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EL SAUZ, TEXAS (Starr County). El Sauz is on Farm roads 3167 and 649, some sixteen miles north of Rio Grande City and thirteen miles north of Garceño in Starr County. It was one of the original 1753 settlements of José de Escandón's pioneers. Its name means weeping willow in Spanish; it may have been named after nearby El Sauz Creek, now known as Los Olmos Creek. In the early 1880s El Sauz was a ranch community on a rural mail route from Rio Grande City. During his flight to the Mexican border in 1901, Gregorio Cortezqv, renowned fugitive, was captured at El Sauz by Capt. John H. Rogers of the Texas Rangersqv. In the late 1940s the community had several farm units, a population of twenty-five, and a school. In 1991 it had two general stores and gas stations, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, and a population of eighty-five; four miles east was a Southwest Tethered Aerostat System balloon, 233 feet long and 15,000 feet up in the air, which was visible over the entire county. The balloon supported a warning system that was designed to locate airplanes crossing the border between the Gulf of Mexico and Laredo for United States Customs, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration. It was one of six such balloons tethered along the southern United States border from El Sauz to Yuma, Arizona. In 2000 the population was fifty.

Agnes G. Grimm, Llanos Mesteñas: Mustang Plains (Waco: Texian Press, 1968). Américo Paredes, With His Pistol in His Hand: A Border Ballad and Its Hero (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958). 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). J. Lee and Lillian J. Stambaugh, The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1954).
Dick D. Heller, Jr.

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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., "El Sauz, TX (Starr County)," accessed November 22, 2017,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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