The first oil well in the United States was drilled in Texas in 1859. The discovery of oil transformed the economy of the state and helped to make Texas one of the wealthiest states in the nation.
Hidalgo County, located in Southern Texas, has a rich history that spans back thousands of years. The region was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Coahuiltecan, Karankawa, and Caddo peoples. These tribes thrived in the area, relying on agriculture, hunting, fishing, and trade.

In the 16th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the region, bringing new settlers and establishing missions. During this time, the land belonged to Spain and was considered a part of New Spain. The Spanish influence can still be seen today in the names of many cities and landmarks in Hidalgo County.

In the 19th century, Mexico gained independence from Spain and Hidalgo County became part of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. However, with the Texas Revolution in 1836, the region became a part of the Republic of Texas and was eventually incorporated into the United States with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Hidalgo County experienced significant growth due to the expansion of the railroad industry and the development of irrigation techniques. This led to the establishment of prosperous agricultural communities, with cotton being the main cash crop. Over time, the population became increasingly diverse, with a mix of Mexican, Anglo-American, and other immigrant communities.

Today, Hidalgo County is a thriving region known for its vibrant culture, strong agricultural industry, and close proximity to the US-Mexico border. It is home to cities such as McAllen and Edinburg, as well as popular tourist attractions like the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and the International Museum of Art and Science. The county continues to evolve, with a growing population and a dynamic economy driven by healthcare, education, manufacturing, and international trade.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Hidalgo County, Texas.

  • 1749 - The area that is now Hidalgo County is explored by Spanish explorers.
  • 1767 - The Spanish government establishes a settlement called Reynosa in the area.
  • 1821 - Mexico gains independence from Spain, and Hidalgo County becomes a part of Mexico.
  • 1836 - Texas declares independence from Mexico, and Hidalgo County becomes a part of the Republic of Texas.
  • 1848 - The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed, ending the Mexican-American War, and Hidalgo County becomes a part of the United States.
  • 1852 - Hidalgo County is officially established as a county in the state of Texas.
  • 1909 - The city of McAllen is founded.
  • 1944 - The Hidalgo County Courthouse, a historic landmark, is completed.
  • 1954 - The Hidalgo County Water Improvement District No. 4 is created to provide irrigation and drainage services.
  • 1970 - The population of Hidalgo County reaches over 200,000.
  • 2001 - The new Hidalgo County Administration Building opens.