Edinburg, the Hidalgo county seat, is on U.S. Highway 281 and State Highway 107 in the south central part of the county. It is part of the McAllen, Pharr, Edinburg metropolitan area. Hidalgo, on the Rio Grande, was the original county seat. John Closner and William Briggs, who had land-development projects in the vicinity of Chapin, seventeen miles north of Hidalgo, made Chapin county seat. The townsite was named after Dennis B. Chapin, another of its promoters. Chapin's involvement in a homicide caused a change of name in 1911 to Edinburg, in honor of the birthplace in Scotland of John Young. The town grew slowly to some 800 inhabitants by 1915 and remained unincorporated until 1919. During its early years it served a ranching community, but the arrival of irrigation in 1915 initiated an agricultural economy. Edinburg quickly became a center for buying and processing cotton, grain, and citrus produce. Other economic developments before World War II included vegetable, sorghum, corn, sugarcane, and poultry (eggs) industries. After the war the economy diversified further to include peach and melon production, food-processing plants, cabinetry, oilfield equipment, concrete products, agricultural chemicals, and corrugated boxes. In the 1970s tourism increased significantly.
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