The "Sweet" History of Sugar Land
by Bethany Holub
One of the first settlers, Samuel M. Williams, was granted this land by Stephan F. Austin in 1823. Williams first referred to this land as “Oakland Plantation” due to the wide variety of oaks. Sugar became a part of the region when a small freight captain delivered canes from Cuba to Williams. It quickly grew and become a primary industry for the area. Years later, it was renamed “Sugar Land”.
gIn 1853, two brothers, who made their fortune from gold in California, purchased the land. They were active in growing their investments by extending the railroads. They built the railroad from Stafford through Richmond to Sugar Land in order to transport product. These railroads exist today.
In 1908, the refinery was purchased and later renamed Imperial Sugar Company. This company helped develop the town by modernizing the sugar refinery and build houses for their employees. They also constructed schools and hospitals to meet workers’ essential needs. As the company grew, so did the city.
The present refinery is located on the spot where the first mill was built.
In 1980 there were 4,173 living in the Sugar Land region.
In 1990 it was reports showed the population was around 24,529.
In 2000 the population was estimated at 63,328.
Today, the city’s estimated population is 117,869.
Today, Sugar land is voted one of the best places to live in America and is recognized as the single most ethnically diverse county in the nation.
Did you know??
-Sugar Land was a company town for more than 50 years before it integrated in 1959 -The total area of Sugar Land is 24.9 square miles. Of that, more than 560 acres is developed park land -Sugar Land Imperial Refinery closed in 2002 -The fossil collection at the Houston museum of natural science at Sugar Land ranks among the top 5 in the United States -The band Sugarland was named after the city by former band member, Kristen Hall
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