“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Brownsville in Cameron County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Frank Rabb

Frank Rabb Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 22, 2021
1. Frank Rabb Marker

Frank Rabb (1866-1932) was born in Corpus Christi to Texas ranching pioneers John and Martha Rabb. After marrying Lillian Starck, granddaughter of ranching neighbor Mifflin Kenedy, Frank and Lillian settled at San Tomas on 20,000 acres. Except for a few small plots, agriculture in the area was scarce until the late 19th century when the introduction of steam pumps and irrigation systems offset the harsh climate. Rabb worked to develop one of the first irrigation systems in the area that allowed for property to be farmed and irrigated in areas away from immediate river banks. Rabb was also a charter member of the Chatfield Irrigation Co., an early attempt at wide-spread irrigation. In addition, Rabb and other growers lobbied vigorously to have rail lines extended to their region to transport goods and export produce. By 1904, with the coming of the railroad, irrigation canals and farmland sales became a major enterprise.

In addition to agriculture, Rabb also became a leader in the South Texas progressive Democrat machine and was involved in the turbulent Mexican Revolution. Following the heated election of 1914, Rabb left politics
The Frank Rabb Marker is the middle marker of the three markers. image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 22, 2021
2. The Frank Rabb Marker is the middle marker of the three markers.
and returned to ranching, farming and real estate interests. In 1917, Rabb offered a 200-acre Sabal Palm Grove to the U.S. Government to establish a national park. It would take almost 60 years before his vision to preserve this unique natural heritage of the Rio Grande Delta came to fruition. Frank Rabb was instrumental in initiating a significant change that made large-scale agriculture in this region possible. He is remembered for his involvement in conflicts and politics of the early 20th century in South Texas and Mexico.
Erected 2012 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17141.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureHorticulture & ForestryIndustry & Commerce.
Location. 25° 51.144′ N, 97° 25.047′ W. Marker is in Brownsville, Texas, in Cameron County. Marker is at the intersection of Sabal Palm Grove Road and Southmost Boulevard (Farm to Market Road 1419), on the right when traveling south on Sabal Palm Grove Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8435 Sabal Palm Grove Road, Brownsville TX 78521, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rabb Plantation House (here, next to this marker); Rabb Plantation (here, next to this marker); Neale Home (approx. 5.6
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miles away); Neale House Circa 1850 (approx. 5.6 miles away); Neale House (approx. 5.6 miles away); The Oldest House in Brownsville (approx. 5.6 miles away); Home of Charles Stillman (approx. 5.9 miles away); Stillman House (approx. 5.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brownsville.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 26, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 26, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 3, 2021