Elsie George



Elsie George

Mrs. Elsie George, often thought of as the 1st Lady of the Delta Area, arrived in the area in the spring of 1916, long before there was a city or any other nearby settlement.

The events began in Aberdeen, Scotland, where Mr. and Mrs. William George and their infant son were living on a large farm. Hearing from friends of the far-away country of America, Mr. George became interested and eventually persuaded his wife to move with him to Texas.

Accompanied by Mrs. George’s brother, John Davidson, they lived for a time in San Antonio. Hearing stories of the Rio Grande Valley, they saw opportunity. After a short stop in Carrizo Springs, where Mr. Davidson remained, the George family moved further south.

On invitation from a real estate man, Mr. George visited what was then known as the West Tract and, liking what he saw, he purchased the brush land that later included about half of the townsite of Elsa. Clearing the brush, the built a small garage where they lived for several years.

With roads as they were, trips to Mercedes for groceries and provisions were a time-consuming trip, so Mrs. George set up a small commissary. As it was the only one for miles, people came to use it often, and the West Tract Store became the center of things for miles about. Mrs. George became like a mother to those who came to her for advice and supplies.

Over the years, more brush was cleared, and more settlers came to the Elsa area, along with their families. Carlson School, built on Mile 17 and Mile 4, served not only as a school but as a church, as well, with the Reverend Frank Reist serving as the areas first pastor.  A cotton gin was built on the same location where the Cotton Gin Apartments now stand.

By 1925 a town was developing. Unfortunately, by that time Mrs. George’s health was failing. She spent two years outside of the Rio Grande Valley, most of it in a hospital. Her many friends in the Elsa area did not forget her, however. When the time came to name the new town in 1927, they elected to name it after Mrs. Elsie George, or Elsa, which is what the Spanish-speaking people called her.