Bay City

Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

View of the downtown area of Bay City, the seat of Matagorda County, Texas. Photograph by Billy Hathorn.

Bay City, the county seat of Matagorda County, is an incorporated city at the junction of State Highways 35 and 60, in the north central portion of the county ninety miles southwest of Houston. The community is named for its location on Bay Prairie, between the richly productive bottomlands of the Colorado River and Caney Creek. It was established in 1894, when David Swickheimer, a Colorado mining millionaire and participant in a promotional organization called the Enterprise Land and Colonizing Company, formed the Bay City Town Company in partnership with G. M. Magill, N. M. Vogelsang, and Nicholas King. Planning that Bay City would one day supplant Matagorda as county seat, the men selected two cow pastures on Bay Prairie as the site for a new community. The company bought 320 acres from D. P. Moore and another 320 acres from the Mensing brothers of Galveston. One square mile was given to the townsite, on which the promoters laid out wide, regular streets. Elliott's Ferry (see ELLIOTT, TEXAS), two miles away, provided transportation across the Colorado River.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Bay City is classified as a Town


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Bay City by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Bay City
Pop. Year Source
17,444 2019 Texas Demographic Center
17,614 2010 Texas Demographic Center
18,667 2000 Texas Demographic Center
18,170 1990 Texas Demographic Center
17,837 1980 Texas Demographic Center
11,733 1970 Texas Demographic Center
11,656 1960 Texas Demographic Center
9,427 1950 Texas Demographic Center
6,594 1940 Texas Demographic Center
4,070 1930 Texas Demographic Center
3,454 1920 Texas Demographic Center
3,156 1910 Texas Demographic Center