Manvel is at the intersection of State highways 6 and 288 and Farm Road 1128, in northern Brazoria County. It was originally named Pomona; however, because there was already a town in West Texas called Pomona or Pamona, the name was changed to Manvel, after a man who became president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The first group of settlers in the region was the family of W. R. Booth. They settled on Chocolate Bayou in July 1857. In 1877 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway built through the area on its way from Galveston to Arcola. A townsite was formed in 1890 at the railroad crossing, and businesses began to be established there. In 1892 the community had a post office and by 1895 a population of 350, a grocer, a general store, a real estate agent, a physician, and two telegraph and express agents. Snow in 1895, a tornado in 1899, and a storm in 1900 destroyed local orchards and crops. In 1906 Manvel had a school, a teacher, and twenty-nine students. During the early and middle 1900s the town stayed roughly the same in size and population. On September 8, 1931, the Texas Oil Company struck oil on property in Manvel, and it became a rich oil-producing community. In 1936 local rice production began. In 1975 Manvel had twelve businesses and 110 inhabitants. It had fifty-seven businesses and a population of 3,549 in 1985; in 1988 it reported a population of 4,441 and sixty-eight businesses. In 1990 its population was 3,733. The population dropped to 3,046 by 2000.
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.
Lori Allbright | © Texas State Historical Association
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