History - On August 30, 1836, two brothers,
Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen ran an
ad in the Telegraph and the Texas Register. They proposed
a new townsite, called Houston. They said that the
grassland on the coastal plain would become the "
great interior commercial emporium of Texas"
and that ships from the northeast to New Orleans could
sail up Buffalo Bayou. They planned to build a sawmill
and sold lots at moderate prices.The Allen
Brothers named the town Houston after the
great general Sam Houston who led Texas to independence
from Mexico. The townsite also served as the temporary
capital of the Republic of Texas.
After being settled, Houston had
gained a reputation for public drunkeness, brawling
and prostitution despite the efforts of the Presbyterians
and Episcopalians who formed and built churches. James
Holman became the first mayor in 1837 and Houston
became the county seat of Harris county that same
With the growth of the city, land developers became
inspired to build up the suburbs. Pasadena
and Houston Heights were built in the late
1800's and Bellaire and West University Place were
introduced in 1911 and 1919 respectively. The metropolitan
region built up soon after that and the population
grew out in every direction.
Houston might have started as a political town in
the nineteenth century, but life depended upon commerce
and eventually oil. This holds true to this day, with
Houston a leading city of industry. Most of the city's
income is dependant upon the chemical plants that
surround the city and the goods that are imported
and exported from the Houston Ship Channel.
Today, Houston continues to expand in population and