Edcouch is located at the intersection of Hwy 107 and FM-1015. Although in use as ranch land, it was only sparsely settled prior to the 1900s.
During the early 1900s, land speculators began to buy up the land that was to become the Delta Area of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. People from the northern part of the United States were invited to visit the area, and representatives of the land companies sold property to anyone who had the money to buy.
People from all parts of the nation began moving south. Mercedes, Donna, and Edinburg were small towns then, and the area now known as the Delta Area was, for the most part, unsettled. Weslaco was a newer town, developed by the land company from which it derived its name.
Among the first to settle the Delta area was R.R. Hill, who built a store on what is now known as FM-1015 and Mile 16-N, south of the current location of Edcouch. Not wanting to send his children 15 miles to Edinburg, Mr. Adolph Carlson donated a couple of acres of land at the corner of Mile 4-W and Mile 17-N for the purpose of building a school. Located at the current location of the Edcouch-Elsa High School, the Carlson School soon became a community center.
Realizing that the railroad would be coming through the area, land promoters began lobbying for it to run through their property. Mr. Ed Couch, a Weslaco land promoter and banker, owned property north of Elsa on Mile 17-N. Hoping for the railroad to come to his property, he secured a right of way. Not to be outdone, Mr. William George worked to influence the railroad to go through his property north of Mile 16-N, the location of the new town of Elsa.
Realizing that Mr. George was proving to have more influence in this matter, Mr. Couch made plans to build a town 2 miles east of Elsa, on property which he secured. The town of Edcouch was born. A Mr. Lackland opened a section of town east of what is now known as FM-1015, and began selling only to Latin Americans.
Within a year, Edcouch had 2 feedstores, a box factory, 2 ice plants, 2 lumber yards, 11 packing sheds, a theater, a furniture store, a funeral parlor, a variety store, 3 grocery stores, a real estate office, a telephone exchange, post office, bank, community center, jail, drugstore, cafe, barbershop, and even its own newspaper -- the Edcouch Enterprise.
It was much bigger then than it is now. Over the years, hurricanes and fires have destroyed many of its businesses, its once bustling down town has deteriorated, at least half of its remaining buildings vacant. The railroad ceased operations a few years ago and the tracks themselves were removed in 2000. It is today a low-income bedroom community with a population of under 3,000.
There is hope. With tremendous growth throughout the Lower Rio Grande Valley, we are seeing activity in the Edcouch area. New houses, apartment buildings, and even a few small businesses have emerged to fill the gaps between Edcouch and La Villa to its east, and Elsa to its west. There is room for additional growth to the north and south, although we’ve seen little of it. While it is doubtful that Edcouch will regain the industry and vigor it enjoyed in the 1920s and 1930s, there is little doubt that it will surpass its earlier population counts. The estimated population of Edcouch as of January 1, 2002 was 3,604.