In August 1836, two New York real estate investors, John Allen and Augustus Allen purchased 6,642 acres of land for $9,428. This land was later named Houston, after the hero of the Battle of San Jacinto, General Sam Houston. The city was incorporated in 1837, and was made the temporary capital of Texas.
In the early days, Houston Texas was getting the reputation of a lawless and rough place to live. Some investors would come from the east coast considering investing in this new territory, but many left, just not accustomed to the rough and tumble drinking, shooting and fighting that was common in the dirt streets and saloons of early Houston. Diseases caused by mosquitos and insects, and also financial difficulties plagued the city. The solution? The City of Houston formed their first Chamber of Commerce.
The Chambers community development efforts revived this dying frontier village.
However, the Civil War was difficult for Houston, and after the war ended in 1865, Houston as well as most of Texas turned again into a lawless place. There were grudges from the war that were settled, and it just took a while for the area to settle down from a war posture to a civil society again.
However, in 1869, a company was formed to deepen and improve the Houston Ship Channel. Texas businessmen also joined together to expand the rail lines. This expansion included running rail to Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and El Paso. This helped Houston to become a Primary Shipping Port, and a Port of Entry for the Gulf Coast. Rail helped move the freight to different cities in Texas, and helped these areas grow and flourish.
Immigrants flooded to Houston and to Texas to take advantage of the new opportunities.
However, the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 caused considerable death and destruction to Galveston Texas, just 40 miles south of Houston, and many people left Galveston to come to Houston. Investors also invested their money in Houston because of the hurricane, rather than in Galveston
Oil was discovered at Spindletop in Beaumont Texas, 100 miles to the East of Houston, in 1901. A new industry, the oil trade, transformed Houston.
By 1940, Houston had grown to 400,000 people. In 2000, the Houston population was 1,953,631. In 2010 the Houston population was 2,099,451, and the metropolitan area of Houston was 6,127,645, the 4th largest in the United States.
About the Author:
“Lisa Monroe is a Prolific Writer, Forensic Editor, Investigative Reporter & Respected Instructor in Social Sciences & Humanities. She enthusiastically studies past and current behavior& interaction, is a dedicated Teacher & married mother of three children living in Sugar Land, Texas.” More of Lisa’s articles can be found here http://www.txrus.com