The town of McAllen began developing after the arrival of the railroad in 1905. Introduction of an irrigation system made vegetable farming possible. Soon there was a hotel, a grocery store, a Presbyterian church, a bank, and a weekly newspaper. In 1916 after bandits caused border trouble 12,000 soldiers were sent here to restore law and order. Business boomed with the increased population. Among the new facilities was the Casa de Palmas Hotel, opened in 1918. This fine hotel served as a business, social, and civic center for the Rio Grande Valley.