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Harris County TX
Harris County

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Harris County, Texas Gulf Coast

2959'42"N 9515'54"W (29.994920, -95.264873)

Hwy 59 and FM 1960
18 miles NE of Houston
Just East of Houston Intercontinental Airport
Population: 15,824 est. (2019)
15,133 (2010) 14,579 (2000) 12,060 (1990)

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Humble TX - Simms Gusher
"Simms Gusher, the Largest Gusher in the U.S."
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

History in a Pecan Shell

The town was named after early settler Pleasant S. Humble, who operated a ferry on the San Jacinto River before the Civil War.

Humble ran a commissary, cut timber into railroad cross ties and served as a Justice of the Peace. In 1876 the town was a flag station on the railroad.

Humble was on the Old Atascosa Road - a trade and cattle trail that crossed the San Jacinto River at Humble, the Trinity River at Liberty and the Neches at Beaumont. The terminus was Opelousas, Louisiana.

By 1880 the population of Humble was a mere 60. Mill owner Charles Bender purchased the townsite and established a commissary for the lumber mill workers. He issued trade tokens to maximize profits. A post office opened in 1886 and the next year Humble had a school, two hotels, two stores, and the sawmill. In 1894 the existing railroad was taken over by the Houston, East and West Texas Railway.

In 1904 oil was discovered in the area. The population soared to 10,000 and the following year the Humble oilfield was the largest field in Texas. In1906, however, with reduced production, the population declined to 7,500.

Ross S. Sterling, who founded Humble Oil in 1911, once operated a feed store at Humble. His company relocated to Houston in 1912. An oil well drilled in 1912 struck water and the hot sulphur artesian water has been flowing ever since. A bathhouse was set up by a Mrs. Mary Standley who charged .25 per bath (including soap).
Artesian Well in Humble, Texas
The artesian well - fast approaching its 100th birthday

Photo by John Troesser, 9-4-04
Artesian Well and reflection, Humble, Texas
The well with Koi pond

Photo by John Troesser, 9-4-04
By 1914 the population of Humble had shrunk to only 3,000.

During World War I elements of the 19th Inf from Fort Sam Houston were stationed at Moonshine Hill. The Moonshine Hill Road is ruputed to be the oldest paved road in Texas. A reminder of WWI exists today in the name of Belleau Woods Drive.

In the 30s the population dropped to 1,500.

Hwy 59, which was begun in 1932 as a two-lane highway, was finally opened in 1970 as the four-lane divided highway we know today. Humble passed a city ordnance prohibiting saloons in 1936.

Prosperity returned when World War II brought workers back to the oilfields. The population doubled, but increased mobility eventually drained off people who chose to commute to Houston. The old city of Humble has been preserved by antique dealers and store owners that have kept the early commercial buildings intact.

Humble Hotels > Book Here

Humble, Texas  main street
A downtown scene

Photo by John Troesser, 9-4-04
Downtown scene in Humble, Texas
A building in Old Humble

Photo by John Troesser, 9-4-04

Humble Attractions & Recreation:

  • Humble Historical Museum - 219 Main Street

  • Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Garden -
    22306 Aldine Westfield Rd.
    214 acre facility. Garden, arboretum, picnic areas, and nature trails.

  • Lake Houston - FM 1960 East. Fishing and watersports.

    Humble Tourist Information

    Humble Area Chamber of Commerce
    110 West Main Street, Humble, TX77338

    Humble Hotels > Book Hotel Here

  • Jewel Theater in Humble, Texas
    The Jewel Theater

    Photo by John Troesser, 9-4-04

    Humble, Texas water tower

    The Humble water tower as seen from the railroad tracks

    Photo by John Troesser, 9-4-04

    Humble TX 1905 oil fire
    Old Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection
    Great Texas Oil Fire,
    Humble, TX, July 23, 1905

    Humble Chronicles
  • Humble Fire by Mike Cox
    "...Hudson's enthusiasm for the oil business changed abruptly on July 23, 1905. That evening, a thunderstorm triggered a bolt of lightning that ignited the oil in one of the large tanks Hudson had helped build. Sending billows of thick, black smoke high in the sky, the fire spread quickly..." more

  • Moonshine Hill by Paul Latour
    Located 2 miles east of Humble off of FM 1960, Moonshine Hill began as a result of an oil boom...

  • Humble People
    Humble has a very entertaining history that was published in 1976 by the James Tull Chapter of the DAR. The book introduces readers to colorful characters the type of which they just aren't making anymore. Like Constable Marvin "By-Jingo" Winters, who was known for his favorite exclamation and who died in 1937 directing traffic on the new Hwy 59. Or Ed "Danger" Dangerfield Foltz who wore a Tom Mix white Stetson and wore twin .45s. Also known as "Mr. Tough," Ed wore a blue serge suit (summer or winter) with the pantlegs tucked into hightoped boots.

    In the book Friend N. Kenyon wrote of his father, an early Humble settler: "My father Thomas A. Kenyon was born in New York State. He studied McGuffy's Reader and went through the same arithmetic book over and over until he finished his schooling."

    The book also mentions Vinny Baily - who was Humble's oldest resident at the time of the book's publication. Born in the Rockwell-Caldwell area in 1870, Vinny who gave birth to 11 children and outlived nine of them, was 106 when she was interviewed.

    Take a road trip

    Texas Gulf Coast

    Humble, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Houston the county seat
    See Harris County

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    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.














































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