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Brownsville herald. [volume] (Brownsville, Tex.) 1910-current, June 10, 1928, Image 10

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86063730/1928-06-10/ed-1/seq-10/

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Citrus Trees Replac
ing Mesquite and
Cactus on Big Acre
age North of Donna
Materialization of tn ambition
which had its inception over fifteen
years ago is being achieved by J. C.
tngleman. Valley developer, who it
rapidly transforming a large acreage
of extremely fertile land on the
Mestenas tract, in the unirrigated sec
tion twelve miles due north of
I)onna, from a brushland wilderness
into an agricultural area that has
been pronounced without peer in the
Over 7,000 acres comprise this de
velopment which has been accom
plished with a speed that is surpris
ing to even the residents of the
Lower Rio Grande Valley, for years
accustomed to rapid development of
the virgin soil.
Less than two years ago that sec
tion of the Mestenas tract comprising
the Engleman holdings was a wilder
ness of mesquite, cactus and tangled j
thickets of underbrush, penetrated
by a few senderos and game trails, a
favored haunt of Mexican lions and
Today the vast acreage is a shim
mering sea of verdue, the dark foli
age of citrus against a background of j
cover crops and cotton fields, reflect*
ing the Valley sunlight as the breere
sways the trees, forms a picture that |
must be seen to be appreciated. Over j
1500 acres have been planted to
citrus fruit, the trees proving by the
dark green of their foliage and the
per month
per $1,000.00
If you want
to Build,
Buy, j
the Loan
Your Home |
and can j
pay as
much as
per $1,000.00
of principal
See j
Underwood i
j <
Spivey-Kow&Jaki Bldg.
407 Eleventh St.
: I
Telephone 183 ‘
' ;f' m
sturdiness of the trunks and branches
the unsurpassed fertility of the soil.
Every acre of citrus also bears a
cover crop of cowpeas, which is daily
adding fertility to the soil and has
tening the growth of the young or
chards. Over 2,000 acres have been
planted to cotton, the plants loaded
with fruit which indicate a record
crop. Every acre of the .thousands
under cultivation attests the superior
quality of the soil and the efficiency
of the deep tilling methods which has
become the accepted practice in con
nection with the development.
Citrus Rows Two Miles Long
Rows of citrus fruit trees, many
two miles or more in length, extend
in three directions from the club
house located on a small knoll on the
south side of the acreage. Uniform
cultural practices are followed in
handling the entire acreage of citrus,
deep tilling machines, chisels and
heavy cover discs, all drawn by trac
tor, forming the only tools used in
the orchard!. The entire acreage
is in the unirrigated section, but will
soon have an irrigation system of ita
own. The growth of the trees and
their dark foliage attest the effici
ency of the cultural method em
ployed which conserves all moisture.
The trees passed through the dry
est winter in recent years, and un
der what are considered the most ad
verse weather conditions have made
rapid growth.
“Planting of trees continued u>
to May, every' acre being deep tilled
and chiseled before the trees were
planted. Tank wagons were utilized
to water the young trees, all moisture
being retained in the well loosened
soil, the surface of which is main
tained smooth and loose to prevent
“We have adopted deep tilling and
use nothing but deep tilling tools,"
L. L. Harwell, farm manager, who
supervises all activities in connection
with the preperation and planting of
ground, said. “We have ascertained
by tests that it tends to conserve
the moisture, keeps the ground in
proper condition for maximum
growth of trees, and is more econom
ical than the old methods.” This
opinion was also voiced by A. L.
Cramer, local manager, who takes
as keen interest in the development
as does Mr. Engleman.
Will Irrigate Acreage
An irrigation system, supplying
water for the entire acreage, is ex
pected to be completed in a few
months. A huge 8-yard dredge is now
constructing a canal which forms a
drainage outlet for the Donna and
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo irrigation
systems. A large reservoir with a
capacity of 1500 acre feet will be con
structed on the southwest corner of
the tract, and the system will utilize
the drainage waters from the two ir
rigation districts and surplus waters
from the Rio Grande which will be
supplied through the Donna system
canals. The reservoir will be ample
to assure a sufficient supply foi the
7,000 acres in the tract at any time
surplus waters from the river or
drain water will not be available.
Connections with the main ditch of
the Donna drainage system has been
made and the huge 8-yard dredge of
the Callahan & Crawford Company,
the largest dredge ever brought to
the Valley, is now engaged in dredg
ing the main canal to the reservoir,
and w-ill construct the reservoir as
soon as the canal is completed. The
reservoir site comprises low ground
surrounded on two sides by ridges,
and the maximum depth of the water
will be about 10 feet. Plans for
utilization of the artificial lake in a
comprehensive beautification pro
gram have been made by the devel
Plan Concrete System
All mai ncanals will be lined with
concrete to prevent seepage and
damage to the lands, and water will
be carried to all parts of the tract
through concrete pipes. The entire
acreage will be developed as a citrus
propect, and it is the intention of the
developers to have no open Held
ditches, concrete pipe to be used
throughout the entire development
for connection with the main canals.
A system very similar to the one
proposed for the Engleman acreage
h:s been installed on approximately
300 acres within the Edinburg ir
rigation district adjoining the En
gleman holdings on the south, and
the efficiency of the system, both as
to prevention of seepage and con
venience in handling irrigation water
has been amply demonstrated.
“We expect to be able to put Irri
gation water on part of the land in
s few months,” Mr. Cramer said.
• All the water will come either from
the drainage systems of the Donna
and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo districts
or will be surplus water from the
Fio Grande. The impounding res
ervoir will assure that an ample sup
ply will always be available.
“All irrigation water will be de
livered through concrete. We con
sider it useless to plant this land to
citrus fruit and then permit the soil
to deteriorate as the result of seep
age. The time is coming when every
i.rigation system in the Valley must
install concrete canals or pipe, and
v.e propose to do this at the outset,
thereby assuring maximum beneficial
use of water, convenience in delivery
and the elimination of loss and dam
age from seepage. By deep tillage
we are* conserving all the rainfall.
The run-off during the heaviest rains
•s very slight, practically every drop
at moisture going into the ground
here it is conserved for the benefit
. t the trees or cover crop. This will
greatly reduce the amount of irriga
tion water necessary to maintain the
orchards, but we propose to have
that water ready for delivery when it
is needed, and can depend upon the
reservoir in the event there is not
sufficient surplus water in the Rio
High Efficiency Maintained
The reservoir will impound the
surface waters as well as the canal •
't-epage from the large acreage in the
Lonna and Pharr districts, and the
ihvelopers are confident that very
little water from the river will be
recessary, though eleven months of
the year surplus waters would be
Features of the development are
the efficiency with which all work in
connection with the preparation and
[ lanting of lands is handled, the re
markable uniformity of the trees,
[he lack of weeds in the cultivated
jreas, the well graded highways
which traverse the development in
ill directions, and the enthusiasm
f every individual connected with
.he project.
A community center has been
erected for the Mexican laborers a
few hundred yards to the north of
he offices and a church, school and
commissary provided. All machinery
■ r.d the fleet of trucks are kept un
ter roof when not in use. Equip
ment includes a complete machine
md repair shed, with a skilled
-techanic in charge who takes care
if the numerous tractors and trucks
.*ed in the farming operations.
The club house is a model of
rauty and efficiency. Surrounded
.y smooth lawns and flowering
iants, ornamentals, palms and trees
if every variety that can be grown
t the Valley, it presents a scene of
eauty unsurpassed. Rose and palm
■ordered drives, well graveled, wind
hrough the grounds, and the beau
ies of Valley trees and shrubs are
ccentuated by tropical ornamentals
/ many varieties. A high tower
urmounts the highest spot on the
toll, the base utilized for the of
ices and from the covered “lookout”
vast panorama of dark green citroa |
'ta •' % mM',,'*
■ V
. 1.. " "" ' . .. -; —:
cichard*, and the lighter green of
cover crops and cotton field, inter
spersed with occasional blocks of
biush land, spreads out before the
observer. . _ .
Have Rigid Sales Rule
The developers have made it a
rigid policy to make no sales con
tract without including a clause
delegating to the company the han
dling of the citrus orchards until
they reach bearing stage. Only
cnee, during the first months of the
development, was this rule broken,
and as a result there is one ten-acre
block of citrus trees that are what
the developers term as an “eyesore.”
It is the only block in the hundreds
of acres that, is not cultivated uni
formly and planted to cover crop,
and stands as a warning against per
mitting inexperienced owners to at
tempt to bring a young orchards to
maturity. Surrounded on four sides
by countless thousands of thrifty
ttees, every row well cultivated and
planted to cover crop, the ten-acre
block is in every sense the "eyesore”
of the development.
Mr. Engleman was one of the
pioneers in deevlopment work in the
Valley, but rates his present project
as the most ambitious and successful
he has ever undertaken. It is the
crimination of years of experience,
research and investigation, a devel
opment that is proving the extreme
fertility of the unirrigated section
of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and
which its developers are confident
is destined to bring under develop
ment additional thousands of acres
which now bear nothing but mesquite
and cactus.

■ _
Road Bond Issue of
One Million Up
To Voters
DONNA. June 9.—Tuesday. June
12. the voters of the Donna irriga
tion district will go »o the polls and
pass upon the proposition of issu
ing bonds in the amount of $1,000,
0C0 for the construction of roads
throughout the district.
According to plans submitted to
the voters approximately 45 miles of
roads in the district will be paved
and a causeway constructed across
the floodway south of Donna. The
program includes all important roads
within the district.
The main highway will run north
and south through the center of
the district, connecting on the north
with the main highway of the Edin
burg district which will parallel the
Southern Pacific lines from Edin
burg to the Cameron county line.
The program is being worked out
to provide connections with Wes
laco road districts to the east and
the Alamo district on the west,
forming a comprehensive system of
paved highways whi.'h will serve
practically every farmer in the ir
rigated section.
Interest in the Vrd election is
keen and a record vote is expected
to be Dolled. A canvass of voters,
conducted bv a number of Donna
business men. indicates the senti
ment largely in favor of the bonds,
and it is the general prediction that
the issue will carry by a decisive
It is the intention of the pro
moters of the paving program to
make immediate sale of the bonds rn
the event they are r.uthorized and
award construction contracts as
soon as possible.
All road districts in Hidalgo
county have secured substantial
premiums on their bonds, and an ef
fort is being made to secure a heavy
vote and a large majority for the
Donna district bonds 'n order to as
sure a good premium when the
| bonds are placed on the market.
San Benito Lets
Contract on New
Ward Structure
fSpvial to The Herald)
SAN BENITO, June 9.—Contract
for the erection of a Mexican ward
school here was awarded by the
school hoard to Morrow and McMil
lan. local contractors, low bidders
with an offer to build the structure
for I9.9S2.
Other bidders were Hawkins and
Robertson. $14,300, Rcholes «•
Scholes, $11,961. and Mcrriweather
A Sauer. $10,200.
This school building will be the
fourth in the Mexican residential
section of San Benito, and will
mark the beginning of an expansion
and building program in the schools
San Benito last year completed a
$150,000 high school building. All
the other structures are to receive
gas steam radiators in the present
improvement program, and the new
i high school is to have its steam
heating plant operated by gas, in
j stead of oil.
Have The Brownsville
Herald follow you. It
will reach you as reg
ularly as your mail
wherever you go and
the cost is quite reason
One month, 75c
Telephone or mail your
order to the circulation
Phone — 7 and 8
Ebr BczraoHlr Me ratO I
Edinburg Theater,
New Bridge, Devel
ment Included I n
Over Week Survey
A series of rain and wind storms
apparently have hsd little effect on
building and development activity
throughout the Lower Rio Grande
Valley, as shown by a survey of work
announced and started during the
past week.
A new $100,000 theater building, a
$150,000 bridge, a development in
which several hundred thousand dol
lars will be spent, new hotels, and
other new buildings were announced
during tbe week.
The new theater is to be at Edin
burg. It will be erected by Mrs. L.
A. Gannawav, and is to be operated
by Ed Brady of San Benito. Con
struction on the building will be
started within a week.
Work was started last week on an
other bridge over the Rio Grande,
this bridge being just south of Mer
cedes. It is to be a suspension af
fair. owned by the B. & P. Bridge
company, owners of the Hidalgo and
Roma bridges, and will cost approxi
mately $150,000.
Rapidly the large tracts of land
are being cup up, and the brushland”
are disappearing. One of the latest
tracts to be slated for development
is the 1700 acre tract which has been
purchased by a group of New York
developers from Antonio Barreda, the
land being located between Browns
ville and San Benito.
Modern Improvements
The development is to include a
seven-mile hard surfaced road, a
club house that will cort about $30,
000. a concrete-canal irrigation sys
tem. and clearing and improvement
of the entire tract.
Development of several tracts in
Hidalgo county around Mercedes and
Weslaco is scheduled to get under
way. with new building, to be built
in the section. A large club house
and hotel is to be erected at the
south end of the new bridge over
the Rio Grande near Mercedes. A
new hotel for Mercales is also re
ported. although there is no def
inite assurance yet that the build
ing will be erected.
The four-story hot»l at Weslaco is
to be ready for use in a few months,
as the framework for three stories
of it is up now and the entire frame
work will soon be finished. That
citv is to let contract later this
month for $275,000 worth of city
street paving, and work on a $100,
000 sewer system is being carried on
at the present time. Weslaco is aiso
spending about S100.000 on new
school buildings.
Mercedes is to get a $25,000 Luth
eran church soon, plans for the
building being completed. The
American Legion ou.Hing there,
which will cost $15,000. is under
way. and the new citv halls in both
Mercedes and Weslaco, representing
an expenditure of $10,000 each, are
to be ready for use the latter part
of this month.
Near Finish
Construction work on the ware
house of the International Drug
company at Brownsville is nearing
completion, and the Kress building,
and Seaburv. George & Taylor build
intrs are going up rapidly. The new
$250,000 high school is practically
A number of beautiful homes are
going up in Edinburg, including the
$10,000 residences of N. T. Harris
and A. F. Buchanan. Jr.. a $20,000
home for W. D. Gardner, and a $15,
000 residence for A. J. Ross, mayor
of the city. The $100,000 home of
A. Y. Baker, sheriff of Hidalgo
county, was opened last week, this
home being one of the most sumptu
ous it the Valley.
Ray nondville. in Willacy county,
has launched into considerable more
development, with more paving go
ing on in the county. Work is to
be started soon on a $40,000 addi
tion and extension to the water
works at Raymondvilie. The Mis
souri Pacific is drawing 'plans for
a new passenger station there. A
number of smaller buildings are be
ing started in Raymondvilie and
other parts of the county, and more
paving work is scheduled to get un
der wav soon.
Contract for a $12,000 addition to
the West Ward school in Harlingen
has been awarded, and work on two
other schools in that city, costing
about $100,000. is nearing completion.
San Benito Program
San Benito announces a school ex
pansion program, starting with the
creation of a 12.000 brick school
building in theu Mexican part of
town. anJ including improvements in
some of the buildings in the town,
es well as beginning of plans for a
greater development.
New paving jobs are being launch
ed in practically ill parts of the
Valley, irrigation developments are
continuing, and brush is being clear
ed off the land, as thousands of
acres more land is brought under
Indications are now that there will
be few fccres of undeveloped land
left on the American side of the
Rio Grande in this section in a few
more years, as most cf the brush
lands are being cut up and cleared,
with citrus planted to replace the
mesuuite and cactus.
While these developments are in
progress the Valley is taking steps
to form a four-county navigation
district to finance the port at Point
Isabel, following receipt of informa
tion that an appropriation has been
recommended for the port by the U.
S. board of army engineers.
The Arroyo Colorado navigation
project is also ready to go, being
held up temporarily pending out
come of an injunction suit.
ri JB OYrr,
Troop One
The Scouts of Troop One of Mis
sion held their regular meeting on
Thursday, June 7. Due to the fact
that most of the boys are off on
vacations, the attendance was not as
good as usual. However a number of
the boys were present, and plans for
distributing to the seventy-five dele
gates of the Biennial convention of
Women's clubs were discussed. The
meeting was presided over by Fred
erick Petersen, assistant scoutmaster
of Troop One. E. W. Halsterd of the
troop committee was present to
supervise the meeting. Those present
were Frederick Petersen, assistant
scoutmaster, David Wood, senior pa
trol leader, Joe Abrego, scout scribe.
Teci! Eppwright. patrol leader of the
Eagles, Billy Roberts, Earnest Hal
sterd, patrol leader of the Beavers,
T. B. Waite and Whyen Pullen.
Troop Two
Due to the absence of Scoutmaster
Rev. Nixon, the meeting of Troop
Two was held on Thursday evening
under the supervision of R^y
Brashier, a former Scout and now a
student at A. & M. College. After a
short business meeting at the Meth
odist church basement, the Scouts
adjourned to The Chrystal Water
swimming pool south of Mission
where they enjoyed a fine swim.
Distribute Souvenirs
The Scouts of the three Troops met
in front of the Junior High school at
8:30 Friday morning to distribute
souvenirs to the delegates of the Bi
ennial convention of Women’s Club.<H
who were visiting the Valley cities on
that day. Under the supervision of
Mrs. Hayes and E. W. Halstead the
Scouts distributed small jars of de
licious grapefruit jelly bearing the
label of “The Home of the Grape
fruit.'* After the ladies had passed
the Scouts they were presented with
more souvenirs by the Girl Reserves
w-ho were waiting in front of the
Grammar school.
Scouts War on Mosquitoes
Several weeks ago all of the Mis
sion Scouts met at the city hall where
final instructions for their mosquito
campaign were given by Scoutmasters
Revs. Peake and Nixon and Phillips
Garcia of the South Mission Troop.
The Scout# working in pairs were as
signed separate sections of the city
to inspect. Eight Scouts were also
appointed to inspect the canals and
borrow-pits. A written report was
1 made by each pair in which all un
sanitary conditions were sported.
Two week* later all the bt-row-pit.
and ' iter holes in and around Mi*. I
sion weer oiled and all of the rubbish 1
cleaned up by the city working with ■
the Scouts. Although the numerous
rains have made such a campaign
very difficult the Scouts have been V
very successful. Many of the local w
people have said that in spite of ths
fact that this is a wet season, we hav.
had less troubles from mosquito#,
than in previous year.. Since this i. fl
the first campaign of its kind to be ■
carried out by the Mission Scout*, V
they feel well satisfied with their
splendid work... J
I This Is 1 \
I Your Opportunity I
I ~~ °"e 0< II
I ,. „„il The time is ripe! I |
I AC'.' TODAY 11
I I | I
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Annually IPIK I !
1 11
I m El.v«nthSL Brown.ville. T— T**- '" ( '

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