The Rio Grande Herald (Rio Grande City, Tex.), No. 44, Ed. 1 Thursday, August 27, 1987 Page: 1 of 8
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THE RIO GRAKUt ntHALD
Serving Starr County For Five Decades
Published in Rio Grande City, Texas, Every Thursday By The Rio Grande Publishing Co.
NO. 44 THURSDAY, AUGUST 27,1987
> i e
"When Rio Grande City Was Young
RGC's Historic Buildings Noted In Book
By KENNETH ROBERTS
The rich traditional and structu-
ral distinctiveness of Rio Grande
City's moat historic buildings has
been MDptofcoied in a recent book.
entitled "When Rio Grande City
Was Young. '' *
The 60-page book written by
Shirley Brooks Greene hints that
Rio Grande City lias an advantage
Torben Anderson, center, is a student from Denmark
who will be attending Rio Grande City High School for
the entire upcoming school year. Standing to the left is
Ricky LaGrange, and Ricardo Gutierrez, Jr., is standing
on the right.
Danish Exchange Student
To Stay Entire Year
A 17-year old student from
Krussa, Denmark will be attending
Rio Grande City High School for
the entire 1987-88 school year, as
part of the Foreign Exchange
Program for students.
Toroen Anderson's host family
will be Mr and Mrs. Ross
LaGrange of Rio Grande City. His
host brother will be 11 th grader
Rick LaGrange. Twelfth grader
Ricardo Gutierrez, jr., will be the
Also involved in the new AFS
chapter in Rio Grande City are
Mrs. James Peterson, community
liaison; and Mrs Robert Peterson,
Torben is the first foreign
exchange student to come to live in
Rio Grande City for an entire
He noted, 'It's my firs: trip so
far away front home 1Sixe u (here
in Starr County) very much." He
commented that the South Texas
heat is much greater than what he
is accustomed to.
Torben noted that his hometown
is located one kilometer from the
border with West Germany, and 90
miles from Copenhagen, Den
mark's capital city.
He termed farming, in particular
the raising of hogs, one of Den-
mark's most important occupa-
tions. Fishing, he stressed, is also
The student said that there is not
a whole lot of industrial activity in
Denmark. He indicated that Lu
theranism is the leading religious
that would make other towns green
with envy in its historic buildings,
which are noteworthy for both their
historical heritage and structural
Whatever readers glean from the
tacts brought out in this book, they
could look to what other communi
ties, such as San Antonio,
Galveston, and Fredericksburg,
Texas, have achieved by taking
care of and upgrading their historic
In these communities and others,
historical preservation has proved
to be a tremendous tourist bonus.
R.C. Salinas, who has been active
for some years with the Starr
County Historical Society, com-
mented, "The book is probably the
most refreshing thing that has
come out of this community in
Salinas added, "She (Shirley
Brooks Greene) was raised here,
and knows what she's talking
about. She persisted in writing that
book until it became a reality ..She
maintains contact with her
hometown by being active with the
Starr County Historical Society."
Salinas noted that Mrs. Greer.e's
father was the lite Lawrence
Brooks, who served as Starr
Salinas contended, "Shirley's
work is a beautiful book that you'll
want to read and reread. Her book
reminds us that we haven't taken
care of some of the buildings as
well as we could have.
"Her book reminds us we were
born out of Davi% ^Landing. Her
book reminds us of what the xeal
beginnings of Rio Grande City are.
The old Davis home is the roots of
Rio Grande City."
ith art introductory .~.ec'K v. Mrs.
Greene v:ites u interesting fash-
ion concerning the founding of Rio
To R eport
All incoming seventh graders are
advised to report from this
Thursday through Monday to the
high school athletic fieldhouse, in
order to pick up authorization
forms to obtain physicals for
football and all other junior high
Seventh grade boys and girls are
urged to report anytime Thursday,
Friday, and Monday, from 8:30
Districts Moving Toward
Adopting AIDS Policies
As the deadly disease AIDS
(Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome) continues to spread
rapidly, officials of the three school
districts in Starr County indicate
that adoption Of formal policies
concerning AIDS should take place
in the near future.
An employee of the Texas
Department of Health indicated to
The Rio Grande Herald on Tuesday
morning that there have been no
AIDS cases reported in Starr
County to this point
T hah j* tfunoz, administrator of
Starr County Memorial Hospital,
said, "We haven't had any reported
AIDS case# We've had an in-
service here about AIDS, led by the
director of nursing I've sent three
or four people from the staff to
workshops, one of them in
Munoz added, "Most hospitals
would refer them (AIDS patients!
to the same central location in
Houston " But she said that "we
feel like we could handle such
cases here if the need arose " She
suggested that AIDS cases would
be handled in the same way as
other contagious diseases, such as
Rio Grande City CISD Superin-
tendent Dr A.E. Garcia said, "The
nurse is working on that; she has
Suarez Wins National
High Jump Title
Pedro Suarez, a recent honor
graduate from Roma High School,
won the national title in the recent
AAU Junior Olympics Track Meet
held in Syracuse, New Yurk
Suarez achieved a record jump
by successfully clearing a record
height of 6 feet, 10 inches Coach
Roel Gonzalez commented about
Suarez, "Pete did a great job. He
proved that our local kids can
compete at any level and win."
Two other national qualifiers,
Rosa Ramirez and Rene Ozuna,
competed at the national Junior
Olympic track meet.
Rosa Rarnire? a sophomore at
Rio Grande City High School,
placed fifth in the triple Jump, with
a jump of 34 feet, 9 3/4 inches.
R<*a also placed secenth in the
Gonzalez said of her, "Rooa has
lots of potential and will gain
experience by attending larger
meets and competing against the
best to be the best "
Rene Ozuna, a junior at Rio
High, placed seventh in the
shotput Ozuna is a football player,
and is a member of the Rio track
and field team
Gonzalez said, "Rene was in
fourth place entering the finals,
when he threw one good throw but
scratched I am confident that he
will strive to improve as he
continues to compete "
Gonzalez also explained that he
was very proud of all the athletes.
He noted that the U.S.A. Kids track
and field club will be traveling to
Kansas to compete in the National
Indoor Track Meet.
Coach Gonzalez also wishes to
express his sincere thanks to his
athletes, and to all sponsors that
have helped the U.S.A. Kids in
their effort to be the best
attended several workshops, out as
of now, there is no policy."
Garcia added, "We have re-
ceived a let of information from the
Agency (TEAi and other sources,"
such as the Regional Office of the
Texas Department of Health in
The superintendent said, "We are
under no directive at this point
about AIDS. We will have to have a
Roma ISD Superintendent
Eleuterio Garza indicated that the
district does not have an AIDS
policy at the current time, but
stressed that "the Texas Associa
tion of School Boards should have a
model policy out soon It will be up
to the districts to adopt it."
Garza added, "As a district, we'll
have to touch on it by the end of
the year We're not shying away
from our responsibilities, but how
it will be worked out is uncertain at
this point. It (AIDS) is new, it's
very sensitive, and we're feting
our way out as time goes by."
San Isidro ISD Superintendent
Carlos Lopez indicated, "We're
looking into adopting an awareness
program about AIDS, and inform
ing the parents and students."
He added, "We've already cov
ered AIDS in health classes
(starting late last year), but we
want to set up a more structured
program." Lopez suggested that
information could be communi-
cated to parents through newslet-
Rafael Carrera, president of the
Rio Grande City CISD board of
trustees, commented. "The admin-
istration (of the RGCCISD) has
talked about n policy, and is
working one up "
Carma added, "I don't know
anything about it (the disease) I
(Ser AIDS. I*Hgtr 5)
She notes that the community
was first referred to as
"Carnestolendas Ranch," after the
land grant on both sides of the Rio
Gra.ide was made by the King of
Spai.i to Captain Jose Antonio De
La Garza Falcon in 1767.
She noted the trip of Kentuckian
Henry Glay Davis to the area, and
his courtship of and marriage to
Hilaria De La Garza of Camargo.
Before long, due to the increasing
commerce on the Rio Grande, the
community began to be known as
Greene notes in the book, "In
1848, Davis and Captain Forbes
Britlon laid out the town in order to
promote the selling of lots and it
was given the name of Rio Grande
"The town did not boom as
expected but slowly it did grow.
Captain Britton moved on, but the
Plaza in the center of the town,
running north and south to the
river bank, bears his name."
Greene said, "In the following
pages may be seen some of the
oldf and most interesting build-
ings, bringing thoughts of what Rio
Grande City was like 'when Rio
Grande City was young
Greene lamented, "Sad!y, many
of the buildings are in very poor
condition It would take vision and
money to bring old property back
to worthwhile use - but it could be
done and the old h-iildings could be
useful and attractive "
She then discusses the Henry
Clay Davis House and the Davis
Landing Apartments. The latter
was built from Cyprus timber
saved from a river steamer in the
early 1850's. It was believed to
have been utilized as an inn,
customs house, and offices, before
Santiago Seguin bought it to make
his home there.
Over a half-century later, Mrs
Florence J. Scott purchased the
building and converted it into an
The apartments were demolished
in 1981 to make room for a bank
drive-in; and Mrs. Greene said the
owners were unaware that the
building was listed as a Texas
Historic Building due to the fact
that the state marker was stolen a
few years before the property was
sold to the bank She noted, "If the
state marker can be located, it will
be placed on this property ."
Other buildings, such as the John
P Keisey-Emilio Guerra building,
Jacobo Guerra House, John Peter
Kelsey Building, Crisoforo Solis
Building, and Villarreal-Scott
House are noted in detail.
The following buildings noted by
Mrs. Greene in her book have
Texas Historical Markers: Davis
Landing Apartments, ohn P
Kelsey- Emilio Guerra Building,
John Peter Kelsey Building, Fort
Ringgold Hospital, and Robert E
The LaBordt House and Silverio
De La Pena Building are listed on
the National Register of Historic
The latter building was utilized
as a drug store, with a customs
office on the northeast corner For
almost 70 years, the building
served as the Post Office Until his
(.See Bt ILIMNGS. I'ae- ">)
Hospital Trustees Talk
About Idled, Ambulance
At their regular meeting Tuesday
night, the Board of Directors of
Starr County Memorial Hospital
discussal the continued sidelining
Ot One of the two ambulances, due
i.o a nationwide recall by Ford
Administrator Thalia Munoz
said, "Our ambulance is still out of
ccmmispion. It's been sitting at
Boggus in McAllen. They told us
they would replace the recall thing.
Something came up where they
needed to replace other parts."
Board President Noel Benavides
commented, "On the recall, they
don't know exactly what is wrong
The administrator noted, "After
this, we have to send the other one
(ambulance) in." Benavides said,
"There's only two places in South
Texas taking care of the recalls-
Boggus in McAllen and Harlingen."
Noel Garcia, the EMS Director,
said, "The gentleman from Ford
said the carburator was splurting
out a ;ot of gasoline. He said it
could nave been due to the fire or
the cause of the fire. We had not
smeiled garoline prior to that. They
boys didn't smell anything, except
smoke v/hen it started "
Munoz indicated, "The local man
said he had checked for that (a gas
leak) and found no problem.*'
On July 2, 1987, at approximately
9:50 p.m., two technicians were en
route to a call in Rio Grande City.
According to the incident report,
the vehicle had proceeded for about
two miles when the technicians
smeiled something burning. They
then noticed smoke coming out of
the engine compartment, and
called for the aid of a backup unit.
Shortly after the backup unit
arrived, and the original crew went
on to complete their call, flames
were seen in the rear of the engine
compartment. The technician then
proceeded to extinguish the fire
2 Men Arrested, 300
Pounds Of Pot Seized
Two men were arrested Tuesday
night in Rio Grande City in
connection with the seizure of 300
pounds of marijuana.
Sheriffs Department Chief Depu-
ty J.C. Gomez said that the arrests
were executed shortly after 8 p.m.
Isidro Guerra, 29, and Ove
Olivarez, Jr., 21, both of Rio
Grande City, were arrested and
charged with possession of mari-
juana. They are currently in-
carcerated in the County Jail.
The two men were arraigned
Wednesday morning before Justice
of the Peace Arnoldo Gonzalez, Jr.,
who set bond at $50,000 for each
Two deputies of the Sheriff's
Department carried out the ar-
rests, with assistance from Border
Gomez said that along with the
seizure of the 300 pounds of
marijuana, a 1978 pickup was
confiscated. He indicated that the
arrests took place when the sus-
pects were sitting inside the
stationary vehicle on a Rio Grande
through the use of a fire ext-
In a July letter to the Service
Engineering Office of the Ford
Parts and Service Di/ision, Munoz
said, "Fortunately, the ambulance
attendants were able to control the
situation It would have turned into
a mjaor mishap had they not acted
as TSsf and precis do they did."
On another subject, Garcia sug
gested that a Ladies Auxiliary be
organized for the EMS. He added.
"It would be a fund-raiser type of
thing. It would not interfere with
the regular Hospital Auxiliary
Wherever they could help us out
could be a good asset."
Benavides commented, "We
welcome volunteer help Let's get
it organized and take it step-by-
step from there." A consensus was
reached to put the matter on the
agenda for the next meeting.
A very preliminary, and still
unfinished, budget for 198/-88 was
discussed Controller Tommy Saenz
said, "It looks like we're on an
upswing with revenue We're look-
ing at a positive cash balance."
He said that according to very-
early figures, $4,132,371 is pro-
jected for patient income, with
roughly $624,000 in adjustments
tentatively predicted to be sub-
Munoz emphasized, "There's no
way of telling what the appraised
values will be; they (the Appraisal
District) is still not through (with
the reappraisal) " Attorney Hafr.er
said, "The tax rate will go up or
down according to valuations No
one knows yet."
Saenz said that roughly $3,819 (W
in expenses is projected, creating a
deficit of about $311,000 But he
(See AMBl LANCE, Pa^e 5)
Friendly Meat Market held grand opening ceremonies for Us new location 2.7 miles
east of Rio Grande City. Standing fifth from left is owner Julian Garza. His wife,
Armanditia, is standing directly to his right. Standing to Garza's left is Rio Grande
City Chamber President Gigi Gutierrez, and standing on the tar right !> Industrial
Foundation Executive Dlyector Rene Montalvo.
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Roberts, Kenneth. The Rio Grande Herald (Rio Grande City, Tex.), No. 44, Ed. 1 Thursday, August 27, 1987, newspaper, August 27, 1987; Edinburg, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth195095/m1/1/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rio Grande City Public Library.