SAN BENITO, TEXAS. San Benito is on U.S. Highway 77/83 five miles south of Harlingen and twenty miles north of Brownsville in Cameron County, at the approximate center of the county. The town is on the Concepción de Carricitos grant, awarded to Bartolomé and Eugenio Fernándezqv in 1789. The portion of the grant on which San Benito is built was obtained in the mid nineteenth century by Judge Stephen Powers in return for legal services to the Fernández heirs. In 1904 Col. Sam Robertson went into partnership with James Landrum and Benjamin Hicks, Powers's sons-in-law and administrators of his estate, to form what later became the San Benito Land and Water Company. In January 1907 the company subdivided town lots and began sales.
Initially the town was called Bessie, in honor of the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Yoakum, financial backer of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway, which served the community. The name San Benito was concocted by Rafael Moreno, an employee of Hicks. Moreno combined the given names of Robertson (Sam or "San") and Hicks (Benny), whom he called "Don Benito." A post office was established in 1907 under the name San Benito.
Text from the Handbook of Texas Online