El Gato, six miles east of Hidalgo in southern Hidalgo County, became a stop on the San Benito and Rio Grande Valley Railway when the Santa Maria (Kern) to Sammons segment was constructed in 1925–26. El Gato was named for the Spanish land grant, Porcion Agostadero del Gato, assigned to Juan José Treviño. A platform existed beside the railroad stop, but no settlement developed there beyond a modest cluster of houses for laborers on nearby farms. The surrounding area was served by mail routes out of nearby Alamo and Donna. The San Benito and Rio Grande Valley Railway was absorbed by the Missouri Pacific system in 1956, and the segment including El Gato was abandoned in 1957. The railroad right-of-way was absorbed by the adjoining farms, leaving no evidence of the former train stop. A small colonia bearing the name of El Gato exists two miles south of Texas Highway Loop 374 on El Gato Road. Although the two El Gatos both lie within the land grant of that name, they have no other relationship.
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