Heidelberg is on Farm Road 1425 five miles northeast of Mercedes in eastern Hidalgo County. It was founded in 1921 by a German named Groshauser, who subdivided forty acres hoping to make a profit as a land speculator. He advertised his community in northern German-language newspapers and in Texas German communities and lured prospective landowners by promising a railroad line from Heidelberg to Mercedes. A few German families moved there, but Groshauser fled the area, and most of the settlers soon left as well. Upon their departure the bulk of the land was purchased by the Schwarz family and inhabited by Mexican-American farmworkers. During the early 1930s Benjamín García opened a general store at Heidelberg, and the town had a one-room schoolhouse that was eventually owned by the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville. The school also later served as the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and as a county food-distribution center. García closed the general store in 1965. By the 1970s Heidelberg was populated mostly by migrant farmworkers and was basically a colonia, because of its lack of resources and community services. In 1990 Heidelberg comprised about five blocks and a population estimated at 100. By 2000 the population had increased to 1,586.
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Heidelberg by the Numbers
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|1,507||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|1,870||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|1,725||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|1,586||2000||United States Census Bureau|