Many Texas towns were named after people; or, former residences, as “New”
Something-or-other; or, a land feature. In the case of Goose Creek, it was named
for a nearby stream, a boat landing five miles from the nearest rail connection
In 1915, following the discovery
of oil in the area, another community developed, called Old Town. That
same year, an explosion destroyed Old Town and the residents moved further inland
and renamed the community Newtown. There were several attempts to merge
the adjoining “wild cat oil drilling” communities of Baytown, Goose Creek, and
Pelly. It was not until 1948 that the tri-cities
were consolidated into what is now known as Baytown.
Rice farming and raising cattle were original enterprises. As population
increased, the Goose Creek and Dayton Railroad was organized and connected with
the Southern Pacific line at Dayton. The Goose
Creek Electric Power system (later sold to the Houston Light and Power Company),
the Goose Creek Water System, the Citizens Bank, a post office, and a library
enticed further development.
The most prominent of businesses was the
building and operation of the Humble Oil and Refining Company. The company has
employed thousands since its establishment. Humble Oil was later named Exxon.
While working in oil-rich Alberta in the 1980’s, Esso Resources was the Canadian
registered name. For decades, the company motto was, “Put a Tiger in Your Tank”.
Now, Exxon-Mobil is the corporate name; and, global in its business activities.
When my father-in-law returned from WWII
military service, his first employment was with Sheffield Steel (later renamed
Armco). Following that, his career became that of a carpenter, elevating to the
level of Steward. Prior to cooling towers being constructed of metal, they were
built with hammer and nail from wood product. For Humble Oil, and other refineries
that followed, Woodrow Nicholds built numerous cooling tower basins, frames, and
fin slats from redwood, which had long-life expectancy. An uncle, Weldon Eaves,
was a brick mason, another employed with Humble Oil. Numbers of their neighbors
and friends were part of the Humble Oil family at one time or another.
Prior to moving to Channelview, Uncle Weldon lived in the rural community of Coady
in Goose Creek, near a small airport. I can only remember one occasion of visiting
them at that residence; and, on that day, a low flying bi-plane was spraying crops