Although I born in and grew up in Dallas, Texas, I came to Houston at the age of 21 in June of 1957 right after graduation from Baylor University. Since that time I have been fascinated by the history of this city that isn't on the Gulf, but still has a large shipping port at Port Houston on the Houston Ship Channel.
One hundred and twenty years before that Augustus and John Allen founded the city at the junction of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou in 1837. The brothers had traveled about East Texas looking for land to acquire and develop, and finally decided on the flat prairie along the two bayous as their choice. The brothers purchased the land in 1836 for $10,000 from Elizabeth Parrot. The land encompassed 1247 acres.
In May of 1837, the Texas Congress met for the first time in Houston with the town designated as the Capital of Texas. This is drawing of the building that was constructed to serve as the Capitol Building.
However, in January of 1840, the congress voted to move the capital to Austin where it remains today.
Houston became known as a wild and wooly town and faced financial difficulties as well as an outbreak of yellow fever that drained the town. A large group of citizens made it their goal to gain some type of order. Just two weeks after the capital moved, congress voted and Mirabeau B. Lamar signed for the town to establish a Chamber of Congress which then began a clean-up that allowed the town to grow in a little more orderly fashion.
When the first steamship visited the port in December of 1837, the town had only twelve residents. A few months later, 1,500 people had arrived and 100 houses comprised the town. This picture came later as the port grew and became a busy port for the Gulf of Mexico.
By Augustus Koch (1840-?). - http://www.birdseyeviews.org/zoom.php?city=Houston&year=1873&extra_info=, Public Domain,
Martha Rogers is a multi-published author and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston, Texas where they are active members of First Baptist Church. They are the parents of three sons and grandparents to eleven grandchildren and great-grandparents to six. Martha is a retired teacher with twenty-eight years teaching Home Economics and English at the secondary level and eight years teaching Freshman English at the college level. She is a member of ACFW, ACFW WOTS chapter in Houston, and serves as President of the writers’ group, Inspirational Writers Alive.