Combes is on Business U.S. Highway 77 and State Highway 107, bordering Harlingen in northwestern Cameron County. The site was originally the headquarters for the Combes Ranch, named for Charles B. Combes, a settler from Kentucky, who moved to the region during the early 1900s. The town developed after 1904, when the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway built a line through the region. There is some debate as to whether the town was named for the ranch or for a Brownsville surgeon named Joe Combe.
In January 1911 a post office was established there, and by 1915 the community had a population of 100. In 1920 the post office was closed, but it reopened in 1926. Combes had a population of 500 in 1929. In 1936 the town had a population of 100 and thirteen businesses, including a factory; at that time it also had five churches, a cemetery, a school, a tourist camp, and numerous dwellings and farm units. By 1949 Combes had twenty businesses and an estimated population of 400. The community was incorporated during the 1950s, and in 1956 it consisted of a central community surrounded by numerous scattered dwellings that fell within its corporate boundary. Throughout the 1960s its estimated population remained at 400, and in 1972 it reached an estimated 689. The population continued to steadily increase through the 1980s, reaching an estimated 2,042 in 1990 and 2,553 in 2000.
Alicia A. Garza
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article. Alicia A. Garza, “COMBES, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjc15), accessed June 20, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.