McAllen Ranch: A History of Quality Cattle and Horses
In 1748, in order to establish Spanish outposts in Nuevo Santander, conquistador José de Escandón recognized that habitation by families, clergy, and military would be imperative to hold their claim against other encroaching European powers.
Agriculture, particularly ranching, remained a Spanish legacy integrated into nearly every aspect of life. Seeing the grasslands along the lower Rio Grande as perfectly evolved to support cattle and other grazing livestock, between 1767 and 1800 the crown awarded hundreds of thousands of acres to colonial subjects having proven themselves worthy of managing property. Spanish ranches tracing their heritage back to the 18th colonization of South Texas set the standard for ranching practices adopted across the American west into the 20th century.