Del Rio, Texas
|City of Del Rio|
Location of Del Rio, Texas
|• Mayor||Bruno "Ralphy" Lozano|
|• City Manager||Matt Wojnowski|
|• Total||20.2 sq mi (52.3 km2)|
|• Land||20.2 sq mi (52.2 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)|
|• Density||1,800/sq mi (690/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CST)|
Del Rio is a city and the county seat of Val Verde Countyin southwestern Texas, United States. The city is 152 miles west of San Antonio. Located within six miles of its namesake the Rio Grande, Del Rio is connected to Ciudad Acuña by the Lake Amistad Dam International Crossing and Del Río – Ciudad Acuña International Bridge. As of 2015, Del Rio had a population of 40,549. It is also home to Laughlin Air Force Base, the busiest pilot-training base in the United States Air Force.
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.
Val Verde County is a county located on the southern Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. The 2014 population is 51,047. Its county seat is Del Rio. In 1936, Val Verde County received Recorded Texas Historic Landmark number 5625 to commemorate its founding.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.
The Spanish established a small settlement south of the Rio Grande in present-day Mexico, and some Spaniards settled on what became the United States side of the Rio Grande as early as the 18th century. Paula Losoya Taylor built the first hacienda in the area in 1862.U.S. development on the north shore of the Rio Grande did not begin until after the American Civil War.
The Rio Grande is one of the principal rivers in the southwest United States and northern Mexico. The Rio Grande begins in south-central Colorado in the United States and flows to the Gulf of Mexico. After passing through the length of New Mexico along the way, it forms part of the Mexico–United States border. According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, its total length was 1,896 miles (3,051 km) in the late 1980s, though course shifts occasionally result in length changes. Depending on how it is measured, the Rio Grande is either the fourth- or fifth-longest river system in North America.
Paula Losoya Taylor was one of the founders of San Felipe Del Rio in Texas. Her hacienda in Del Rio became a major employer in the region and also an important gathering spot for worship, discussion and more. Taylor donated land to create a Catholic cemetery, a fort and schools in Del Rio.
A hacienda, in the colonies of the Spanish Empire, is an estate, similar to a Roman latifundium. Some haciendas were plantations, mines or factories. Many haciendas combined these activities. The word is derived from the Spanish word "hacer" or "haciendo", which means: to make or be making, respectively; and were largely business enterprises consisting of various money making ventures including raising farm animals and maintaining orchards.
The San Felipe Springs, about 8 mi (13 km) east of the Rio Grande on the U.S. side of the border, produces 90×106 US gal (340,000 m3) of water a day. Developers acquired several thousand acres of land adjacent to the springs, and to San Felipe Creek formed by the springs, from the state of Texas in exchange for building a canal system to irrigate the area. The developers sold tracts of land surrounding the canals to recover their investment and show a profit. The initial investors (William C. Adams, John P. Grove, Donald Jackson, John Perry, Joseph Ney, Randolph Pafford, A. O. Strickland, and James H Taylor) formed the San Felipe Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Irrigation Company in 1868. The organization completed construction of a network of irrigation canals in 1871. Residents referred to the slowly developing town as San Felipe Del Rio because local lore said the name came from early Spanish explorers who offered a mass at the site on St. Philip's Day, 1635.
San Felipe Springs is a spring in Val Verde County, Texas. it lies at an elevation of 961 feet.
In 1883, local residents requested a post office be established. The United States Postal Department shortened "San Felipe del Rio" to "Del Rio" to avoid confusion with San Felipe de Austin. In 1885, Val Verde County was organized and Del Rio became the county seat. The City of Del Rio was incorporated on November 15, 1911.
The San Felipe community was started by the Arteaga family. Arteaga Street and Arteaga Park are named after them.
Many historical artifacts from Del Rio, particularly from the 19th century, are preserved at the Whitehead Memorial Museum downtown.
The Whitehead Memorial Museum is a western museum complex in downtown Del Rio, Texas. Located on two and a half landscaped acres, the museum consists of nine buildings. Its thirteen exhibits with period artifacts, many from the 19th century, express the history of Val Verde County.
Del Rio is known as the American address of legendary Mexican radio stations XERA and XERF just over the U.S.-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuña; their 500,000-watt signals could be heard at night as far away as Canada. Legendary deejay Wolfman Jack operated XERF in the 1960s, using a Del Rio address to sell various products advertised on the station.
XERA is a radio station in Mexico, broadcasting on 760 AM in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The callsign was most famous for its use on a border blaster at Villa Acuña, Coahuila.
Robert Weston Smith, known as Wolfman Jack, was an American disc jockey. Famous for his gravelly voice, he credited it for his success, saying, "It's kept meat and potatoes on the table for years for Wolfman and Wolfwoman. A couple of shots of whiskey helps it. I've got that nice raspy sound."
In 1942, the Army Air Corps opened Laughlin Field 9 mi (14 km) east of Del Rio, as a training base for the Martin B-26, but the base was deactivated in 1945. As the Cold War pressures built, along with new border-control issues, Laughlin Field was rebuilt and renamed Laughlin Air Force Base and was again used as a home for flight training.
The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) was the aerial warfare service component of the United States Army between 1926 and 1941. After World War I, as early aviation became an increasingly important part of modern warfare, a philosophical rift developed between more traditional ground-based army personnel and those who felt that aircraft were being underutilized and that air operations were being stifled for political reasons unrelated to their effectiveness. The USAAC was renamed from the earlier United States Army Air Service on 2 July 1926, and was part of the larger United States Army. The Air Corps became the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) on 20 June 1941, giving it greater autonomy from the Army's middle-level command structure. During World War II, although not an administrative echelon, the Air Corps (AC) remained as one of the combat arms of the Army until 1947, when it was legally abolished by legislation establishing the Department of the Air Force.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was the end of the Cold War. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.
In the mid-1950s, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) noted that Laughlin's remoteness allowed for secret operations, and opened its strategic reconnaissance program there with the RB-57, a bomber modified for high-altitude reconnaissance. SAC soon transitioned to the high-altitude U-2 Dragonlady and based all of them in Laughlin AFB.
In 1962, Laughlin-based U-2s took the first photographs of land-based medium-range ballistic missile sites being constructed in Cuba. The presence of these missiles precipitated what became known as "the Cuban Missile Crisis".
In July 1963, the U-2s were relocated to Davis–Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona, and Laughlin's mission transitioned to the Undergraduate Pilot Training mission in the T-37 and T-38 aircraft. Laughlin AFB currently provides training in the T-1A Jayhawk, the T-6A Texan II, and the T-38 aircraft.[ citation needed ]
Laughlin plays a large part in the Del Rio community as the area's largest employer. The United States Border Patrol is the city's second-largest employer (with two large stations along with the sector headquarters).[ citation needed ]
At one time, Del Rio was in the running to become the home of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for agents of the U.S. Border Patrol and Federal Air Marshal Service, but lost to the current site in Artesia, New Mexico. The proposed site was located on property belonging to Laughlin AFB.[ citation needed ]
Since the base has unused land, the Air Force is able to lease it to other federal law enforcement agencies for such projects. This benefits Laughlin AFB and the city of Del Rio both financially and economically. For example, Del Rio was one of five cities in the United States selected for an FBI regional headquarters' office, and that building is adjacent to the six-story Roswell Hotel in downtown Del Rio.[ citation needed ]
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 52.3 km2 (20.2 sq mi), of which 52.2 km2 (20.2 sq mi) are land and 0.1 km2 (0.039 sq mi), or 0.24%, is covered by water.
Del Rio lies on the northwestern edges of the Tamaulipan mezquital, also called the South Texas brush country. It is also near the southwestern corner of the Edwards Plateau, which is the western fringe of the famous, oak savanna-covered Texas Hill Country; that area is dotted with numerous small springs; one of these is the San Felipe Springs, which provides a constant flow of water to San Felipe Creek. The creek supplied fresh water for drinking and irrigation to early settlers of Del Rio, and the springs are still the town's water supply.
The Del Rio region, west to about the Pecos River, has a mix of desert shrub and steppe vegetation, depending on soil type, with the gray-leafed cenizo ( Leucophyllum spp.), several different acacias, cactuses, and grama grasses dominant members of local flora. The terrain is mostly level, but some areas are dissected with substantial canyons and drainages, though none of the upland areas is high or large enough to be considered a mountain.
The climate is semiarid in moisture and subtropical in temperature. Humidity is more often high than low, with periodic morning fog due to Gulf air masses moving northwest into the area. This gives Del Rio and adjacent areas the effect of being in a coastal dryland area, though the Gulf of Mexico is over 300 mi (480 km) away. Such humid periods alternate with periods of hot and dry desert air masses in the spring and fall, or cold and dry Great Plains air masses during winter. Moisture rarely lasts long enough for weather systems to react with it to create much precipitation, as happens more frequently to the north and east of the area; some exceptions occur during some autumn (tropical weather systems) and spring (stalled fronts to the north).
During the spring season, as well occasionally during the fall season, severe thunderstorms often build on the Serranias Del Burro to the distant west of Del Rio. This is believed to occur due to the uplift of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico which is channeled along the Rio Grande River . In the event of an strong mid-to-upper troposphere trough positioned over the Desert Southwest, these severe thunderstorms can migrate off the higher terrain of the mountains and across the Rio Grande into the Ciudad Acuña and Del Rio area and cause significant damage when they impact populated areas. One of these storms caused several deaths in Ciudad Acuña on May 25th, 2015, when a tornado destroyed several structures in the town. Del Rio itself was largely spared, but saw a massive hailstorm the following year on February 22nd, 2016, causing widespread damage, especially to Laughlin AFB. Despite this, most of the severe storms across the region impact rural areas with little to no population and are routinely unreported.
The Dry Line is often noticed near the Del Rio area during volatile weather seasons, and can lend additional support to severe weather activity in the region.
Summers are long, hot, and frequently humid; winters vary between sunny, warm, cloudy, and cool weather, depending on the wind direction and jet stream location. Snow or freezing rain is rare, once about every 7-10 years, and such wintry precipitation does not last long enough to be of consequence. The coldest temperature recorded in Del Rio is 10 °F (−12.2 °C) on December 23, 1989, and the average window for freezing temperatures is December 2 to February 20. The most snowfall in a month is 9.8 in (0.25 m) in January 1985, and that total is also the highest for any entire season.
Since records began in 1905, the wettest calendar year has been 1914 with 37.75 in (958.8 mm) and the driest 1956 with only 4.34 in (110.2 mm). The wettest single month has been August 1998 with 20.93 inches, of which a record 17.03 in (432.6 mm) fell on August 23rd associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Charley and brought widespread flooding through the city. This almost doubled the previous record daily rainfall of 8.79 inches (223.3 mm) on June 13, 1935. The most days during a month with at least 0.01 in (0.3 mm) of rainfall has been 19 in May 2015. Typically, 41 days receive at least 0.04 in (1 mm) of rainfall, 13 days with at least 0.4 in (10 mm), and five with rainfall totaling at least 1.0 in (25 mm). During the winter from November to March, long periods normally pass with negligible rainfall: between October 1917 and March 1918, only 0.19 in (4.8 mm) of rain fell in 6 months and not one single day recorded as much as 0.04 in (1 mm).
Del Rio is home to a radiosonde launching site at Del Rio International Airport, where twice-daily weather balloons are launched to take atmospheric readings - once at 1200 UTC and once at 0000 UTC. An un-augmented Automated Surface Weather Observing System (ASOS) is also positioned at the airport and records the official climate data for Del Rio. The National Weather Service office in New Braunfels, Texas is responsible for the forecasting and warning of weather events in the Del Rio area, but this jurisdictional boundary does not extend across the border into Mexico.
|Climate data for Del Rio International Airport, Texas (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1905–present)|
|Record high °F (°C)||92|
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||80.3|
|Average high °F (°C)||63.8|
|Average low °F (°C)||40.6|
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||26.2|
|Record low °F (°C)||12|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.72|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||1.2|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||4.4||5.1||5.4||5.2||6.7||5.7||4.2||4.0||5.3||5.8||4.4||4.9||61.1|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||0.5||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.6|
| U.S. Decennial Census |
As of the censusof 2000, 33,867 people, 10,778 households, and 8,514 families resided in the city. The population density was 2,194.0 people per square mile (846.9/km²). The 11,895 housing units averaged a density of 770.6 per square mile (297.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.05% White, 7.21% African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 17.79% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 81.04% of the population.
Of the 10,778 households, 42.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.0% were not families. About 18.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.56.
In the city, the population was distributed as 31.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,387, and for a family was $30,788. Males had a median income of $27,255 versus $17,460 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,199. About 22.9% of families and 27.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.8% of those under age 18 and 26.4% of those age 65 or over.
Del Rio is the principal city of the Del Rio Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Val Verde County;the micropolitan area had an estimated population of over 50,000 in 2007. Located across from Del Rio, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, is the city of Ciudad Acuña, with a city population of 146,161.
Lake Amistad provides year-round, water-based recreation opportunities, including boating, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, and water skiing, as well as other recreational opportunities for picnicking, camping, and hunting. The area is rich in archaeology and rock art, and contains a wide variety of plant and animal life. Del Rio is home to the George Paul Memorial Bullriding, which is the oldest stand-alone bull-riding event in the world.
The city is served by the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District. About 10,450 students are enrolled and 637 teachers are employed at 14 campuses throughout the district. Del Rio is also home to Del Rio Heritage Academy High School, a public charter school.
The Del Rio News-Herald, a daily newspaper published in Del Rio, covering Val Verde County, is owned by Southern Newspapers Inc.The newspaper has a daily circulation of 10,400 and a Sunday circulation of 13,500. Multiple radio stations are licensed to the area in and around Del Rio, and more have been built in recent years. 2014 saw the launch of KVFE, a Christian station owned by Inspiracom that filled one of the ministry's last remaining gaps on the US–Mexico border. In 2016, Texas Public Radio opened a transmitter in Del Rio.
Del Rio International Airport serves the city. American Eagle, operating regional jet aircraft on behalf of American Airlines, provides daily nonstop service between Del Rio (DRT) and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) also serving the Middle Rio Grande Region of Eagle Pass, Brackettville, Rocksprings, and Comstock, Texas.
Bus service to Del Rio is provided by Greyhound Bus Lines.
Amtrak provides passenger rail service to Del Rio station through its combined Sunset Limited / Texas Eagle service. Trains serve the station thrice-weekly in each direction, with direct service to Los Angeles, San Antonio, New Orleans, Chicago, and points in between.
The United States Border Patrol Del Rio sector headquarters is located at 2401 Dodson Ave.
The United States Postal Service operates two post office facilities in the Del Rio area: the Downtown Post Office (Broadway Street) and Northside Post Office (Bedell Avenue); the Laughlin Post Office (Laughlin AFB) closed because of budget cuts.
A federal court building operates across from the downtown post office.
The GEO Group, a private correctional facility corporation based in Boca Raton, Florida, manages the Val Verde Correctional Facility in Del Rio. It has a contract to house offenders for the county, for the U.S. Marshals Service (male/female) prisoners, and U.S. Customs & Border Protection detainees. The facility opened in 2001 with 688 beds. In 2007, the facility was expanded to its current capacity of 1,400 beds. It is one of the major employers in the Del Rio area and meets standards required by state and federal guidelines.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Del Rio Parole Office in Del Rio.
In the episode "The Young Gun" (February 7, 1958) of the CBS Western television series Trackdown , starring Robert Culp as the Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman, the Ranger travels to Del Rio to investigate a bank robbery and goes undercover to gain inside information to solve the case. He tricks one of the robbers into leading him to the other gang members.
The 1994 motion picture Texas, based on the James A. Michener novel Texas, [ citation needed ] The movie, which took place in the beginning of the 19th century, as many Anglo Americans were settling in the Mexican province of Texas, featured Randy Travis and Anthony Michael Hall.was partly filmed in Del Rio.
Del Rio features prominently (though scenes were shot elsewhere) in No Country for Old Men, the 2007 neo-Western thriller film directed, written, and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name.
Other presentations with a Del Rio setting include:
Coahuila, formally Coahuila de Zaragoza, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Coahuila de Zaragoza, is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City, compose the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico.
Ciudad Acuña, also known simply as Acuña, is a city located in the Mexican state of Coahuila, atand a mean height above sea level of 271 meters. It stands on the Rio Grande, which at this point marks the U.S.-Mexico border, and offers two border crossings via Lake Amistad Dam International Crossing and Del Río-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge with the neighbouring city of Del Rio in the U.S. state of Texas. It serves as the municipal seat of the surrounding municipality of Acuña. The 2017 estimate city population was 201,778 whereas the municipality's population was 214,616. The city is the fourth-largest in the state of Coahuila and the fastest-growing city in Mexico. The area is served by the Ciudad Acuña International Airport.
Laughlin Air Force Base is a facility of the United States Air Force located in Del Rio, Texas. As a census-designated place, it had a population of 1,648 at the 2015 census.
South Texas is a region of the U.S. state of Texas that lies roughly south of—and including—San Antonio. The southern and western boundary is the Rio Grande, and to the east it is the Gulf of Mexico. The population of this region is about 4.96 million according to the 2017 census estimates. The southern portion of this region is often referred to as the Rio Grande Valley. The eastern portion along the Gulf of Mexico is also referred to as the Coastal Bend.
Del Rio International Airport is two miles northwest of Del Rio, in Val Verde County, Texas. It is used for general aviation, and being near Laughlin Air Force Base it is often used by USAF students.
Amistad National Recreation Area is a park unit managed by National Park Service (NPS) that includes the area around the Amistad Reservoir at the confluence of the Rio Grande, the Devils River, and the Pecos River near Del Rio in Val Verde County, Texas. The reservoir was created by the Amistad Dam, completed in 1969, located on the Rio Grande at the United States-Mexico border across from the city of Ciudad Acuña in the Mexican state of Coahuila. Amistad, Spanish for "friendship," refers broadly to the close relationship and shared history between Ciudad Acuña and Del Rio.
Tropical Storm Charley was the third named storm of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. Charley was the first of two tropical storms to make landfall in Texas during that season. The storm originated with a tropical wave that moved off the West African coast on August 9. The wave moved generally west-northwestward, producing occasional bursts of convection, finally arriving in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by August 19, when animated satellite images began to indicate it had possibly developed a low pressure center. Hurricane Hunter investigations into the system the next day revealed that this was not the case. The system lingered for two days, lacking an organized low level center of circulation until early on the morning of August 21, when advisories were initiated on the tropical depression, 185 miles (298 km) east of Brownsville, Texas. The depression became a tropical storm later that day, as it moved steadily west-northwestward, strengthening, and then weakening again before making landfall the next morning around Port Aransas, Texas. The storm moved slowly inland and finally dissipated on the morning of the August 24 near the town of Del Rio, Texas.
San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District (SFDR-CISD) is a school district based in Del Rio, Texas (USA).
The Del Río-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge is an international bridge which crosses the Rio Grande connecting the United States-Mexico border cities of Del Rio, Texas and Ciudad Acuña. The bridge is also known as "Del Río International Bridge", "Puente Acuña" and "Puente Ciudad Acuña-Ciudad Del Río".
Eagle Pass is a city in and the county seat of Maverick County in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 26,255 as of the 2010 census.
Acuña is one of the 38 municipalities of Coahuila, in north-eastern Mexico. The municipal seat lies at Ciudad Acuña, which contained over 98% of the municipality's population in 2010. The municipality covers an area of 11,487.7 km² and is located on the international border between Mexico and the USA, here formed by the Río Bravo del Norte, adjacent to the U.S. state of Texas.
Jiménez is one of the 38 municipalities of Coahuila, in north-eastern Mexico. The municipal seat lies at Jiménez. The municipality covers an area of 3040.9 km² and is located on the international border between Mexico and the USA, here formed by the Río Bravo del Norte, adjacent to the U.S. state of Texas.
Ocampo is one of the 38 municipalities of Coahuila, in north-eastern Mexico, and the largest by area. The municipal seat lies at Ocampo. The municipality covers an area of 26,433 km² and is located on the international border between Mexico and the USA, here formed by the Río Bravo del Norte, adjacent to the U.S. state of Texas.
Founded as El Paso del Norte by Spanish Franciscan friars at an important mountain pass, the area became a small agricultural producer though most settlement was south of the river where modern Mexico lies. The city was considered part of New Mexico under Spanish Conquerors and was tied economically to Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Chihuahuan mining districts of San Felipe El Real and San José del Parral.
El Paso–Juárez, also known as Juárez–El Paso, the Borderplex or Paso del Norte, is a binational metropolitan area, or conurbation, on the border between Mexico and the United States. The region is centered on two large cities: Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, U.S. Additionally, nearby Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S. is sometimes included as part of the region, referred to as El Paso–Juárez–Las Cruces or El Paso–Juárez–Southern New Mexico. With over 2.7 million people, this binational region is the 2nd largest metropolitan area on the United States–Mexico border. The El Paso–Juárez region is the largest bilingual, binational work force in the Western Hemisphere.
Val Verde County Airport is a former airport, located in Del Rio, Texas. Airport operations ended in 1959. Today the former airport is a residential site.
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