LaBlanca Community Cemetery

Hidalgo Co. Cemeteries of Tx

Submitted by Frances Isbell

With Permission  of Hidalgo Co. Historical Commission (2006)

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LOCATION: 2000 West Highway 107, La Blanca (behind La Blanca Kountry Funeral Home) on southeast corner of intersection of State Highway 107 and FM 493 in south central Hidalgo County.

HISTORY: The unincorporated community of La Blanca (Sp. "white") is located in La Blanca Land Grant, sold by the Mexican government to Lino Cavazos in 1834. Cavazos was the son of Matias Cavazos and Manuela Hinojosa, and a grandson of Juan Jose Hinojosa, grantee of the adjacent Llano Grande (Sp. "big plain") Land Grant.

Because of surveying errors, the northern portion of the triangular La Blanca Land Grant overlaps the western part of Llano Grande. An 1840 map shows La Blanca Ranch [in the overlap area] on the western edge of Llano Grande Land Grant. The ranch was established on the Gil Zarate Survey before 1800.To avoid legal controversy, twentieth century developers paid double compensation.

In the 1860 census of Hidalgo County, 48-year-old Gil Zarate, who described himself as a farmer, reported a wife Josefa, two sons and three daughters, and 1,500 acres of real estate worth $500. He was born in Mexico about 1812, which could have been on the same property, since it was Mexico at the time. Twenty years later, the 1880 census reported 44 heads of families living on La Blanca Ranch (no Zarate).

Settlement by northern Anglo-Americans occurred early in the twentieth century. About 1903, rice planters Thomas Jackson Hooks and A.F. Hester bought 13,000 acres in La Blanca and Llano Grande Land Grants from John Closner at $1.25 an acre. They formed La Blanca Agricultural Company and planned a vast sugarcane plantation and development. With oxen, they dragged in a pump and boiler and built extensive canals to irrigate the land.

In 1927, Mrs. Verna Pridmore was appointed the first postmaster in La Blanca.

In 1999, Mr. Edward E. Pyle (c1927-Jan. 25, 2007), an entrepreneur from Seminole, Oklahoma, established La Blanca Community Cemetery to provide his neighbors easier and more affordable access to a local burial ground. The cemetery consists of approximately seven acres, and is open sunrise to sunset. There are plans to install fencing. It is non-profit and non-denominational. It is maintained by his widow, Mrs. Rosario Gallejos Pyle, who also manages the adjacent funeral home. Burial records may be consulted in the funeral home.