About the City of Socorro

buildingThe City of Socorro is right in the middle of the West Texas portion of the Mission Valley Trail. To the east of the City of Socorro is the San Elizario Mission, to the west, the Ysleta Mission.

This all came about after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, in northern New Mexico. The Spanish were driven from the north and moved into the area with their Native American Allies. Two years later they built Nuestra Señora de la Limpia Concepción del Socorro Mission.  But the first permanent mission structure was swept away in the Great Rio Grande Flood in 1744.

Determined settlers built  a second church and it too was washed away in 1829 when the Rio Grande flooded and receding waters cut a new channel.

The present Socorro mission was opened in 1843. Eventually a struggling and gritty community of 1,100 settlers built up around the mission.

The City of Socorro was actually a part of Mexico from 1821 to 1848,  but as the result of the bloody US‐Mexican War, it went over to Texas. The secret to it’s lasting development were it’s “acequias.” They provided water for crops and vineyards.

The growing City of Socorro was derailed in 1881 when the railroads laid their track all the way to El Paso and by passed Socorro shifting the political power to El Paso. In fifty years Socorro’s population was 2,123 but bigger farms and industrialization of the farming  business dropped the population to 350 by 1941. The resolute citizens were determined to stay in the area for decades.  Then, suddenly  in 1960s and 1970s, the population grew rapidly. Un scrupulous developers built homes in residential subdivisions that did not have  paved streets, water, or sewer lines. The City of Socorro residents again raised up against the builders of these colonias—. The fight had to refocus against El Paso County who wanted to take over the City of Socorro. In 1985, the threat of annexation of the entire town by El Paso sparked an uproar that resulted in the reincorporation of Socorro. The unwavering Socorro residents blocked El Paso’s plan to annex the city and Socorro has continued to grow with the same determination and grit.