Dick D. Heller, Jr.

LA GRULLA, TEXAS. La Grulla is three miles south of Alto Bonito and U.S. Highway 83 in the southeastern corner of Starr County. It was founded in the 1780s by Spanish pioneers, probably descendants of followers of José de Escandón. Matias Longoria was the first settler. The Spanish-speaking community extended on both sides of the Rio Grande before 1848. The town takes its name from the Spanish word for crane, the sandhill crane having once been common on the ponds a mile north of town; the ponds had been drained for farming by 1988. The post office, established by 1912, is named Grulla, but the community is called La Grulla. The community had ten businesses and a population of 250 in 1940. The town incorporated about 1966. In the early 1990s there were many vegetable farms around the community, which at that time also comprised six businesses, as well as the Holy Family Catholic Church, a Mennonite church called Iglesia Hermanos Mennonitos de Grulla, a junior high school, and an elementary school. The Oblate Trail between Brownsville and Laredo passed through La Grulla, and the old brick church is so marked with an 1849–1949 medallion. In 1991 the community reported seven businesses and a population of 1,390; in 2000 there were sixteen businesses and 1,211 inhabitants.

Virgil N. Lott and Mercurio Martinez, The Kingdom of Zapata (San Antonio: Naylor, 1953). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982). Valley By-Liners, Gift of the Rio (Mission, Texas: Border Kingdom Press, 1975).

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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, Dick D. Heller, Jr., "LA GRULLA, TX," accessed July 24, 2019,

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