El Indio is two miles east of the Rio Grande and seventeen miles southeast of Eagle Pass in southwestern Maverick County. It is probably named for nearby Indio Creek. In the early 1850s William L. Cazneau established his ranch on the northern portion of the Antonio Rivas grant, where the town was later established. By 1880 the Cazneau Ranch had become the Indio Ranch; a post office called Indio was established that year ten miles south of the present site of El Indio. At this time the site was also known as Presidio or Indio Ranch. The post office at Indio, where Charles S. Murphy was postmaster, was discontinued in 1884; that year the community had an estimated thirty residents, weekly mail, and a general store owned by Humphries and Walker.

In 1902 the firm Goldfrank and Frank promoted colonization and irrigation to cultivate alfalfa and cotton at Indio Ranch. It is believed that Francisco Madero launched his revolution against the regime of Porfirio Díaz from the Indio Ranch sometime in 1910; incidents of cattle thievery, gun running, and military operations took place in and around the area throughout the Mexican Revolution. In 1928 the Indio Cattle Company, owners of the Indio Ranch, offered lots amounting to 20,000 acres of the ranch for sale. Advertising touted the farming potential that would be realized once the Maverick County Canal system reached the ranch. A highway, which was Farm Road 1021 in 1989, was constructed from Eagle Pass to Laredo in the early 1930s. It split the farming district of the ranch and paved the way for the development of El Indio at its present location. Irrigation waters via the county canal system reached the area in March 1938. A post office was established in El Indio in 1939 with Joseph Henry Ulery as postmaster. In 1941 the community had an estimated population of seventy-five and three businesses. The estimated population of the community remained steady throughout the 1940s and early 1950s; it rose to 370 in 1956 and 380 by 1964. In 1968 it was 148; the same figure was reported in 1990, when the community had a hotel, a school, a community center, a factory, and two businesses. In 2000 the population was 263 with two businesses.

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Ruben E. Ochoa | © TSHA

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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.

Belongs to

Presidio is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Presidio is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [Precidio]
  • (Indio)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated