Balli Tijerina, Carlos Manuel (1889–1947)

By: Herminia Ballí de Chavana

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Carlos Ballí, physician, was born on November 23, 1889, in Reynosa, Tamaulipas. He studied in the Colegio civil in Monterrey, Nuevo León. His father was a poor shoemaker in Reynosa. Ballí moved to McAllen, Texas, to practice medicine in 1918; the Mexican Revolution and a severe epidemic of Spanish influenza were in progress. He had the support of doctors J. G. Harrison and Frank E. Osborn. He rode on horseback through high waters to attend the sick and the needy. After many nights without sleep, constant closing of schools, and interruptions by war, he was able to finish medical school and obtain his M.D. degree on September 2, 1918, in Mexico City. Two months later he took his medical examination in Austin, Texas, and passed with high honors. He settled in 1920 in McAllen, where he established a clinic and pharmacy on the corner of Seventeenth Street and Beaumont Avenue with the help of Victorino Garza Chapa. Ballí was the first Hispanic doctor to practice in McAllen. On April 18, 1921, he married Elenita García Cerón of Actopan, Hidalgo, Mexico. Elenita gave anaesthesia to patients and also took X rays. Ballí died on May 26, 1947, and was buried in the cemetery El Panteón del Roble.

Octavio García, Otros Días (Westford, Massachusetts: Grey Home Press, 1984).
  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans

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

Herminia Ballí de Chavana, “Balli Tijerina, Carlos Manuel,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 18, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994

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