-2.svg Interstate 2 travels through Weslaco.
  • US 83.svg U.S. 83 travels through Weslaco as its major east-west artery.

Airports

Private air services are accommodated by the Weslaco Mid Valley Airport. Commercial flights are available at the nearby McAllen Miller International Airport, or the Valley International Airport in Harlingen.

Museum

The Weslaco Museum has exhibits and hosts events for local residents to maintain pride and appreciation of their history and culture. The museum strives to be an educational and informational resource for the City of Weslaco.

Parks

Weslaco is home to one of the nine sites of the World Birding Center in the Rio Grande Valley. The site is located within the Estero Llano Grande State Park. Visitors can enjoy bird walks, butterfly walks, dragonfly walks, and the electric tram nature tour. The park is also available for school programs and field trips.

The Valley Nature Center is a six-acre park and environmental education center that focuses on the plants and animals of the Rio Grande Valley.

City parks

The City of Weslaco Parks & Recreation Department maintains six city parks, and three public swimming pools. The parks host parades, festivals, holiday programs, special gatherings, and dedications. The department coordinates cultural programs, leisure activities, and events for citizens. Perennial and summer recreation programs are coordinated with residents, athletic organizations, and schools. Weslaco has several baseball and softball leagues as well as little league and soccer.

Tourism

Weslaco is a popular Winter Texan destination and a gateway between Texas and Mexico. Weslaco offers a great tropical environment with just the right touch of history and culture. In the summer months many travelers come to the area to visit the lower Texas coast and the beaches of South Padre Island. Many Mexican vacationers visit the Texas Valley and stay or maintain homes in Weslaco and surrounding communities.

Weslaco San Pius X Catholic Church
San Pius X Catholic Church

Images for kids

kids search engine
Weslaco, Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.