Originally settled in the late eighteenth century as Rancho La Habitación, opposite the south bank Mexican city of Reynosa, the settlement was renamed Edinburg by Scottish-born John Young in 1852. Platted with a grid that included a traditional courthouse square, the proximity of Hidalgo to the Rio Grande proved unfortunate for its future development, as periodic flooding filled its streets. Railroad entrepreneurs kept their lines safely located away from the river. By 1908, county government abandoned the town, renamed it Hidalgo, and moved to a dry, centrally located community that was named as the new Edinburg. The old courthouse, jail, and a cluster of buildings remained in Hidalgo and today stand as the earliest vestiges of nineteenth-century architecture in the county.
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