Falfurrias, the county seat and principal trading center of Brooks County, is on State Highway 281 sixty miles southwest of Corpus Christi and ninety miles from Laredo in the northern part of the county. Its founding and development were largely the effort of Edward C. Lasater, pioneer Rio Grande valley rancher and land developer.
The name Falfurrias antedates Anglo association with the area, and its derivation is uncertain. Lasater claimed that it was a Lipan Indian word meaning “the land of Heart’s Delight”; others believed it was the Spanish name for a native desert flower known as the heart’s delight. According to local tradition, the shepherd’s land came to be known as La Mota de Don Falfurrias (la mota meaning “a grove of trees”), which eventually evolved into La Mota de Don Falfurrias and was finally shortened to Falfurrias .
Edward C. Lasater, pioneer Rio Grande valley rancher and land developer, who started a cattle ranch in what was then northern Starr County; his spread came to be known as Falfurrias Ranch, after La Mota de Falfurrias, the grove of trees he chose as the site of his headquarters. Image from Texas Tropical Trail.
A post office under that name began operation in 1898.
To increase settlement in the area Lasater encouraged the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway to extend a line to his ranch. At the railway terminus four miles east of his ranch house he founded Falfurrias; he also changed the name of his ranch to La Mota. His Falfurrias Immigration Company set about attracting settlers by offering subdivided ranch land near the railroad at low prices and advertising extensively in the East and Midwest.
The Falfurrias Facts began publication in 1906. Image from UNT Libraries.
Lasater established a creamery operation in 1909; he imported purebred Jersey dairy cattle to his ranch and eventually built what was said to be the largest Jersey herd in the world. Falfurrias butter is renowned. Image from Texas Standard.
In 1911 the state granted a petition by local residents to form a new county, with Falfurrias as the county seat.
Irrigation, introduced during the late 1920s, brought in truck farming and the citrus fruit industry, with Falfurrias as the shipping center.
The discovery of extensive oil and gas reserves around Falfurrias in the 1930s and 1940s added a new dimension to the town’s growth and prosperity.
The Ed Rachal Memorial Library is a Public library. This library is affiliated with the library system that serves Falfurrias, TX. The collection of the library contains 27406 volumes. The library circulates 25139 items per year. The library serves a population of 7753 residents. Phone: (361) 325-2144 Address: 203 S Calixto Mora Ave, Falfurrias, TX 78355
The Heritage Museum, located right along the famous Chilsom Trail and the Texas Tropical Trail of Texas, is dedicated to the preservation of a frontier heritage in artifacts, relics, records, pictures, maps and personal papers of the early pioneer settlers whose deeds and adventures are so much a part of Texas History. The museum is governed by a Board of Directors. It is supported by donations and subsidized by the City of Falfurrias. The museum is open and free to the public on Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Private tours by appointment. Closed Sunday, Monday and on National and State Holidays. Phone (361) 325-2907.
Located inside the Heritage Museum is the Texas Ranger Room. Over a hundred years ago the Texas Rangers were a shield between the pioneer settlers and a hostile land. Falfurrias was a shield with Company D, Texas Rangers, stationed here as an area headquarters. The Texas Ranger Room is dedicated to the Texas Rangers and their role in the history of Brooks County which was named for a famous Ranger — Captain James Abijah Brooks.
The Ranger Room features original guns, uniforms, records, personal memorabilia and pictures of famous Texas Rangers. The museum is also the home of 100 pairs of boots that were worn by Texas Rangers, including “Big Foot’ Wallace.If you have an ancestor or relative who has served in the Rangers, please send us his name and any information you may have pertaining to the time and place(s) of his service. A ranger roster is maintained here.
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