1839: Galveston County organized. Among the early settlers of the Texas City area were James Campbell a captain who served under Jean Laffite and the family Henry Wilcox. His widow Elmira Wilcox received a land grant in recognition of her husband’s service during the Texas Revolution.

1854: The U.S. government built the Half-moon Shoal Lighthouse on the shoal about two miles off what is now the base of the Texas City Dike. A small community developed around Shoal Point.

1867: The Settlement was founded by black cowboys who made enough money on the Chisholm Trail to buy land in West Texas City. The historic district is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

1891: The Texas City Improvement Company was organized by Capt. A.B. Wolvin and two brothers Jacob and Henry Myers all of Duluth Minn. They sent Frank B. Davison to manage the development.

1907: The Texas City Oil Refining Company was organized — part of what was then a new industry.

Sept. 16 1911: Voters choose to incorporate. W.P. Tarpey was elected mayor and H.M. Coats and F.B. Davison were elected commissioners.

1913: Part of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Division camped for two years in Texas City. The first airplane squadron came with the two brigades of infantry. The pilots wearing leather football helmets flew biplanes from an airstrip that is now part of Bay Street Park.

1914: Sociedad Mutualista was organized reflecting the presence of a growing Hispanic community in Texas City. Many people fleeing the Mexican Revolution which began in 1910 found work at the Texas City Port.

1915: The Texas City Dike was completed.

1931: The Pan American Refining Corporation announced plans to build a massive refinery on two square miles.

1941: With war looming industry ramped up. Monsanto Chemicals seeing that the government had a huge demand for war materials opened a plant that produced styrene a key component in synthetic rubber.

April 16 1947: Explosions of the S.S. Grandcamp and High Flyer at the port killed hundreds and leveled parts of the town. The worst industrial accident in the nation’s history becomes known as the Texas City Disaster.

1953: The city limits jumped from state Highway 146 to Interstate 45 reflecting a period of growth after World War II. Despite the disaster Texas City continued to expand north and west.

Sept. 11 1961: Hurricane Carla struck five days before Texas City was to celebrate its 50th anniversary. City leaders decide to build a levee system to protect the petrochemical plants.

1966: College of the Mainland district formed and voters approved a $2.85 million bond issue. The first class enrolled in 1967.

Aug. 18 1983: Hurricane Alicia strikes near Galveston and causes heavy wind and flood damage in Texas City.

1997: Texas City was named an All America City reflecting work done under Goals 2000 a massive plan to prepare the city to enter the 21st century. The committee’s primary mission was to change the city’s image. The plan included a dramatic program of public works.

January 1 2000: Completion of Goals 2000 capped with the opening of the Charles T. Doyle Convention Center.

March 23 2005: A series of explosions at BP’s Texas City’s plant killed 15 workers and injured more than 170 people. A $1 billion overhaul of the refinery followed.

Sept. 13 2008: Hurricane Ike makes landfall destroying the Texas City Dike but the Hurricane Protection Levee built after Hurricane Carla holds and very little damage happens in Texas City.

Sept. 10 2010: Texas City Dike reopens after repairs of damage caused by Hurricane Ike.

Sept. 10-17: Texas City culminates a yearlong celebration with a week’s worth of events marking the city’s 100th anniversary.


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