McAllen, was founded in 1904 by John McAllen, who built West McAllen. In 1905, a branch of the railway was laid to it, connecting McAllen with a network of North American and Mexican lines.
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East McAllen was built in 1907, the two settlements were merged in 1910, and a new town hall was built in McAllen in the 1960s, the city library was expanded, and a museum was opened. In 1976, the La Plaza Mall, the largest in southeast Texas, was also opened. In the suburb of McAllen, there are 6 campuses of South Texas College, which has 30,000 students and more than 1,500 employees.