Story about Ranch Life in Hidalgo Co. Gets New Life

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EDINBURG – A woman wrote a chapter that was supposed to be part of a book about the 100th anniversary of Hidalgo County, but the book never happened.

Ten years after her death, her son discovered it. Now, her grandson has printed the second edition.

The book was titled “Ranch Life in Hidalgo County after 1850” by Emilia Schunior Ramirez.

“My grandmother, Emilia Schunior Ramirez, was a professor at Pan Am,” Robert Ramirez said.

She even has a student dormitory named after her.

“She researched it by talking to her parents and other relatives because her mother was born on a ranch. So she talked to her about how they lived,” Ramirez, Emilia’s grandson, said.

Her writing is specific about the job of each person on the ranch. “They didn’t have any running water. They didn’t have electricity,” he said.

The men took care of the cattle and the ranch. The women cooked up the meals and they made all the clothes for the family.

Water was so precious; some men’s only job was to draw water from the well eight hours a day.

“And they would get up early in the morning, put the beans on, put the coffee on, and start their day. And they’d work until dark, of course,” he said.

Robert Ramirez’s father, Al Ramirez, former mayor of Edinburg, found her writings 10 years after she died.

“He published it in 1971. That was the first edition. Little tiny thin book, he called it a modest little booklet, which it was,” he said.

And now, her grandson has decided to honor his grandmother again by doing a second edition with a modern update look.

“I kept the front part of the book the same as when she did, because people said don’t change it because it has its own character,” he said.

But Ramirez did make a few changes

“And the back half is full of family history, biographies, lots and lots of photographs dating back to the late 1880s. And another thing is at the very beginning is a listing of 35 to 40 ranches that were existing at the time,” he said.

And the Schunior name is well known, especially in Edinubrg.

“Schunior Street is named for Charles Schunior, who was a county commissioner. And his grandfather came with Taylor’s army,” Ramirez said.

For anyone who would like to take a closer look at the book, they can by heading to www.EarlySpanishReading.com. There’s a lot of history in the ranch life in Hidalgo County.

You can catch Con Mi Gente segments Tuesdays and Thursdays on CHANNEL 5 NEWS THIS MORNING and CHANNEL 5 NEWS at 5.


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