Shary Memorial Chapel Cemetery
Photos from the UTPA archives
Hidalgo Co. Cemeteries of Tx
Submitted by Frances Isbell
With Permission of Hidalgo Co. Historical Commission (2005)
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LOCATION: Southeast of Mission, 2.5 miles north of State Farm Road 495 (Pecan Avenue) on FM 494 (Shary Road), and 3.6 mile south of FM 107. Chapel is on east side of road.
Researched by Fran Isbell, Janette Garcia and Modene Johnson on May 4,
John H. Shary, born near Wilbur, Nebraska, had already colonized a
quarter million acres of land in the Corpus Christi area before he came to the
Valley in 1912. He was primarily
interested in land development, irrigation, and marketing of grapefruit.
Known as the “Father of the Texas Citrus Industry,” in
1914 Shary colonized Sharyland (49,000 acres).
In 1915 he planted the Valley’s first commercial citrus orchard.
He built the first modern citrus packing plant in Sharyland on railroad
frontage. He organized the Texas
Citrus Growers Exchange (TCX), one of the first large scale growing and
marketing associations in the industry. He
pioneered in canning citrus juices and segments, and built another plant which
was the first to develop stock feeds and molasses from citrus by-products.
diversified interests included two newspapers, two banks, several land
companies, oil development and purebred
cattle. In 1922, Shary married
Margaret Mary O’Brien. Their
daughter Maryalice married Senator (Governor of Texas 1949-1957) Allen Shivers
H. Shary built his showplace Southern style plantation home overlooking an
artificial lake in 1917 (Texas Historical Marker 1964).
It became the “Little White House” in 1953 when President Dwight D.
Eisenhower was the guest of Governor and Mrs. Shivers during dedication of
Shary’s death in 1945, his wife
Mary continued to play a key role as head of the Shary Organization, although
she gradually relied more and more on the advice of her daughter and
son-in-law, Maryalice and Allen Shivers.
Mary Shary died on
November 30, 1959.
John H. and Mary Shary are buried in a handsome chapel on the
estate grounds. The Shary Estate is now owned by the University of Texas Pan
John H. Shary, born March 2, 1872, died November 6, 1945
Margaret Mary O’Brien Shary, born
December 7, 1886; died November