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Historic cemetery for Freeport/Velasco residents
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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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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