Mission Ysleta, El Paso
Ysleta, now part of the city of El Paso, is perhaps the oldest town in Texas. It was one of several agricultural communities started on the Rio Grande by Spaniards
and Indians after the Pueblo Revolt in New Mexico in 1680. The Tigua Indians, who were brought from their pueblo at Isleta, New Mexico, in 1680-82, have occupied the area
continuously since. The new Ysleta del Sur ('little island of the south') was located a league and a half east of Guadalupe Mission at the site of present Ciudad Juárez. The first Mass was
celebrated near Ysleta on October 12, 1680. By 1691 a temporary church was replaced by an adobe building that was later washed away by a flood in 1740, rebuilt four years later on
higher ground. The roof and bell tower were damaged by fire in 1907. The mission's name has been changed several times, recently to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Between 1829 and
1831 the Rio Grande cut a new channel, which placed Ysleta on an island formed by the old and new channels. When the deepest channel became the international boundary in 1848,
Ysleta became part of the United States. The population of Ysleta showed steady growth numbered 560 (429 Indians and 131 others) in 1760, and 8,550 in 1960. Henry L. Dexter
became the town's first mayor in 1859. This city government did not survive nor did one that operated in the early 1870s. An election in 1880 approved incorporation, and in 1889 the
town council declared Ysleta a city. After a stormy period of squabbles over water supply, land grants, limited resources, the town government dissolved in 1895. In 1873 Ysleta
replaced San Elizario as the El Paso county seat. The coming of the railroads in 1881 changed the population center of the county, and made El Paso the county seat. A bridge was built
across the Rio Grande in 1929 linking Ysleta with Zaragosa, Mexico. In 1955 El Paso annexed Ysleta, although residents of the smaller town had voted against the move. The annexation
was upheld by the United States Supreme Court. Ysleta Independent School District was allowed to retain its identity. The Tiguas, who helped the United States military as scouts during
the Indian wars, were recognized as a tribe by the state of Texas in 1967 and by the United States Congress in 1968. They have established a housing area and various business
enterprises on their reservation in the oldest part of Ysleta.
Yep, that was our car! a 1970 Lincoln Continental.