Brooks County, Texas
Brooks County, is centrally located in the South Texas Triangle, which is formed by the Rio Grande River, the Nueces River, and the Gulf of Mexico. It has a total area of 603,993 acres or approximately, 944 square miles in size. Falfurrias, the Spanish name for the desert flower “hearts delight,” is the county seat. In 1995, the population of the county was 8,412. Falfurrias had 6,103 inhabitants, or about 75 percent of the county’s population. Other communities in Brooks County include, Encino, Rachel, Tacubaya, La Mesa, Lucero, La Paritta, Los Olmos and Las Cuatas. Brooks County was established in March 1911 and organized in September of the same year. The county was formed from parts of Starr, Hidalgo, and Zapata counties and originally was or approximately twice its present size. It is now 944 square miles in size. The rest of the original county is now part of Jim Hogg County. Brooks County was named after Captain J.A. Brooks, the famous Texas Ranger who served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Many years ago a young Lipan Indian brave is supposed to have stood gazing across the open country in what is now Brooks County, Texas and muttered “falfurrias,” which means “The Land of Hearts Delight.” The city of Falfurrias has kept this motto since its beginning in 1904, and in the spring beautiful lavender wildflower called “The Hearts Delight” grow in the country side. Ranching dates back as far as the 1840s, and the Beefmaster breed of cattle was established here. Dairying began when the town’s founder, Ed Lasater, divided 60,000 acres of ranch land into small dairy farms in the early 1900s. To provide an outlet for the diary products, Lasater constructed the Falfurrias Creamery, still famous for its “Sweet Cream Butter.” The region’s agriculture includes cotton, sorghum, tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes and cowpeas. The oil industry surfaced in 1908 when a dry hole was put down south of Falfurrias, but it was 1930 before the petroleum potential of the region was proved. Now there are around twenty active oil and gas fields. The area is a sportsman’s paradise – game include deer, turkey, javelina and many types of birds and it’s just a short drive to some of the best fishing on the Texas coast. The city has a nine-hole golf course with no waiting for tee-off, no parking problems, and no standing in line at restaurants. Its Heritage Museum is dedicated to the preservation of a frontier heritage in artifacts, guns, relics and pictures of those deeds that are so much a part of Texas history. The Ed Rachal Memorial Library in Falfurrias is considered one of the best small public libraries in Texas, with its book collection exceeding 56,000 volumes, including an outstanding genealogy collection. Falfurrias likes to tell the tale of Don Pedrito, an old Mexican faith healer born in Jalisco, Mexico. He is said to have been cured through faith, then given the gift of healing in a vision. He came to Los Olmos Ranch in 1881, and for 25 years thousands of people came to be cured. He made no charges, but whatever was given voluntarily he often gave to the poor. A Texas Historical Maker attests to his fame, and the Don Pedrito Shrine is visited by thousands of people each year.