by Moises Garza

March 22, 2016

Mercedes Texas is the home of many readers of We Are Cousins. It has also been the hometown of many of their ancestors. This past Sunday I had the opportunity to present to the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Genealogical Society in Harlingen Texas.

After my presentation I had the good fortune of meeting Beatrice de Leon Edwards through an introduction by Irma Saldana (reader of We Are Cousins and member of Las Villas del Norte). I was surprised when Beatrice handed me a copy of her book about Mercedes Texas. I promptly recognized the cover and could not help smiling, I was trilled. I know how awesome the books in the Images of America series are, and in front of me was an author of one of them.

The title of her book is “Images of America Mercedes” it is 128 pages and is in black and white, published by Arcadia Publishing since August 25, 2014.

Why am I sharing this book with you? Simply because if you have ancestors from Mercedes Texas you will totally love this book. Beatrice starts her history of Mercedes with general and detailed information about the early Spanish settlers and the land grants that Mercedes now sits on. The book is entirely comprised of images and it contains many portraits which include names.

If your family is or was from Mercedes I highly recommend this book to you. You might just find a few photo’s of your ancestors.

Cover of Book: Images of America Mercedes

Images of America Mercedes

Click here or on the above image to view on

$9.99 Used and $14.18 New Buy Now

Description of book by Amazon:

Mercedes is located in Hidalgo County in South Texas in a geographic area called the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which is really a river delta at the mouth of the Rio Grande River first inhabited by Coahuiltecans. Spanish colonists arrived in this area in 1749 to establish ranching communities. In 1905, the American Rio Grande Land and Irrigation Company purchased land in the Llano Grande Spanish land grant, built Mercedes as a showcase headquarters, constructed the largest irrigation system then known, and proceeded to develop the area through commercialized agriculture. Home of notable author Dr. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, G.I. Forum founder Dr. Hector P. García, Olympic athlete Billy Gene Pemelton, US congressman Rubén Hinojosa, and the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show, Mercedes continues to attract many visitors who seek the mild climate and warm hospitality of the town.

Table of Contents:

Here is the table of contents of this book so that you may know exactly what it contains.

Acknowledgements Pg. 6

Introduction Pg. 7

1. The Early Settlers Pg. 9

2. Founding a Town Pg. 25

3. Building the Community Pg. 65

4. Wars and Natural Disasters Pg. 103

5. The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Pg. 113

About the Author:

Beatrice de León Edwards, EdD, a graduate of the University of Texas Pan American, is a retired educator with an interest in local history. Dr. Edwards has written several historical articles and continues to conduct research for future works. The images for this book have been graciously provided by local townspeople as well as located in museums, libraries, and other local archives.

Get Your Copy of This Book:

There are two places were you can get this book. One is at the publishers website and here is their link:

The other place that you can get a copy is on and here is the link to buy there:

I hope that you find this book useful and informative as I have. Please let me know in the comment area of what you thought about this book.

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About the author 

Moises Garza

This blog is an attempt to document my family and make you aware of resources that I find. I also hope that with this blog I can network with other researchers interested in this region and connect with long lost relatives. To keep up to date with this blog follow us with RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Contact me at

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