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Abram Real Estate
Abram real estate began with access to water taking top priority, mainly the Ojo De Agua (Watering Hole) in Hidalgo County. Although the Ojo De Agua is prone to flooding, it was still considered prime Abram real estate. One landmark in the town was (and still is) a giant cypress tree, thought to be over 900 years old and one of the largest in South Texas. It remains in good health today thanks to the citizens of Abram.
Before the actual village of Abram became official in 1901, there were political meetings held at a club near the Ojo De Agua, as far back as 1894.
Hidalgo County provided a military Highway from Brownsville to Fort Ringgold during the time of the Texas fight for independence. Military traffic was the beginning of the Anglo settlement in Hidalgo County, Texas. Native Americans were inhabitants of the land prior to the arrival of European settlers. There were some territorial issues at times. For example, Apache Indians stole all the horses from Ojo de Agua corrals in July 1873.
Living in Abram
Abraham Dilliard was one of the first Anglo settlers in the area. Originally from Lockhart, Captain Dilliard arrived in the area in 1899, acquired land and raised cattle. He and his wife, Manuela Villarreal built a house near Ojo De Agua so the cattle could have access to the water supply. Captain Dilliard was the postmaster and had a store near the giant cypress tree.
The railway arrived in 1904. Advancement in transportation provided the opportunity for importing luxuries like sugar from San Juan, and also for the rapid transit of travellers. Captain Dilliard, was known to travel on the railway system for business trips. Like other small communities along the tracks, Abram began to establish businesses to accommodate items coming and going from the area.
Farmers grew corn in Hidalgo County, and during bumper years they would ship the ears off to other parts of the country via the railroads. When passengers needed a lift, the trains would attach a passenger car at the end of the cargo train and carry the people to their destination. Non-stop travel via train was the new-and-improved favorite method of getting where you were going.
But the days were still not entirely void of conflict and harsh events. This part of Texas was still clinging to its Wild West days. And unfortunately, there was a tiff in 1915 involving Mexican bandits and U.S. soldiers staying on the Dilliard ranch. The Mexican crew set fire to the Dilliard's house while Mrs. Dilliard and her son made a narrow escape. She reportedly rang the bell in the schoolhouse nearby as a cry for help. Troops arrived from Mission and managed to kill seven of the Mexican fighters. Four U.S. soldiers lost their lives in the battle.
The schoolhouse bell that Mrs. Dilliard rung still resonates today with the La Joya Independent School District. From a small wooden building grew a dream and now La Joya is the fastest-growing school district in Texas. Big things start small.