To raise awareness about the historical significance and legacy of the Shary-Shivers Estate, The University of Texas-Pan American Foundation and International Women's Board hosted a dinner with Rio Grande Valley citrus industry leaders Tuesday, May 22.
The evening included tours of the estate - located between McAllen and Mission - and remarks from Allan (Bud) Shivers Jr., John H. Shary's grandson; UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez; and Roland S. Arriola, vice president for External Affairs.
"It is a very special house. This house is full of memories," said Shivers, who recounted personal stories and his grandfather's legacy. "It is where the commercial citrus industry was planned and carried out. This is a place where a lot of history was made."
John H. Shary, a prominent land developer considered "the father of the Texas citrus industry," and his wife, Mary O'Brien Shary, lived in the home on the estate until their deaths in 1945 and 1959, respectively.
The property was then inherited by their only child, Marialice Shary Shivers, and her husband Allan Shivers, Texas governor from 1949 to 1957. It was donated to the UTPA Foundation in 1997.
The Shary-Shivers Estate is also a central part of Rio Grande Valley history. It was the birthplace of the Texas citrus industry, and through its doors passed many people who would shake, move and mold the Valley and the United States into what it is today, including President Dwight D. Eisenhower, famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle and others.
"This home was built not only to raise a family but also to showcase the area," Nevárez said. "You can't help but be moved by the history of the home and this place. You all share in the Shary legacy."