Hidalgo County, located in the heart of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, is a contentious land of impossible contrasts: tropical sunsets and swaying palm trees, rare birds and javelina, cactus and mesquite, soft breezes and broiling sunshine-and hurricanes. Spanish colonists settled here in 1749, receiving huge land grants in exchange for their labor and their loneliness. One hundred years later, a Scotsman named McAllen came to work in a riverfront store, and stayed to found a dynasty. Between 1900 and 1940, more immigrants arrived to build railroads and towns, turn brush land into farmland, and create a unique cultural environment. Hidalgo County illustrates the rapid development of this environmental and cultural crossroads at the beginning of the 20th century. River boats and oxcarts gave way to railroads and the Model T. Tent cities became thriving towns with business districts, homes, schools, churches, and agricultural industries. The changes experienced-and created-by the hardy pioneers who struggled to survive are chronicled here. The courage, stamina, and optimism of these brave souls inspire us a century later in Hidalgo County.--amazon.com.