Pharr is within a Spanish land grant made in 1767 to Juan José Hinojosa who later sold off land portions in the late 19th century. In 1909 John Connally Kelley, Sr., and Henry N. Pharr, a Louisiana sugarcane grower, became co-owners of 16,000 acres, with two miles of frontage on the river. Pharr founded Louisiana and Rio Grande Canal Company and constructed an irrigation system to establish a sugar plantation. Kelley formed the Pharr Townsite Company, which platted the town that he named Pharr in honor of his partner. In 1916, the town was incorporated and it had its own newspaper three years later. Pharr is also part of the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission and Reynosa–McAllen metropolitan areas. The city is situated in southern Hidalgo County and it is bordered to the west by the city of McAllen, to the north by Edinburg, the county seat, to the east by San Juan, and to the southwest by Hidalgo. The Pharr city limits extend south in a narrow band to the Rio Grande and the Pharr–Reynosa International Bridge into the Mexican city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas. With a total area of 23.4 square miles, one of its communities is Las Milpas which was annexed in 1987. In 2006, Pharr received the "The All America City" award. The population was 79,487 in 2017. Finally, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is also found here.
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