El Sauz

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Promotion: Nearby Map of Starr County

El Sauz is on Farm roads 3167 and 649, some sixteen miles north of Rio Grande City and thirteen miles north of Garceño in Starr County. It was one of the original 1753 settlements of José de Escandón's pioneers. Its name means weeping willow in Spanish; it may have been named after nearby El Sauz Creek, now known as Los Olmos Creek. In the early 1880s El Sauz was a ranch community on a rural mail route from Rio Grande City. During his flight to the Mexican border in 1901, Gregorio Cortez, renowned fugitive, was captured at El Sauz by Capt. John H. Rogers of the Texas Rangers. In the late 1940s the community had several farm units, a population of twenty-five, and a school. In 1991 it had two general stores and gas stations, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, and a population of eighty-five; four miles east was a Southwest Tethered Aerostat System balloon, 233 feet long and 15,000 feet up in the air, which was visible over the entire county. The balloon supported a warning system that was designed to locate airplanes crossing the border between the Gulf of Mexico and Laredo for United States Customs, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration. It was one of six such balloons tethered along the southern United States border from El Sauz to Yuma, Arizona. In 2000 the population was fifty.

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Dick D. Heller, Jr. | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Adopted by: Dora Lydia Barrera Mathis and Verónica Barrera
Adoption Message: In honor of our Barrera Family
Until: May 21st, 2025

Belongs to

El Sauz is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

El Sauz is classified as a Town


Latitude: 26.57394700
Longitude: -98.87169530

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2014