Little Mexico (Northeast Junction)
Marker No: 16258
Texas Historical Cemetery Marker
Geographic: 30.49514, -99.74943
Location: Corner of Morelos Street and Rio Camino in the northeast area of Junction
Marker Text: Northeast Junction, commonly known as Little Mexico, is a “Latin American” community that is separated by the Llano River from the main portion of Junction. In the late 1920s an automobile route called the Old Spanish Trail was established with Junction near the halfway point between Florida and California. A portion of present- day FM 2169 was created from the route.
On September 1, 1922, Alberto Martinez and Romauldo Sanchez purchased land from Oren C. Reid. along with additional land from Antonio Medina, this neighborhood became part of Junction in 1927. On November 13, 1945 Julian Pompa presented the city with an area of lots and accompanying streets located east of the Old Spanish Trail.
Little Mexico did not receive amenities from the city until after World War II continuing into 1984. School buses did not serve Little Mexico and students walked several miles crossing the South Llano River Bridge to attend school. Two churches located in Junction, St. Theresa Catholic church and the Mexican Baptist Mission, served the Hispanic community, but in 1968 the mission was razed for construction of interstate highway 10.
Early Hispanic residents did not have a cemetery and most were buried on area ranches. In 1920 land for a cemetery was purchased from Tomas Perez. George Willis was among those who collected the money to pay for the land. His wife, Julia Valdez Willis, was the first to be buried at the new cemetery named Campo Santo. Two veterans from World War I are buried in the cemetery along with veterans from World War II, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam. Even though development of interstate highway 10 displaced many residents, the community continues to thrive and preserve its unique history and culture. (2009)