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Stephenson, who had married into the local Hispanic aristocracy, established the Rancho de San José de la Concordia, which became the nucleus of Anglo and Hispanic settlement within the limits of modern-day El Paso, in 1844.
Given the reclamations of the Texas Republic that wanted a chunk of the Santa Fe trade, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo effectively made the settlements on the north bank of the river a formal American settlement, separate from Old El Paso del Norte on the Mexican side.
However, the four survivors of the Narváez expedition, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, Andrés Dorantes de Carranza, and his enslaved Moor Estevanico, are thought to have passed through the area in the mid-1530s.
El Paso del Norte (present-day Ciudad Juárez) was founded on the south bank of the Río Bravo del Norte (Rio Grande), in 1659 by Fray Garcia de San Francisco.
A military post called "The Post opposite El Paso" (meaning opposite El Paso del Norte, across the Rio Grande) was established in 1849 on Coons' Rancho beside the settlement of Franklin, which became the nucleus of the future El Paso, Texas; After the army left in 1851 the rancho went into default and was repossessed; in 1852 a post office was established on the Rancho bearing the name El Paso as an example of Cross-border town naming until El Paso del Norte was renamed Juarez in 1888.
After changing hands twice more the El Paso company was set up in 1859 and bought the property, hiring Anson Mills to survey and lay out the town forming the current street plan of downtown El Paso.
With the arrival of the Southern Pacific, Texas and Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads in 1881, the population boomed to 10,000 by the 1890 census, with many Anglo-Americans, recent immigrants, old Hispanic settlers, and recent arrivals from Mexico. Large numbers of clerics, intellectuals, and businessmen took refuge in the city, particularly between 19.When the Spanish arrived, the Manso, Suma, and Jumano tribes populated the area.