The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982 Page: 120
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
After 1900, this form of government and cultural adaptation came
under attack in the counties in which it had originated. With the
completion of the railroad link to the Lower Rio Grande Valley and
the introduction of large-scale irrigation, thousands of small farmers
and businessmen from the Midwest and other parts of the country
flooded the region. Their commitment to honest, businesslike public
administration and their racist contempt for Mexican-Americans of
all classes fueled a rebellion against boss rule. As the political chief-
tains of Cameron, Hidalgo, and Starr counties struggled to retain their
power, the most enduring of all the South Texas machines took shape
in Duval County, which is located north of the Valley counties.
With the influx first of sheep-raisers and then of cattlemen, the
population of Duval County rose from 1,o83 to 8,483 between 1870
and 1900. Although Anglo and European ranchers established their
economic dominance with the acquisition of vast stretches of land,
possibly as many as 300 Mexican families retained possession of their
ranches and farms. In addition, the Mexican-Americans, most of whom
worked as laborers on the ranches and in the few towns of the county,
still formed over ninety percent of the population by 1900. During the
nineteenth century, the only concentration of non-Mexicans existed
at the town of San Diego, where Americans and migrants from Brit-
ain, Ireland, France, Spain, and Germany operated most of the local
businesses. Even with the arrival of Anglo farmers in the western sec-
tion of the county after 1900, the overwhelming Hispanic majority
Conforming to the pervasive South Texas pattern, Duval ranchers
and businessmen managed the voting of their Mexican laborers. Nev-
ertheless, instability and stalemate characterized the politics of the
2United States, Department of the Interior, Census Office, Ninth Census of the United
States, 1870 (3 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1872), I, The Statistics on Population, 64, 321, 372;
ibid., Twelfth Census of the United States, 19oo (lo vols.; Washington, D.C., 19o01), I,
Population, 380, 787, 1000; ibid., Fourteenth Census of the United States, g92o (11 vols.;
Washington, D.C., 1921), VI, Pt. 2, Agriculture, 667; United States Tenth Census (188o),
Duval County, Texas, 222-281 (microfilm; Barker Texas History Center, University of
Texas, Austin); Texas, Legislature, Senate, D. W. Glasscock, Contestant, vs. A. Parr, Con-
testee: Supplement to the Senate Journal, Regular Session of the 36th Legislature, 1919
(Austin, ), 150, 151, 162 (hereafter cited as Glasscock vs. Parr, Supplement to the Sen-
ate Journal, I9z9); Walter Prescott Webb, H. Bailey Carroll, and Eldon Stephen Branda
(eds.), The Handbook of Texas (3 vols.; Austin, 1952, 1976), I, 529, 53o; Dermot H. Hardy
and Ingram Roberts (eds.), Historical Review of Southeast Texas, and the Founders,
Leaders, and Representative Men of Its Commerce, Industry, and Civic Affairs (2 vols.;
Chicago, 1910), I, 404, 405; Dudley Lynch, The Duke of Duval: The Life and Times of
George Parr (Waco, Texas, 1976), 7-10, 12.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982, periodical, 1981/1982; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/m1/154/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.