About the Mission, Texas Area
Established in 1824 by Oblate Fathers on a site three miles south of the present town, priests are said to have planted an orange grove that was one of the first experiments with citrus cultures in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Mission is know as "Home of the Grapefruit," the particular grapefruit being the famed Texas Ruby Red. The city is a commercial center for a vast citrus-truck-crop area.
As of 2007, Mission's population is 63,272 people. Since 2000, it has had a population growth of 39.34 percent.
The median home cost in Mission is $177,100. Home appreciation the last year has been -3.19 percent.
Compared to the rest of the country, Mission's cost of living is 19.74% Lower than the U.S. average. See our full report on Mission Cost of Living.
Mission public schools spend $5,742 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. There are about 15 students per teacher in Mission.
The unemployment rate in Mission is 4.90 percent (U.S. avg. is 4.60%). Recent job growth is Positive. Mission jobs have Increased by 1.77 percent.
Recreational Activities, Historical Sites in Mission, Texas
Mission has a variety of recreational facilities available to its citizens including public parks, public and private golf courses, tennis courts, and swimming pools. For the avid outdoorsman, there are plenty world-class fishing and hunting opportunities. There are many boating facilities in the area, as well. Mission also provides one of the few spots in the Valley for water skiing on the Rio Grande River. There is so much to see and do in Mission. The following are just a taste of the recreational attractions Mission offers:
World Birding Center
Mission is the headquarters for the World Birding Center which has nine designated sites that will protect wildlife habitats throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
International Butterfly Park
Unlike various butterfly conservatories that have been built across the United States, NABA International Butterfly Park will provide intensive outdoor gardens of native nectar plants and specific caterpillar host plants as well as natural habitat to attract large numbers of wild butterflies and conserve rare native butterflies the 85 acre out-door park.
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park has over size hundred acres set aside to preserve native flora and fauna along the banks of the Rio Grande. Facilities include primitive camping sites, a boat ramp, an open group shelter, a playground, a picnicking area and a bird observation blinds.
Anzalduas County Park and Dam
Anzalduas County Park is located on the Rio Grande River in Mission. Its defining feature is the Anzalduas Dam yet it is also a beautiful spot for picnicking, barbequing and boating. This well maintained park also offers surprisingly excellent wildlife watching. There are more than 290 species of butterflies in the Valley.
A Golfer's Paradise
Mission is home to four fabulous golf courses. Set in deep South Texas, both novice and professional golfers alike can take advantage of the year-round outdoor climate. Our world-class golf courses have been uniquely designed to accent the tropical vegetation and climate that make the Rio Grande Valley a favorite among golf enthusiasts. Golf courses in Mission include: Cimarron Country Club, Martin Valley Ranches, Meadowcreek Country Club and Shary Municipal Golf Course
Historical and Cultural Landmarks
La Lomita Chapel
An important glimpse into the history of Mission and South Texas is La Lomita Chapel. Constructed from adobe, the chapel was built in 1865 by Rene Guyard, a French merchant and devout Roman Catholic, on the Lomita Ranch he purchased in 1845. It continues as a religious shrine and popular site for historians.
Los Ebanos Ferry
The last remaining hand-drawn ferry connecting the Rio Grande River in the U.S. with Diaz Ordaz, Mexico. It was at one time known as "Smugglers Crossing." The ferry's anchor cable has been tied to a tree near the river for 50 years; that ebony tree is estimated to be 250 years old.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Chruch
Our Lady of Guadalupe Chruch is one of the oldest landmarks in Mission dating back to 1899. This historic church is manned by the priests of the Oblate of Mary Immaculate Order and was nearly destroyed in a fire in 1925. It was rebuilt in 1926, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church offers daily mass services to date.
El Granjeno Cemetery
El Granjeno Cemetery was established in 1872 with the burial of Don Antonio Garza. His brother, Don Juan Garza Escheverria, donated the surrounding land for use by the communities of El Granjeno and nearby Madero. A native of Reynosa, Mexico, Don Juan (B. 1854) is buried here, along with many of his descendants. Also interred here are veterans of the Civil War, World War I and the Vietnam War. El Granjeno Cemetery has served families on both sides of the Rio Grande and is a reflection of the history of the area's small working villages. (1985)
The Border Theatre
The Border Theatre opened on April 3rd, 1942 and remains one of the last theatres with the "Art Pueblo Styling." It was named a Texas Historic Landmark in 1997 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Border Theatre is located at 905 Conway Ave. and has provided three generations of residents and visitors with the finest movies in a typical border setting for more than 50 years.
The Rio Theatre
The Rio Theatre was built in 1912 as Teatro La Paz, or the Peace Theatre and hosted a variety of events including films, lectures, concerts and festivals
Tom Landry Mural
The Tom Landry Mural honors Mission native and legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Born and raised in Mission, Tom Landry led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles and "America's Team" status. The mural depicts and spans his life, career and legend and his handprints and footprints are preserved in the sidewalk below. You can see it in downtown Mission.
Shary Shivers Estate
The Shary Shivers estate was home to John H. Shary, the father of the Texas citrus industry. Later the home became the valley residence for Governor and Mrs. Allan Shivers. The grounds include the Shary home and Shary Memorial Chapel and park, maintained as memorial to Shary. No public tours, but grounds are quite beautiful to visit.
Texas Citrus Fiesta
The Texas Citrus Fiesta is an annual festival celebrating the more than 10 million pounds Texas produced each year. Each year the three-day festival includes carnival, live music, ethnic foods, the coronation of Queen and duchesses and the unique Parade of Oranges. The Fiesta also presents a Product Costume Style Show where costumes made of citrus and other local Valley products are exhibited. These costumes have been featured in National Geographic, Southern Living, Texas Monthly magazines, and at shows from Kansas City to Washington D.C.
Mission Historical Museum
Mission Historical Museum offers a glimpse into the history of the city of Mission. Opened in 2002 as a heritage center for Mission and the surrounding areas, the museum showcases exhibits, collections and many educational programs centered on images and artifacts reflecting the city's history.
Mission Butterfly Gardens
Nowhere in the Rio Grande Valley are there more butterflies than in the city of Mission. You can enjoy the influx of these exotic little creatures in the beautiful butterfly gardens located throughout Mission.
For location and phone numbers to these schools or other institutions, please contact us.
Public high schools in Mission:
SHARYLAND High School (Students: 2195; Grades: 9-12; Our rating: 56)
MISSION High School (Students: 1914; Grades: 9-12; Our rating: 32)
VETERANS MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 1779; Grades: 9-12; Our rating: 42)
SHARYLAND ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SCHOOL (Students: 15; Grades: 7-12)
ONE STOP MULTISERVICE High School (Grades: PK-3, 9-12)
VISTA ACADEMY OF MISSION (Grades: 6-12)
Private high schools in Mission:
VALLEY CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS (Students: 239; Grades: PK - 12)
FAITH CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (Students: 108; Grades: PK - 12)
Biggest public elementary/middle schools in Mission:
OLLIE O'GRADY Elementary (Students: 909; Grades: EE-6; Our rating: 54)
OLIVERO GARZA SR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 823; Grades: PK-6; Our rating: 73)
WHITE Junior High School (Students: 784; Grades: 7-8; Our rating: 41)
MISSION Junior High School (Students: 779; Grades: 7-8; Our rating: 54)
RUBEN HINOJOSA ELEMENTARY (Students: 775; Grades: PK-6; Our rating: 80)
MIMS Elementary (Students: 749; Grades: EE-6; Our rating: 90)
CASTRO Elementary (Students: 708; Grades: EE-6; Our rating: 62)
JESSIE L JENSEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 705; Grades: PK-6; Our rating: 66)
MARCELL Elementary (Students: 704; Grades: EE-6; Our rating: 56)
BRYAN Elementary (Students: 702; Grades: EE-6; Our rating: 74)
Private elementary/middle school in Mission:
AGAPE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (Students: 228; Grades: PK - 6)
Mission Texas, History
More than two hundred years ago, the Spanish government began settling a vast area stretching from Panuco River in Tampico, Mexico, to the Nueces River in present-day Corpus Christi. In 1762 King Carlos III of Spain, at the suggestion of the Viceroy of Mexico, ordered a just and equal division of the territory. Spanish in order to insure that all proposed porciones (section of land) had equal access to the bank on the Rio Bravo and extending inland. The average porcion was two-thirds of a mile wide on the riverbank and stretched inland for eleven to sixteen miles. This marked the beginning of the history of Rancho La Lomita, site of the La Lomita Mission, after which the city of Mission was named.
In 1745, Jose de Escandon ordered Captain Jose Antonio Cantu to establish the town of Reynosa at its present site, which at that time was under the jurisdiction of Anzalduas. Written records substantiate that the side known as La Lomita was granted to Captain Cantu of Reynosa by a Spanish grant in 1767. The land was eventually sold to M. Guillermo Rene Guyard, who at his death in 1874 willed the land to the Missionary Oblates of Mary. In 1906 the oblate Fathers sold the land on which the city on Mission and much of its nearby community now stand to John J. Conway and J.W. Hoit, who established Rancho La Lomita Land Company. Most of the area's activities were centered on La Lomita.
In 1908 the Missouri Pacific established a railway station near the center of the new community, four miles north of the mission. That railroad stop has grown into the thriving city of Mission. It was in the area that the first citrus was planted in the Rio Grande Valley.
The historic La Lomita Mission still stands and is visited regularly each year by tourists and residents, and the multi-million dollar citrus industry is celebrated annually with the gala Texas Citrus Fiesta, attracting participants from both sides of the Rio Grande.