San Juan

San Juan is on Farm Road 1426 and State Highway Spur 374, about six miles northeast of McAllen in south central Hidalgo County. The townsite is on land that was part of two Spanish grants made in 1767 to Narciso Cabazos and to José María Ballí. The grantees and their heirs occupied the land well into the 1850s, most likely working as subsistence farmers and cattle and sheep ranchers. San Juan was organized in 1909 by John Closner and was reportedly named for him. The town was incorporated on December 29, 1917, and in 1918 a school building was built there; previously classes had been held in the homes of local residents. The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, established on March 24, 1919, encompassed all of the schools in San Juan. In 1922 the city invested $42,000 for a new waterworks, and in 1924 a cotton compress, a cannery, and a cotton gin were constructed there. The population was estimated at 1,203 in 1925. In 1945 San Juan had the largest plant in the South for the manufacture of concrete pipe for irrigation drainage; at that time it also had citrus fruit and vegetable packing houses, a shippers' equipment manufacturing plant, and an iron foundry. The community was also known as the home of the Bougainvillea Trail of Texas. In 1945 the community reported forty-seven businesses and a population of 2,264. The Virgen de San Juan del Valle Shrine was constructed there in 1954 and immediately attracted many pilgrims and tourists. The community's population was estimated at 4,371 in 1960. During the mid-1960s the town reported ten churches, three schools, two hospitals, a library, a bank, a newspaper, and a new shopping center. In 1972 the town reported eighty businesses and a population of 5,070.

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

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San Juan is classified as a Town


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San Juan by the Numbers

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Population Counts

San Juan
Pop. Year Source
35,294 2020 United States Census Bureau
38,110 2019 Texas Demographic Center
33,856 2010 United States Census Bureau
26,229 2000 United States Census Bureau
12,561 1990 United States Census Bureau
7,608 1980 United States Census Bureau
5,070 1970 United States Census Bureau
4,371 1960 United States Census Bureau
3,413 1950 United States Census Bureau
2,264 1940 United States Census Bureau
1,615 1930 United States Census Bureau
1,203 1920 United States Census Bureau