Houston, TX


Time Period

1760 - 2017

Time period

Founding date


Houston founded on August 30 by brothers Augustus C. and John K. Allen, who pay just over $1.40 per acre for 6,642 acres of land near the headwaters of Buffalo Bayou. Augutus C. and John K. Allen purchased land from Mrs. Elizabeth Parrott, widow of John Austin, and name the site "Houston" after their friend, General Sam Houston.

Houston no longer capital


Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (succeeded Sam Houston as Texas president) moved the capital to another town named "Waterloo" in the Texas Hill Country. This was soon renamed to "Austin" in honor of the father of our country.

First railroad


Houston's first railroad, the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad begins operations.

Houston becomes a port of entry


Many freed slaves opened businesses and worked under contracts

First permanent public transit


The first permanent public transit system began to be operated by the Houston City Street Railway Company. All services were operated using mule-driven streetcars.

First free public schools established


Electric power plants


Houston Electric Light Co. was established. Houston and New York are the first cities to build electric power plants.

Electric streetcars


Conversion from mule-driven streetcars to electric streetcars was completed

Oil companies


Twelve oil companies had located themselves in Houston, most notable Humble Oil Company, which is now ExxonMobil.

State highway to Houston was built


Capital of commerce


Air passenger service arrives with a Braniff Airlines flight. Houston becomes the Texas capital of commerce, dubbed "Babylon on the Bayou" by observers.

First freeway


First freeway in Houston, U.S. Highway 75 (now Interstate 45), or Gulf Freeway with donations from the Cullen family.

Intercontinental airport begins operation


Houston's economic boom

1973 - 1981

Arab oil embargo quadruples oil prices in ninety days, fueling Houston's economic boom.

Hurricane Alicia


Hurricane Alicia struck Houston and Galveston causing $2 billion in damage and decreasing oil prices.

Hurricane Ike


Hurricane Ike directly hits Houston.

Hurricane Harvey


Hurricane Harvey caused 77 fatalities and $198.63 billion in damages.