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SANTA ROSA, TX

SANTA ROSA, TEXAS. Santa Rosa is at the intersection of Farm Road 506 and State Highway 107, six miles north of La Feria in Cameron County. It takes its name from the old Santa Rosa Ranch that Charles Stillman operated there in the 1860s. A post office operated in the area from 1859 until 1861, presumably due to use of the ranch during the Civil War as a way station for cotton export. The community began to develop in 1913, when William H. Foster settled there and wrote to friends in the north who followed him. Another post office was established in 1927. The first store in Santa Rosa was a grocery and market run by a Mrs. McAllister in the front of her home. Soon after, three more stores opened. The La Feria Water District's irrigation system supplied water to area farmers. A small frame building served as a school house, and the first Methodist church services were conducted under a mesquite tree. In the early 1920s a brick school building was constructed. It was still in use in 1990. The First Baptist Church was organized in 1923. In 1927 the Southern Pacific Railroad built a depot. The next year the new highway from Santa Rosa to La Feria was dedicated, and Santa Rosa acquired a newspaper and a new high school building. St. Mary's Catholic Church began in 1937, when Monsignor Gronotte, pastor of La Feria's St. Francis Xavier Church, built the building that was used until the late 1980s, when a new sanctuary and several school rooms were added. The old building is still used for various occasions. Santa Rosa also has a Mexican Baptist Church, a Templo Samaria, and a Templo Bethel. In 1936 Santa Rosa had twenty-two businesses and a population of over 400. In 1929 the town was incorporated, and Tom R. Gibson was mayor. In 1945 Santa Rosa had an iron works, a waterworks, a hardware store, a feed and seed store, and a population of 224. During the 1950s the population increased to 400 and in the 1960s to 1,572. In 1985 Santa Rosa had a population of 1,889 and eighteen businesses. In 1990 it had ten businesses and a population of 2,223. The population grew to 2,833 in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Marilyn M. Sibley, "Charles Stillman," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 77 (October 1973). J. Lee and Lillian J. Stambaugh, The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1954).

Dorothy Noblett Fleming

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Dorothy Noblett Fleming, "SANTA ROSA, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjs09), accessed April 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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