Cynthia E. Orozco

PÉREZ, LINO, SR. (1890–1961). Lino Pérez, Sr., businessman, mayor, and Democratic leader, was born on September 23, 1890, to Gerarda Hinojosa and Y. P. Pérez. He was one of six Tejanos included in Texas Democracy, a history of the Democratic party published for the Texas Centennial in 1936. He married Cristina Margo, and they had three children. Pérez attended public schools up to the fifth grade and later attended a Dallas business school, where he studied bookkeeping. He then spent five years in Falfurrias, where he served as deputy county and district clerk. He was also in charge of the Lasater utility company there. He collaborated with Edward C. Lasater and the Republicans in the skirmishes between the Reds and Blues. Disillusioned with racial discrimination and land schemes in Falfurrias, Pérez returned to Rio Grande City around 1909 and with his brothers-in-law formed the Rio Grande City Ice, Water, and Light Company in 1910. During World War I he supplied water, ice, and electrical energy to the United States military forces; he also sold liberty bonds. Pérez presided over the Rio Grande City Ice, Water and Light Company until 1924. In 1924 the company sold part of the business to Central Power and Light Company. In the mid-1920s Pérez invested in a brick factory and opened a wholesale grocery that folded during the Great Depression. He became a Democrat in Starr County, where he aligned himself with Manuel Guerra, the political boss. He was mayor of Rio Grande City from 1929 to 1933, when merchants unable to pay city taxes due to the depression decided to disincorporate the city. He became acting postmaster in 1933 and was postmaster from 1935 until 1956. He acted as president of the Rio Grande City Independent School District board and the Rio Grande City Water District No. 1 as well. He was a Catholic, a member of the Knights of Columbus, and a member of Woodmen of the World. He died of natural causes on March 10, 1961.

Frank Carter Adams, ed., Texas Democracy: A Centennial History of Politics and Personalities of the Democratic Party, 1836–1936 (4 vols., Austin: Democratic Historical Association, 1937).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Cynthia E. Orozco, "PEREZ, LINO, SR.," accessed July 23, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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