East Columbia, on the Brazos River nine miles west of Angleton in west central Brazoria County, was founded by Josiah Hughes Bell in 1823. Bell's plantation landing on the Brazos, which served as a supply depot for settlements on the river above, was first known as Bell's Landing, but in 1824 Bell laid out the new town and named it Marion. He advertised the sale of lots in 1829, but the promotion did not succeed. By 1831 the community had only two or three cabins, a country store, and the frame house of Bell's plantation. As large sugar and cotton plantations were established in the area, however, mercantile establishments, saloons, wharves, warehouses, and large homes grew up around the Bell home, and trading schooners carried goods from the riverport to New Orleans. Bell sold the townsite of what was to become East Columbia to Walter C. White on October 1, 1827, but the name "Bell's Landing" remained in use until at least 1840. By 1842, when Bell's settlement on the prairie was known as West Columbia, the community had been renamed East Columbia.
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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