OLMITO, TEXAS. Olmito is off U.S. highways 77 and 83 two miles northwest of Brownsville in southern Cameron County. The Olmito post office opened in 1905. A station was established in the area in 1911, when the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway was constructed. In 1914 the community had a population estimated at fifty, a post office, a grocery store, and a cotton gin. The next year a school was also in operation in the town. The post office closed in 1918 and reopened in 1925. In 1933 Olmito had a population estimated at seventy-five and seven businesses. The population remained at seventy-five through 1948, when there were two businesses in the area. By 1950 the town had a population of 150 and six businesses, and in 1952 the population was 200. During the 1960s a colonia developed northwest of Olmito. In 1970 the Olmito Independent School District was consolidated with the Los Fresnos Independent School District. The population of Olmito remained at 200.
Since the 1980s Olmito has received attention because of John Lennon Memorial Park, which is leased to the county at a dollar a year by the McNamara brothers because Lennon "did a great deal to promote peace and world harmony." The park holds an annual celebration in conjunction with Earth Day and another on Lennon's birthday.
By 2000 the population of Olmito had increased to 1,198 with forty-one businesses. Olmito is Spanish for "little elm."
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Alicia A. Garza, "OLMITO, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlo15), accessed December 10, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.