County Seat: Edinburg * County Population: 700,634
The Hidalgo County Courthouse was built in 1954 in a Modern style of stone and marble. The present county capitol is the final of three courthouses, the first of which still stands. In 1886, a Neoclassical brick courthouse was erected in Hidalgo, the initial county seat; this courthouse remains standing today.
The county was created in 1852 from Cameron and Starr counties. In 1908, an election was held to move county government from Hidalgo to Chapin, and county records were carted by ox to their new home. The name of the county seat was later changed to Edinburg by enemies of Judge D.B. Chapin. A $70,000, Spanish-style courthouse was used until 1954, when the present $1.5 million county capitol was designed by R. Newell Walters.
The county is named for Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a leader of the independence movement in Mexico. The name of the county seat honors John Young, of Edinburg, Scotland, who founded the community of Edinburg.
Hidalgo County, located on the Texas-Mexico border in Deep South Texas, is a birder- and butterfly-watcher’s paradise with lush greenscapes such as the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and the National Butterfly Park. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park includes 600 acres set aside to preserve the native flora and fauna of the lower Rio Grande Valley. On the banks of the Rio Grande, this park offers picnicking, bird-watching and nature study along with a Hawk Preservation Tower.
Visitors also enjoy traveling Old Military Highway