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Chapa, Joe (Jose), 2011



Descended from two Valley pioneers, Macedonio Vela I of the Laguna Seca Ranch and Manuel Chapa of El Rucio, Mr. Chapa ranched and farmed in San Manuel his entire life. Mr. Chapa's education began in Monterrey Mexico followed by graduation from Edinburg High School, attendance at Edinburg Junior College and completion at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to farming San Manuel Farms established 1800' s, Mr. Chapa operated Chapa-Chapa, Inc., a general merchandise store opened in 1902 by his father. A natural community leader, Mr. Chapa helped establish what is now St. Ann's Catholic Church while actively engaged in both the Knights of Columbus and the Alhambra's El Cid Caravan. Mr. Chapa became the director of the Hidalgo County Red Cross, a founder of the first Valley First Aid Station and, later, a member of the Hidalgo County Child Welfare Board. As time passed, Mr. Chapa further served his community as a director of the Hidalgo County Farm Bureau, a member of: Governor John Connally's Higher Education Committee; the Commission of Rural Development, the Committee for Texas USDA-ASC; and, the Texas Farm and Ranch Committee. In addition Mr. Chapa served many years as a director and board member of the First National Bank of Edinburg. Mr. Chapa was especially proud of receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the Pan American Alumni Association for his years of service from 1952 until 1965 when he served as a regent and president of the Board of Regents while guiding the institution from a junior college to a four year college as well as being instrumental in creating the campus in the location where it exists today.

Brandt, Mary. “JOE E. CHAPA's Obituary on The Monitor.”, 8 Aug. 2011,