FRONTON, TEXAS. Fronton, near the Rio Grande on Farm Road 650 five miles west of Roma-Los Saenz in southwestern Starr County, was founded in the late 1700s. The area was first settled by Francisco Guerra, an eighteenth-century pioneer of the Nuevo Santander colony, and was originally named San Francisco de las Playas by Spanish missionaries. A solid rock bank on the Rio Grande, downstream and across from the settlement, was called La Hacha but later became known as Frontón ("pediment"); the community was named for it. Fronton is on the road over which Col. William S. Fisher traveled in 1842 on the Mier expedition. In 1939 inhabitants of the community organized a cooperative irrigation system, the first in the area. The population was reported as 106 in 1970. Although the population was officially 110 in 1990, the town reputedly had nearly 500 inhabitants, a Catholic mission church, and several stores. At that time Fronton was surrounded by irrigated fields. In 2000 the population was 599.
Agnes G. Grimm, Llanos Mesteñas: Mustang Plains (Waco: Texian Press, 1968). Florence J. Scott, Historical Heritage of the Lower Rio Grande (San Antonio: Naylor, 1937; rev. ed., Waco: Texian, 1966; rpt., Rio Grande City, Texas: La Retama Press, 1970). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982). J. Lee and Lillian J. Stambaugh, The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1954).