Smelter Town
Smelter Town

Smelter Town

SMELTERTOWN, TEXAS. Smeltertown is an industrial area on Interstate Highway 10, U. S. Highway 80, the Southern Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads, and the east bank of the Rio Grande, just west of downtown El Paso in western El Paso County. The community came into being with the construction in 1887 of the Kansas City Consolidated Smelting and Refining Company (later the American Smelting and Refining Company, or ASARCOqv) copper and lead smelter, after which it was named. In the 1880s the Mexican employees of the smelter began building houses west of the smelter, beside the Rio Grande. San Rosalía Church, named after the Chihuahua town from which most of the first parishioners came, was built in 1891, and E. B. Jones School was established later. The church was later renamed San José del Río Grande, but burned in 1946 and was replaced by the San José de Cristo Rey Church. In 1938 the population of Smeltertown was estimated at 2,500; a post office was established the following year and closed four years later. In June 1945 the El Paso Herald-Post called attention to the poverty in Smeltertown, which included a cluster of small adobe dwellings with dirt floors and windows without glass.

Area: Central / Smeltertown

Source: El Paso Public Library

Uploaded by: El Paso Museum of History


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