FREEPORT, TEXAS

FREEPORT, TEXAS

In 1528, Cabeza de Vaca landed in the area and named the river “Los Brazos de Dios.”

In 1822, Stephen F. Austin landed at the mouth of the Brazos River and founded Velasco. In the next 15 years, about 25,000 people entered the Republic of Texas through Velasco. In 1836 following the decisive battle of San Jacinto, Velasco was made the first capital of the Republic of Texas by interim President David G. Burnet.

Freeport was officially founded as a settlement by the Freeport Sulphur Company and was formally dedicated in November 1912. It was at the site of the world’s largest sulfur mines. The population at that time was 300. It was incorporated on February 10, 1917.

In 1929, the river was diverted south of town, leaving the Old Brazos riverbed as a protected harbor leading to the Gulf of Mexico. The population and economy continued to increase and by 1929 the population reached 3,500. There was a one-room school in Freeport 1913.

In 1937, the Freeport School District had been established and the area was served by two schools for white students, one school for black students, and a high school.

In 1939, the Freeport’s population reached 4,100 residents. Growth was spurred by construction of the Dow Chemical Company facilities, beginning in 1939. Dow is the community’s largest employer. In 1942, Dow acquired 5,000 acres outside of Freeport at the Abner Jackson Plantation. It was developed as a company community. It was planned and designed by Michigan architect Alden B. Dow, son of the founder of Dow Chemical. The town is now known as Lake Jackson, Texas.

By 1952 Freeport had a population of 6,008.

The towns of Velasco and Freeport, located on opposite sides of the Old Brazos River, joined to become the City of Freeport in July 27, 1957. In 2003, the city annexed nearby Bryan Beach.

In 1961 Freeport had a population of 11,619. In 1984 Freeport had a population of 13,444. In 1990 the population was 11,389, and in 2000 the population was 12,708.

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