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Matamoros is founded in 1686 when Captain Alonso de León of the Nuevo Reino de León establishes the Congregación de los Esteros Hermosos. Because it was an ideal spot for raising cattle, its name is changed to San Juan de los Esteros Hermosos in 1774.
In 1793, missionaries from the Colegio de Zacatecas change the name to Nuestra Señora del Refugio de los Esteros. In 1826 it is renamed Matamoros in honor of the insurgent hero, Mariano Matamoros.
The residents called it El Refugio or Villa del Refugio. Flooding caused the original site of Villa del Refugio to be moved and in 1814 construction is begun in the main square, considered the highest point in the town.
1826: Villa de Matamoros
1851: Why the “H” in Matamoros?
Because of this victory the state and federal congress confer the titles of “Unconquered” (Invicta), “Heroic” (Heróica) and “Loyal” (Leal) on the city. The letter “H” before the name of the city refers to the title “Heroic”
1948 to 1962: The Cotton Age
Economic Activity Today
This 1864 drawing of Matamoros is a scene from 6th Street between Abasolo and Gonzales. It depicts the common scene of mules carrying goods along the border.