Shoal Point

Texas City, on the southwestern shore of Galveston Bay seven miles from Galveston and eleven miles from the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston County, is a deepwater port on the mainland. In 1891, while on a duck-hunting trip to the marshlands of a community known as Shoal Point in Galveston Bay, three brothers from Duluth, Minnesota-Jacob R., Henry, and Benjamin F. Myers-saw that the area had potential as a major port. Other Duluth shippers joined the Myers brothers in buying 10,000 acres of Galveston Bay frontage, including Shoal Point, and renamed the area Texas City. On May 17, 1893, the Texas City Improvement Company filed the first townsite plat. The same year the post office was established. The population soon was 250, mostly from Minnesota and Michigan. In 1893 the federal government gave the Texas City Improvement Company permission to dredge an eight-foot Gulf channel to Texas City. In September 1894 the first shipment using the channel was handled. Continued dredging eventually increased the depth of the channel to forty feet and the length of the port to 1½ miles. The company constructed a four-mile rail line to the Texas City junction of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio and the Galveston, Houston and Henderson railroads. These rail connections were extended to the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific systems. The single-track trestle pier extended into the waters of Galveston Bay and thus allowed shippers to send freight by train to Houston, where it could join the national railway systems. The Texas City Improvement Company experienced financial difficulties and went into receivership on December 7, 1897. It was then reorganized into two new companies-the Texas City Railway Terminal Company, organized to operate the railroad, and the Texas City Company, which purchased the town lots and provided water, gas, and lights to the town.

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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Shoal Point is classified as a Town

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  • (Texas City)

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