Re Rancho Blanco (Kelly) Cemetery 

aka Kelly Family Cemetery

Pharr, Hidalgo Co. Cemeteries of Tx

Submitted by Frances Isbell

From Obits

Last Name First Name Birth Death Comments
Kelly Anna Mae Aug 16 1910 Oct 14 2004 w/o J. Connally Kelly  Obit

Permission granted by the Hidalgo Co. Historical Commission

LOCATION: Two and a half miles south of Pharr on Rancho Blanco road at US 281, northwest corner. SURVEYED: Anna May Kelly, November 1988. 
PERSPECTIVE: There is a single grave, facing south, towards the entrance (Oct 14 2004 Now there are two, Info by Fran Isbel)

NOTE: Landcaped by Herrera Nursery of McAllen, there are plantings of arbor vitae, palms, Brazilian pepper, bougainvillea, and Rio Grande ash trees bordering three sides. Palms border the south side. Cemetery  measure two acres. At the north end of the grounds is located Casa Maria,
a facility of the Pharr Oratory, dedicated to counseling for women.

HISTORY: John C. Kelly was born in Huntsville, Alabama, in 1862. He moved to Belton, Texas as a young man, and later to Waco. He first came to the  Valley in 1904, with his wife Cherrie, sons Ben, Presley, and Connally, and  daughter Odelle. He returned in 1906 and with a partner, bought a 16,000- acre tract that had frontage on the Rio Grande and extended 16 miles north. This tract is listed on deed records and maps as the Kelly-Pharr Tract, in  Porcion 69.

In 1909, Kelly and his partner, Henry N. Pharr, formed the Louisiana Rio- Grande Sugar Company and began work on a canal system for irrigation. In  1910, they formed the Pharr Townsite Company with Mr. Kelly as president.  This company sold lots in the new 640-acre city and in open land on the 
Kelly-Pharr subdivision. Kelly named the city Pharr, after his partner.  It was incorporated in 1916.

Kelly's own ranch south of the town site, originally brush land, housed mules used for land clearing. He named his ranch Casa Blanca after the  family home in Waco, a large white house purchased by the Kelly family in  1895. By 1920, he was farming the ranch, having sent his son Ben to supervise operations, and using Japanese farmers to work the land. Kelly died in 1937.

The family sold most of the original acreage in 1973, keeping five acres near the present Kelly Cemetery. It has been incorporated into the Pharr city limits.


The pink granite headstone is inscribed:

John Connally Kelly
September 4, 1899 February 21, 1966

Anna Mae Evans Kelly
       Aug 16,  1910 -- Oct. 14, 2004
       Wife of J. Connally Kelly, daughter-in-law of one of the founders of Pharr, Texas.  She was active in political, historical, civic, religious and genealogical circles for over half a century.
Obituary in McAllen Monitor, Oct 18, 2004

End of Rancho Blanco Cemetery.