Del Rio is a city in and the county seat of Val Verde County, Texas . As of 2012, the city had a population of 35,543. Del Rio is connected with Ciudad Acuña via the Lake Amistad Dam International Crossing and Del Río – Ciudad Acuña International Bridge. Del Rio is also home to Laughlin Air Force Base.
|City of Del Rio|
The Spanish established a small settlement south of the Rio Grande in present-day Mexico, and some Spaniards settled on what became the United States side of the Rio Grande as early as the 18th century. U.S. development on the north shore of the Rio Grande did not begin until after the American Civil War.
The San Felipe Springs, about 8 mi (13 km) east of the Rio Grande on the U.S. side of the border, produces 90×106 US gal (340,000 m3) of water a day. Developers acquired several thousand acres of land adjacent to the springs, and to San Felipe Creek formed by the springs, from the State of Texas in exchange for building a canal system to irrigate the area. The developers sold tracts of land surrounding the canals to recover their investment and show a profit. The initial investors (William C. Adams, John P. Grove, Donald Jackson, John Perry, Joseph Ney, Randolph Pafford, A. O. Strickland, and James H Taylor) formed the San Felipe Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Irrigation Company in 1868. The organization completed construction of a network of irrigation canals in 1871. Residents referred to the slowly developing town as San Felipe Del Rio because local lore said the name came from early Spanish explorers who offered a Mass at the site on St. Philip's Day, 1635.
In 1883, local residents requested a post office be established. The United States Postal Department shortened "San Felipe del Rio" to "Del Rio" to avoid confusion with San Felipe de Austin. In 1885, Val Verde County was organized and Del Rio became the county seat. The City of Del Rio was incorporated on November 15, 1911.
The San Felipe community was started by the Arteaga family. Arteaga Street and Arteaga Park are named after them.
Many history items from Del Rio, particularly from the 19th century, are preserved at the Whitehead Memorial Museum downtown.
Del Rio is known as the American address of legendary Mexican radio stations XERA and XERF just over the U.S.-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuña; their 500,000-watt signals could be heard at night as far away as Canada. Legendary deejay Wolfman Jack operated XERF in the 1960s, using a Del Rio address to sell various products advertised on the station.
Lake Amistad provides year-round, water-based recreation opportunities, including boating, fishing, swimming, scuba diving and water-skiing, as well as other recreational opportunities for picnicking, camping, and hunting. The area is rich in archeology and rock art, and contains a wide variety of plant and animal life. Del Rio is home to the George Paul Memorial Bullriding, which is the oldest stand-alone bull riding event in the world.
The United League Baseball is looking into placing an expansion franchise in Del Rio for the 2014 season. Home games will be played at Del Rio Bank and Trust Ram Stadium (formerly Roosevelt Park); the stadium is going through a renovation and seating expansion project. A future minor-league baseball stadium is being proposed to be built at the Val Verde Fairground Complex.