Historical Markers of Brooks County, TX

Transcribed by Shirley Cullum for use in the TXGenWeb Project

Brooks County - Falfurrias


Location: Highway 281 about 10 miles south of Falfurrias
Text: Formed from Hidalgo, Starr and Zapata counties, created March 11, 1911; organized September 2, 1911. Named in honor of James Abijah Brooks, Captain of Texas Rangers, 1882-1906, member of Texas Legislature, County Judge, Brooks County since 1911; Falfurrias, the County Seat.

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Brooks County Courthouse - Falfurrias

Marker #523 Location: US 281 - Falfurrias
Text: Created in 1911, Brooks County was named for State Legislator James A. Brooks (1855-1944), who served as the first county judge. Edward C. Lasater, founder of Falfurrias, deeded this courthouse site to the Commissioners Court. County offices occupied rented quarters before construction of this edifice in 1914. The brick courthouse was designed by San Antonio architect Alfred Giles (1853-1920), who planned numerous public buildings in Texas and Northern Mexico. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1977.

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Brooks County's Catholic Heritage - Falfurrias

yellow star Marker #524
Location: W. Blucher and S. Caldwell Streets, Falfurrias
Text: Local geographic names show that the Catholic faith arrived here before 1800. This area was in the Diocese of Monterrey until the Diocese of Texas was formed in 1847. In the new Diocese it was in the Brownsville Parish until transferred to San Diego in 1866. Fathers Claude Jaillet (1843-1929) and Peter Bard (1846-1920) of San Diego traveled this area for about 40 years, ministering on the scattered ranches. In 1904-05 the Mission of San Ysidro (Saint Isidore) was built in Falfurrias. The Rt. Rev. Paul Joseph Nussbaum, first Bishop of Corpus Christi Diocese, erected the Parish of Saint Isidore in 1914. The Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul was built nearby in 1916 for English-speaking communicants. In 1925 the mission was merged with Saint Isidore to form Sacred Heart Church, which is now on Garza Street and renamed Our Lady of Guadalupe. In Brooks County there are also the Church of Saint Anne at Encino and other Catholic facilities and organizations. The school of the Ursuline Sisters prospered for 38 years before closing its doors in 1965. Some mainstays of the church have been Lino Trevino (1857-1935), Charles Premont (1867-1941), J.J. Allan (1871-1943), Mrs. J.T. Maupin (1875-1967), and Mrs. R.E. McBryde (1879-1966).

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Brooks, James Abijah - Falfurrias

yellow star Marker #2712
Location: Falfurrias Cemetery, West Travis Street between US 281 and W. Negri Street, Falfurrias
Text: (Nov. 20, 1855 - Jan. 15, 1944) Illustrious Texas Ranger for whom this county is named. Born in Kentucky; came to Texas 1876; became rancher-trail driver. Served in Texas Rangers 1882-1906. By order of the governor, aided in preventing Fitzsimmons-Maher World Title Prize Fight, El Paso, 1896. Helped solve and halt South Texas cattle thefts. Served in Texas Legislature, 1909-1911; was County Judge of Brooks County, 1911-1939. Married Virginia Wilborn.

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El Encino del Poso (The Oak in the Hole) - Encino

yellow star Marker #1414
Location: from Encino, take OS 281 bus. south about one mile
Text: In this vicinity once stood a magnificent live oak tree that was an early landmark on the South Texas Plains for many years. Noted for its size and its wide canopy, it was located in a large hollow created by livestock that gathered beneath its branches and by winds that eroded the exposed soil. El Encino del Poso was a landmark for early trails and land grants. It also served as the location of a stagecoach station and as the basis for naming Encino (1 mi. N). The tree died in the 1890s, before the formation of Brooks County, the victim of an extended drought.

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Falfurrias - Falfurrias


yellow star Marker #1561
Location: Pioneer Park, at Rice and St. Mary's Streets, Falfurrias (at jct. SH 285 and US 281).
Text: Founded as a cattle shipping point by Edward C. Lasater, 1904, town bears name of a village on land he purchased in 1893. When the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad extended its lines, Lasater (1860-1930) platted present townsite, built a hotel, general store, water and power plants, and cotton gin. He opened area to truck, citrus, and dairy farms. He founded South Texas' first creamery--now widely recognized. A post office, newspaper, churches, and schools were opened. A citrus packing plant was built in 1914. Still later the city became an oil and gas production center.

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First United Methodist Church of Falfurrias - Falfurrias


yellow star Marker #1888
Location: 314 W. Allen Street, Falfurrias (corner of Allen and S. Terrell).
Text: The Rev. C. W. Perkins (1853-1942) organized this congregation in 1904 with 7 charter members. Early services were conducted in temporary quarters including the railroad depot and the 1905 frame schoolhouse, shared by all denominations. In 1906 the Methodists erected their first church building on land donated by Edward C. Lasater (1860-1930), founder of Falfurrias. Damaged by hurricanes in 1916 and 1919 and remodeled in 1935, the frame structure was replaced in 1950 by the present edifice

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Flowella - Falfurrias


yellow star Marker #1925
Location: Pioneer Park, at Rice and St. Mary's Streets, Falfurrias (at jct. SH 285 and US 281).
Text: Founded as a cattle shipping point by Edward C. Lasater, 1904, town bears name of a village on land he purchased in 1893. When the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad extended its lines, Lasater (1860-1930) platted present townsite, built a hotel, general store, water and power plants, and cotton gin. He opened area to truck, citrus, and dairy farms. He founded South Texas' first creamery--now widely recognized. A post office, newspaper, churches, and schools were opened. A citrus packing plant was built in 1914. Still later the city became an oil and gas production center.

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Don Pedro Jaramillo


yellow star Marker #1248
Location: from Falfurrias, take SH 281 north about 1 mile, then FM 1418 east/northeast about 2 miles, then south about .5 mile
Text: Called "The Healer of Los Olmos". Born in Jalisco, Mexico. Said to have been cured through faith, then given the gift of healing in a vision. He came to Los Olmos Ranch in 1881. Many came to him because, unlike other faith healers, he claimed no power of his own, but said that God's healing was released through faith. He made no charges. Patients gave or withheld as they chose. But whatever was given voluntarily he often gave to the poor-- food as well as remedies. He traveled widely to visit the sick. Hundreds gave testimonials of their healings. Llamado "El Curandero de los Olmos". Nacio en Jalisco, Mexico. Se dice que fue curado por la fe, despues recibio el don de curar en una vision. Vino al Ranch de los Olmos en 1881. Muchos venian a el porque, no como otros curanderos, el no reclamaba su propio poder sino decia que el curamiento de Dios era obtenido por la fe. No cobraba. Los pacientes pagaban si querian. Pero lo que se la daba voluntaria--mente, acostumbraba darselo a los pobres--comida tanto como remedios. Viajo extensivamente visitando a los enfermos. Cientos han dado testimonios de sus curamientos.

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Los Olmos - Falfurrias


yellow star Marker #4823
Location: from Falfurrias, take SH 287 N 1 mile, then go E/NE about 2 miles on FM 1418
Text: The first permanent settlement in Brooks County, Los Olmos was located at the southwest corner of El Paisano Land Grant, given to Ramon de la Garza about 1830 by the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Situated near the main route to the Rio Grande, the village served a region settled originally by ranchers from Northern Mexico. By 1880, it had a post office, stores, and a school, which operated until 1945. The schoolhouse was the site of services conducted by traveling priests. As the town of Falfurrias grew, Los Olmos began to decline. Descendants of its founders still reside in this area.

The Historical Marker Information comes from the Texas Historical Commission

Copyright 2005 Shirley Cullum

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