Antonio García Valverde, business and civic leader, the son of Laurenano García Jáuregui and Albina Valverde Longoria, was born in 1859 in Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. His parents were descendants of Spanish colonists in Camargo and in Starr County, Texas. García Valverde received his education in the Camargo public schools, and on June 10, 1883, he married Antonia García Peña. They had ten children. Although García Valverde had a mercantile store in Camargo, he and his family lived at the Santa Gertrudis Ranch, which he had inherited from his grandfather, Antonio García Gutiérrez. Due to the impending Mexican Revolution and a severe drought that killed all his livestock, he and his family moved to Texas in 1905 to live with relatives and to seek work with the American Rio Grande Land and Irrigation Company. They lived in tents and later adobe houses in Mercedes until homes were built for the new residents. In 1913 García Valverde opened a mercantile establishment which sold groceries, dry goods, and general farming and ranching tools and included a drugstore and a movie theater. It was one of the largest general stores in the Rio Grande valley and served all the small communities near Mercedes. In 1927 the store burned in one of the largest fires Mercedes had seen. A second store was built in 1928. García Valverde also farmed 100 acres of land, planting cotton, corn, vegetables, and castor beans. He was an active member of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church since its dedication in 1907. He died in Mercedes on October 25, 1917, and was buried in the family cemetery plot.