Roma, Texas

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Roma, Texas
Location of Roma, Texas
Location of Roma, Texas
Starr County Roma.svg
Coordinates: 26°24′22″N 99°0′20″W / 26.40611°N 99.00556°W / 26.40611; -99.00556Coordinates: 26°24′22″N 99°0′20″W / 26.40611°N 99.00556°W / 26.40611; -99.00556
Country United States
State Texas
County Starr
Incorporated 1936
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor Freddy Guerra
Ramiro Sarabia
Joel Hinojosa
Marylou G. Cruz
Roberto Salinas
Jose Edgar Rodriguez
 • City Manager Crisanto Salinas
 • Total 2.9 sq mi (7.5 km2)
 • Land 2.8 sq mi (7.1 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 213 ft (65 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 9,765
 • Density 3,490.2/sq mi (1,347.6/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 78584
Area code(s) 956
FIPS code 48-63020[1]
GNIS feature ID 1388200[2]

Roma is a city in Starr County, Texas, United States. The population was 9,765 at the 2010 census. The city is located along the Rio Grande, across from Ciudad Miguel Alemán in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

The city is also popularly known as Roma-Los Saenz, since the incorporated city also took the area known as Los Saenz.


Roma was founded in 1765 and incorporated in 1936. It serves as a port of entry from Mexico into the U.S. via the Roma-Ciudad Miguel Alemán International Bridge. Prior to Texas's independence from Mexico in 1836, the town was listed as under the jurisdiction of the town of Mier, Tamaulipas, and prior to Mexican independence existed under Spanish rule. [1]

The Roma National Historic Landmark District contains over 30 structures built before 1900. Some of those buildings include the Customs House, (Casa de Aduanas, in Spanish)

Roma, TX Customs House

where shippers and brokers came to pay customs fees for imported goods from Europe and Mexico on steam boats, the John Vale/Noah Cox House,

Roma, TX John Vale / Noah Cox House

built in 1853 by Swedish immigrant John Vale, and whose front elevation has finely carved sandstone with classical details on the cornice, the Leocadia Garcia House,

Roma, TX Leocadia Garcia House

built in the 1840s, which served first as a dwelling for José Maria Garcia, husband of Leocadia, and then as a store and dance hall, Rosita's Cantina (bar),

Roma, TX Rosita's Cantina (bar)

built by Portscheller in the 1880s, the Manuel Guerra Building,

Roma, TX Manuel Guerra Building

the crown jewel of restored buildings in Roma, the Néstor Saenz Store,

Roma, TX Nestor Saenz Store

with direct access to the wharf area, just below Juarez street, where steam boats anchored, the Edward Hord Office, built in 1853, for Edward R. Hord, who represented Mexican heirs of original landowners in the area and, during the Civil War, functioned as a military building, the Filomeno Gongora House,

Roma, TX Filomeno Gongora House

built from sandstone blocks, built around the 1830s, the oldest house in Roma, the Our Lady of Refuge Church,

Roma, TX Our Lady of Refuge Church

built in 1853 by Father Perre Keralum (1817=1872), a carpenter-turned-priest of the Oblates, and the Parish Hall,

Roma, TX Parish Hall

which housed the convent of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word (1880s-1913) and the Sisters of Mercy (1813-1940).


Roma is located at 26°24′22″N 99°0′20″W / 26.40611°N 99.00556°W / 26.40611; -99.00556 (26.406101, -99.005644).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km²), of which 2.8 square miles (7.1 km²) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.3 km²) (4.50%) is water.

The City of Roma is located along the Rio Grande, which is the frontier between the United States and Mexico.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 9,617 people, 2,678 households, and 2,351 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,490.2 people per square mile (1,345.3/km²). There were 3,141 housing units at an average density of 1,139.9 per square mile (439.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.30% White, 0.15% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 7.76% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 98.54% of the population.

There were 2,678 households out of which 50.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 19.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 12.2% were non-families. 11.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.59 and the average family size was 3.91.

In the city the population was spread out with 34.9% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $15,563, and the median income for a family was $16,883. Males had a median income of $16,020 versus $12,656 for females. The per capita income for the city was $7,539. About 48.9% of families and 54.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 64.2% of those under age 18 and 46.3% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The city opened its first fire station, a $788,000 facility, on August 1, 2011. The Texas Department of Rural Affairs provided a $540,000 block grant to help build the station.[4]

The United States Postal Service operates the Roma Post Office.[5]


Public education in the city of Roma is provided by the Roma Independent School District. Zoned campuses include Anna S. Canavan Elementary School for pre-kindergarten, in grades K-5, the western portion of the city is zoned to Florence J. Scott Elementary and the eastern portion is zoned to Roel and Celia Saenz Elementary School. A small area located near the eastern city limit line lies within the boundaries of Ynes B. Elementary School. Roma is served by both of the district's middle schools – Roma and Ramiro Barrera (grades 6-8), with a majority zoned to Roma Middle. Roma High School [2] serves students in grades 9-12.[6][7]

Roma in popular culture[edit]

The town is the scene identified as the burial site of artifacts from the Library at Alexandria in Clive Cussler's novel Treasure.

Filming for the 1952 film Viva Zapata!, scripted by John Steinbeck and directed by Elia Kazan, took place in Roma. The film and the city are recurring motifs in Larry McMurtry's 1972 novel All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers, and the book's conclusion takes place in and around Roma.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ Burkhardt, Gail. "Roma, Escobares open 1st fire stations." The Monitor. August 8, 2011. Retrieved on August 26, 2011.
  5. ^ "Post Office™ Location - ROMA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on August 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "2009-2010 Roma ISD Elementary Boundaries". Roma Independent School District. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  7. ^ "2009-2010 Roma ISD Middle School Boundaries". Roma Independent School District. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  8. ^ See Purdy 142-146.


External links[edit]