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City of Richmond Timeline


    1822 - Members of Austin's Old 300 settled near a fordable crossing of the Brazos River and built a block house to protect the settlers from Indian raids.

    1836 - Community evacuated during the Runaway Scrape, as Mexican troops pressed forward in the Texas revolution. Wyly Martin, leading the rear guard, defended the Brazos River crossing against Santa Anna's troops, but was maneuvered out of position and opened the path for the Mexican march to San Jacinto.

    1837 - Fort Bend County established and Richmond incorporated by the Republic of Texas as the county seat.

    1839 - First church organized in Richmond. First newspaper, the weekly Telescope and Texas Literary Register, published.

    1851 - Richmond's cityscape included a brick courthouse, two stores, a Masonic Lodge, the Methodist church, and the Richmond Male & Female Academy.

    1853 - Yellow fever epidemic swept through Richmond.

    1855 - Buffalo Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railway pulled into town.

    1859 - Richmond's business district bustled, and the town was a market center for the region's cotton plantations, with a cotton warehouse and two hotels and a brick building under construction. It was also the hub of a growing cattle empire. Cattle owners drove livestock to markets in New Orleans.

    1866 - Although relatively unaffected by the Civil War, after the War, many emancipated slaves from the surrounding plantations moved into Richmond. The federal Freedmen's Bureau set up an agency in town. Allied with the community's white Republicans, the area's African Americans control local politics.

    1879 - The Gulf, Colorado and Sante Fe Railway line extended tracks into Rosenberg, three miles from Richmond. 2,000 people lived in Richmond, a city with a courthouse and four churches, a bank, sugar mills and refineries and six schools. Cotton, corn, livestock, hides, sugar and molasses were all shipped from town.

    1890 - Richmond's population dropped to 1,500.

    1899 - Brazos River Flood. After more than 9 inches of rainfall in 11 days in June, the Brazos flooded. More than 280 died and thousands were left homeless.

    1900 - The Great Storm swept Fort Bend County. Although the September hurricane devastated Galveston (killing between 6,000 and 8,000 people and destroying a third of the city) buildings across Fort Bend County and Richmond suffered only structural damage. The storm pushed across the plains and Great Lakes, into Canada before moving to sea north of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    1920 - Richmond's population dropped again to 1,276. Oil was discovered in Fort Bend County.

    1930 - Richmond's population increased to 1,432. Sidewalks extended through town, a new swimming pool and municipal water system were built. Although the Great Depression affected agricultural production, there was enough cotton to keep two gins running. Richmond had a massive irrigation system that fed water to the rice fields. A traveler remarked that Richmond's "fine old white frame residences of the plantation type" gave the town "an air of the Deep South."



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Last modified: 03/24/08