The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 4
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
it as a daily. The first copy of the Daily Laredo Times was
issued on the afternoon of September 6, 1883, and it has been
published continuously since.
The establishment of the general shops of the National Rail-
ways of Mexico and the I. & G. N. coming in from the north
caused a great demand for city lots. The Laredo Improvement
Company was organized and additions were opened up to the
east of the city proper, known as the "Heights Addition." This
company advertised the advantages of the territory, and inter-
ested northern capital to invest in Laredo. About this time
the coal mines at Minera, a few miles northwest of Laredo,
became valuable, and the Rio Grande & Eagle Pass Railway
was built in 1882. The export and import trade and general
trading with Mexico became an important factor in the com-
mercial life of Laredo, and American families in large numbers
began to pour into the city with the entrance of the railroads
and the opening of the coal mines. Laredo grew by leaps and
bounds; the old stone and adobe buildings began to give way
to modern structures, and Laredo had its first modern brick
building erected in 1882, the old two-story county courthouse
building facing Flores avenue between Matamoros and Farragut
streets. The business district, which had centered around San
Agustin Plaza, spread out, and soon business houses filled both
sides of Iturbide (then called Main) Street, extending up to
and around Market Plaza, in the center of which stood the old
Market Hall, which served the city as a council chamber and
headquarters for the city police force.
The population of Laredo in 1880, according to the United
States Census, was 3,521. It had grown to something more
than eight thousand by 1886, of which four-fifths were of
Mexican extraction." Laredo of 1886 was a cosmopolitan town.
Practically all races and all nationalities were represented.
Among the leading Mexican families were the Benavides
brothers, the Garcias, the SAnchez, the GonzAlez and Rodriguez
families, and the Ortiz brothers. Many of the members of
these large families had intermarried, and all were leaders in
politics, aligned with one or the other of the two political parties.
The old Wilson House, standing on the corner of Grant Street
and Flores Avenue, was operated by Captain Dave Wilson, be-
fore of Austin. W. H. Mowry, who had come to Laredo with the
6Laredo Times, August 23, 1886.
$Ibid., September 12, 1886.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/8/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.