Indio is on Spencer Creek, the Rio Grande, and Farm Road 170, twelve miles west of Presidio in southern Presidio County. The settlement, called at different times Paloma Ranch, Spencer's Rancho, and Indio Ranch, began after 1854 when John W. Spencer settled there and began raising horses, and later, cattle and vegetables. By 1908 the small farming community had built a school and hired B. T. Briggs to teach. In 1911 Juan de la Cruz Machuca, the first Hispanic graduate of Marfa High School, passed the state examination for teacher certification and became the teacher at Indio. The farmland around Indio became more productive in 1917 after Esteban Ochoa directed an irrigation project there. In 1918 Indio farmers began growing cotton, and by 1924 Ochoa had built a cotton gin to process their crops. During the Mexican Revolution, the United States Army stationed an infantry platoon at Indio. On December 3, 1917, Mexican bandits fired on the platoon from across the river and wounded a soldier. The United States soldiers crossed the river and retaliated, killing twelve bandits. As late as 1928 the area around Indio was patrolled. In 1939 Indio reported a population of forty, two businesses, and a school.
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