Public Ceremony for Freeport and Old Velasco Residents
Historical Site in Freeport, Texas
As early as 1866, events were taking place that
would cause the City of Freeport to rise out of the salt grass
plains along the Brazos River. In that year, the Brazos
International and Improvement and Navigation Company was created by
the Texas legislature to improve the Brazos River by dredging,
deepening the channel over a sand bar, and building a breakwater.
Freeport became a deepwater port three miles from the mouth of the
Brazos River on the Gulf of Mexico. Officially founded by the
Freeport Sulphur Company, the town was formally dedicated in
November 1912. Freeport was the site of the world's largest sulfur
mines and was the home of the Houston and Brazos Valley Railway. By
1913, a one-room school was in operation there by 1913, and by 1914
the community had a hotel, a bank, a fish and oyster plant, and a
church. By 1912 the community's population numbered 300. Freeport
incorporated with on February 10, 1917, and by 1929 the local
population had reached 3,500.
By 1935, the sulphur mines were abandoned. But, in
1940, based on Freeport's wealth of raw materials such as salt
water, fresh water, oyster shell, and natural gas, and its
accessibility to all but the largest ocean-going vessels and
proximity to the intracoastal canal, Willard Dow purchased 823
acres and began permanent operations in Freeport, thus beginning
industrial giant Dow Chemical Company. On July 27, 1957, Velasco,
one of the oldest towns in Texas, was incorporated into Freeport.
The project is documented with a brochure entitled "Freeport, A
40-Year Thumbnail History," a narrative describing how the streets
of Freeport got their names, and several photos.
Originally submitted by: Ron Paul, Representative (14th District).
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