Salomé Ballí was born in Mexico in 1831 and lived in Cameron County, Texas. She was a descendant of one of the early owners of the Santa Anita land grant, which included the McAllen Ranch. In 1848 she married John Young; they expanded the ranch and had a son before John died in 1859. In 1860, at age twenty-nine, Salomé owned $100,000 in real property and $25,000 in personal property. At that time she was one of four individuals born in Mexico enumerated in a group of 263 "wealthy Texans." Some of her contemporaries in Cameron County included J. Cabaza, Juan N. Cabaza, Juan San Román, John V. Singer, and Charles Stillman.