Mercedes is a city in Hidalgo County, Texas. The population was 15,570 at the 2010 United States Census. It is part of the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission and Reynosa–McAllen metropolitan areas.
|City of Mercedes|
Downtown Mercedes in August 2010.
|Nickname(s): "The Queen City"|
|Motto: "It Starts Here!"|
Location of Mercedes, Texas
|Coordinates: 26°8′58″N 97°55′7″W|
Mercedes is known as "The Queen City of the Valley" or "La Reina del Valle". The city of Mercedes was founded September 15, 1907, by the American Rio Grande Land & Irrigation Company, and was incorporated March 8, 1909. It is one of the oldest towns in the Rio Grande Valley, and the city celebrated its centennial in 2007.
The city was located in Capisallo Pasture, part of Capisallo Ranch owned by Jim Welles. This location was known as the Pear Orchard because of the vast numbers of prickly pear cactus growing there at that time.
Some sources state that the original name given to the city was Diaz in honor ofPorfirio Diaz, then president of Mexico. Later it was renamed Mercedes Diaz in honor of the president's wife and from that, Mercedes became the Queen City. This story, however, is historically inaccurate, given that neither of Diaz's two wives were named Mercedes.
General Zachary Taylor's headquarters was to the southeast of Mercedes near the river. There the old Rabb Ranch was famous for its stagecoach stop and riverboat landing for the riverboats that plied the Rio Grande carrying supplies to the settlements and military installations.
The old Toluca Ranch still stands east of the International Bridge at Progreso, the sister city to the south. This ranch was close to the river and a prized target for the bandidos during the days of Pancho Villa. It was built with many secret rooms and passages and heavy wooden shutters on the windows to protect its residents.
The Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets, owned by Chelsea Property Group which is a brand ofSimon Property Group, opened on November 2, 2006. The city is roughly the geographical center of the Rio Grande Valley urban agglomeration and is located on Interstate 2/U.S. Highway 83, which connects the major urban centers of Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen. The city is located near a major Mexico – United States border crossing making it accessible to the growing middle class population of Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.
Mercedes Memorial Library serves Mercedes.