Shoppers at H-E-B are likely familiar with the bright yellow and royal blue boxes that can be found in the butter section. An official “Go Texan” product, Falfurrias® Butter began production in 1909 and continues today. Did you know Falfurrias is also a town in South Texas, located about 78 miles southwest of Corpus Christi and 90 miles east of Laredo?
Edward C. Lasater, a Rio Grande Valley rancher and developer, founded the town and named it after his ranch, La Mota de Falfurrias, which he started in 1895. The origin of the name “Falfurrias” is uncertain. Lasater claimed it was a Lipan word meaning “the land of heart’s delight.” Some believe it was the Spanish name for a native desert flower, while others consider it a misspelling of a Spanish or French word. Yet another theory is the name refers to a long-ago local shepherd named Don Filfarrias and his favored grove of trees (la mota).
Photo: @eric_urquhart via Twenty20
La Mota de Falfurrias grew to be over 350,000 acres. This, coupled with the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway crossing his land, led to Lasater launching the community of Falfurrias. He encouraged people to settle there by subdividing a portion of his ranch to sell to farmers. In the 1920s, irrigation methods introduced to the area brought in truck farming and the citrus fruit industry. Another boost came in the next decades via discovered oil and gas reserves.
One famous resident of Falfurrias was Don Pedro Jaramillo, a Mexican-born curandero, who was known as the “Healer of Los Olmos.” His legacy includes a time in which he performed healings on over 500 people per day, some traveling from as far away as New York City. In 1971, 64 years after his death, the state of Texas dedicated a historical marker to Don Pedro Jaramillo. It was the first marker in Texas to be written in both English and Spanish. He is buried in Falfurrias, and a shrine stands in his honor on Farm Road 1418, FM 1418.