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 nearby.