Urbana is on the Trinity River and U.S. Highway 59, sixty miles north of Houston in southeastern San Jacinto County. It was formed in the wake of the construction of the Houston, East and West Texas Railway through San Jacinto County and was named by S. P. Coughlan for his home town, Urbana, Ohio. The rich black soil in the area proved fertile to cotton growers, and many local residents found employment in the gravel and sand business established east of town in 1908. A post office was opened in 1914. The number of residents of Urbana decreased from seventy-five to ten between 1925 and 1975. Gas and artesian wells were located just west of the community center, and by 1985 the gas wells of the Urbana fields had produced well over 600 million cubic feet of natural gas. In 1990 the population was still reported as ten. The population reached twenty-five in 2000.
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