Brief History of Houston Texas
Texas became independent from Mexico due to a battle it won over Mexico in 2 October 1835 (also known as the Texas Revolution). The battle took place at San Jacinto. Just a few months later, Houston was founded by two brothers, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen. They acquired approximately 6,600 acres on the banks of Buffalo Bayou. The land cost less than $10,000 and helped build Houston city.
Let us travel back in history to explore the city of Houston from its beginning as a trading post to its today’s status as the fourth largest city in USA.
Houston in the 19th Century
The battle of Texas against Mexico was led by General Sam Houston’s army on April 21, 1836. After the town of Houston was founded on August 30th of the same year, General Sam Houston, who became the first president of the Republic of Texas authorized the city of Houston to incorporate through the signature of an act.
This occurred in 1837 and Houston even became the capital of Texas from 1837 to 1839. The first steamship to visit Houston in 1837 was named The Laura. In the 1840s the Houston Chamber of Commerce was formed as well as the Houston Police Department. In the 1850s, it became apparent that Houston was a trading center thanks to the first railroad and the Buffalo Bayou which was improved.
During the rest of the century, Houston developed its public transportation, and opened its first free public school. The city also created its first telephone exchange and became in 1882 one of the first cities to build electric power plants. New York is the other city. The first general hospital was opened in 1887 by the Sisters of Charity. Houston got a professional fire department and a city park. This city park which opened in 1899 is now Sam Houston Park.
Houston in the 20th Century
The Great Galveston Storm which was the hurricane that devastated Galveston. On the other hand, oil was discovered at Spindletop in 1901. These two events created a reversal of fortunes for Houston Texas. The hurricane was a Category 4 and was the deadliest in the US. As far as oil is concerned, it was also discovered later at Humble in 1905 and Goose Creek in 1906.
In 1909, the Houston Museum and Scientific Society, Inc, was organized. It was the predecessor of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. A country club was also opened and it contained an 18-hole golf course which was professionally designed, the first of Houston. Infrastructure increased in Houston with the building of Rice Institute, which is now Rice University, and a public park thanks to George Hermann who donated 285 acres.
Technology improved the living conditions of Houstonians, and the first air conditioning was installed in a public building. Houston Junior College was opened. It is now the University of Houston.
Municipal airport opened allowing air mail service to Houston to begin. In one single night of the 1940s, Houston population almost tripled in size. Thanks to Texas Medical Center which opened its doors in that same period, Houston became a center of health care and cutting-edge medical treatment options. Then, in the 1960s, it became a hub for space activity. NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center was opened which became Johnson Space Center.
In the 21st century, while Houston continue to experience improvements, and great events like the hosting of NFL Super Bowl in 2017 it also faced challenges. There was a peak of oil prices in 2013 and the loss of almost 80,000 jobs, as well as property damage and deaths due to storms and hurricanes like storm Allison, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Harvey, and Hurricane Ike.
Quick Facts About Houston
Who founded Houston TX? John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen
John Kirby Allen (left) and Augustus Chapman Allen (right) founded the city of Houston TX. Image courtesy of the Houston Chronicle.
When was Houston founded? 5 June 1837
What Texas known for? Texas is the country’s biggest producer of oil, cattle, sheep, minerals, cotton and wool. Texas is second in size only to Alaska.
What is Houston famous for? Space exploration, the world capital of air conditioning, the world capital of the international energy industry, the world capital of petroleum exploration.
What is the geography of Houston Texas? Houston is located in the Gulf Coastal Plain biome, and its vegetation is classified as temperate grassland. Much of the city was built on marshes, forested land and swamps. This still can be seen in surrounding areas.
Things to do in Houston TX
One thing is for sure, when you are an Houstonian, there is no other place like ‘home, Houston Texas’. And, its hard to put your finger on it as to why Houston is a great place to live and call home. Is it its people, culture, location, perhaps its something else or all of these things combined. If you are thinking of visiting Houston, then, consider reading our article on places to visit in Houston Texas for tourists as we’ve highlighted great places for you to see and enjoy.