Texas Tropical Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program


Photo by Valerie D. Bates


Edward Burleson Raymond, founder of Raymondville and the Willacy County seat, was a busy man. Son of Republic of Texas lawyer and newspaperman N.C. Raymond and born in a log house on Austin's Congress Avenue, Raymond made his way to South Texas on horseback in 1870. He worked as a drover for the cattle drives, then managed the King-Kenedy interests, including King's El Sauz Ranch, for decades. He married Juanita Rodriguez, developed his own ranch Las Majadas (and site of Raymondville), fathered two sons, made postmaster, bank president, commissioner, set up the local telephone exchange, and built a cotton gin. After he died, Raymondville citizens took up the slack, growing sorghum, cotton, and citrus fruits, and establishing the town as a center of trade for local farmers. Raymondville's proximity to the coast, only 22 miles west of Port Mansfield, makes it a year round outdoor recreation spot alongside its commercial trucking and agricultural pursuits. Contemporary Raymondville citizens stay busy coordinating the Willacy County Heritage Gala, the Winter Texan Golf Tournament, the annual Wild in Willacy Boot Fest, and the downtown Christmas Parade. Sounds like Raymond would probably have some competition for title as the busiest person in Raymondville if he were alive today!