Goose Creek

Goose Creek, on Galveston Bay in eastern Harris County thirty miles southeast of Houston, was named for a nearby stream. There was no permanent settlement at the site until the early 1900s, when a small community was established. Although wildcat drilling began there as early as 1905, rice farming and cattle raising were the principal occupations. In 1913 a post office was granted. In 1914 Goose Creek was described as a boat landing five miles from the nearest banking center and rail connection. The town also had telephone connections, an estimated population of 300, and five businesses.

After the Goose Creek oilfield was opened in 1915 a boomtown known as Old Town grew up on Goose Creek. That same year a well explosion buried Old Town, and the residents moved further inland. The new site was originally called Newtown, but by 1916 the name Goose Creek had been adopted. The town grew larger in 1917, when Ross S. Sterling, president of Humble Oil and Refining Company (later Exxon, U.S.A.), and Price Pruett, a local landowner, organized and built the Goose Creek and Dayton Railroad to connect the oilfield with the Southern Pacific line at Dayton. In 1918 Sterling laid out a townsite west of the railroad right-of-way on 100 acres he had purchased for $90,000 from Pruett. To encourage stable and constant development, Sterling stipulated that merchants must construct their buildings of brick or plaster. He also owned the Goose Creek Electric Power system (sold to Houston Lighting and Power in 1925), the Goose Creek Water System, and Citizens State Bank; and he gave land for the Goose Creek-Harris County Library. The population soon rose to 1,200. On January 28, 1919, Goose Creek citizens voted to incorporate. The city government began in April with W. E. Bussey as the first mayor. A volunteer fire department was promptly organized. By 1927 the town had built a city hall and adopted home rule, and in 1928 citizens installed the manager form of government.

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Priscilla Myers Benham | © TSHA

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

Belongs to

Goose Creek is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

No

Place type

Goose Creek is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Baytown)
  • (Old Town)
  • (Newtown)

Has Post Office

No

Is Incorporated

No