Alice is a city of 19,000 people (2018) on the South Texas Plains between Corpus Christi, McAllen, Laredo, and San Antonio. It is a focal point for the oil industry in the area, and is considered to the "birthplace of Tejano music".
It was here, in the 1940s, that Tejano music was first recorded and popularized. Armando Marroquin, Sr., of Alice and partner Paco Betancourt of San Benito launched what was to be the first home-based recording company to record Tejano artists exclusively. Ideal Records, which was based in Alice, under the direction of Marroquin became the vehicle for Tejano groups and artists to get their music to the public. Marroquin, who also owned and operated a jukebox company, ensured that Ideal recordings would be distributed throughout South Texas. The songs recorded, which were contributed by Tejano and Mexican composers, became very popular through jukeboxes placed in restaurants, cantinas, or other establishments that would have them, and the then-scarce Spanish-language radio programs. In addition to Ideal, Alice was the home of Freddie Records and Hacienda Records, which were dominant players in Tejano music in the 1970s and 1980s.
Alice's economy is centered on the oil industry, with more than 100 oil field companies around the Alice area. Alice is called the "Hub City" due to its geographical location between Corpus Christi, McAllen, Laredo, and San Antonio. Its location between these cities makes it an ideal center for distribution.
Alice originated from the defunct community of Collins, 3 miles (5 km) to the east. Around 1880, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway attempted to build a line through Collins, which then had about 2,000 inhabitants. The townspeople were not amenable to selling their land to the railroad company; so the railroad site was moved 3 mi west. In 1883, a depot called "Bandana" was established at its junction with the Corpus Christi, San Diego and Rio Grande Railway. Bandana soon became a thriving cattle-shipping point, and an application for a post office was made under the name "Kleberg" in honor of Robert Justus Kleberg, a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto. The petition was denied because a town named Kleberg already appeared on the post office list, so residents then chose the name "Alice", in honor of Alice Gertrudis King Kleberg, Kleberg's wife and the daughter of Richard King. The Alice post office opened for business in 1888. Within a few years, the remaining residents of Collins moved to Alice, which was by then a thriving community.
Alice was known for its large cattle industry until the discovery of petroleum beneath and around the town in the 1940s, which caused a slight population boom.
- US Highway 281 goes around the western side of town. The highway leads north 41 miles (66 km) to George West and south 37 miles (60 km) to Falfurrias.
- Texas Highway 44 goes through the center of town and connects it with Corpus Christi. It leads east 26 miles (42 km) to Robstown and west 35 miles (56 km) to Freer.
- Texas Highway 359's southern end is near Alice. It leads northeast 30 miles (48 km) to Mathis and southwest 53 miles (85 km) to Hebbronville.
- 1 Lake Findley (Lake Alice), Lake Alice Road. There is a park area and some trees near the lake.
- 2 South Texas Museum, 66 South Wright St, ☏ . Focuses on the history of the area from the American Indians forward, particularly the pioneer era.
- 3 Tejano Music Hall of Fame Museum, 213 N. Wright St, ☏ . Dedicated to preserving the history of the musicians and recordings of this uniquely Texas genre.
- Water tower, on Texas State Highway 44. The city's water tower near downtown is the tallest concrete water tower in the world, at 165 feet.
Alice's main shopping district is along Texas Highway 44 and Main Street
- 1 Big House Burgers (Intersection of Woodlawn Drive and Main Street). There is one other restaurant with the same name in nearby Kingsville.
- 1 Best Western Executive Inn (SureStay Hotel), 1350 S Business Highway 281, ☏ , fax: .
- 2 Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alice, 2965 E Main St, ☏ .
- Scottish Inn, 815 S US Highway 281, ☏ .
- Days Inn, 555 US Highway 281 (Johnson Street), ☏ .
|Routes through Alice|
|San Antonio ← Pleasanton ←||N S||→ Edinburg → McAllen|
|Jct N S ← San Diego ←||W E||→ Corpus Christi → Ends at|