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Sugar Land City


Sugar Land City Hall is located at 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, TX 77479; phone: 281-275-2700.

Sugar Land was incorporated in 1959.

Beginnings [1]

In 1828, Stephen F. Austin granted land in the Sugar Land area to Samuel M. Williams, one of the land's first settlers. Williams named the property Oakland Plantation because of the variety of oak trees found there. Freight travel passing through Cuba from New York to Texas ports brought sugar cane stalks to Oakland Plantation. The conditions were perfect for growing sugar cane, which thrives in a warm climate with a flat terrain and plentiful water. Sugar cane turned into the area's major cash crop and flourished from the time of the construction of the first mill in 1843 until long after the Civil War. In 1853, Samuel M. Williams died and the mill was sold to Benjamin Franklin Terry and William Jefferson Kyle. The area was renamed Sugar Land.

Terry and Kyle directly influenced the railroad alignment from Stafford to Richmond. Plans were to run the railroad from Stafford directly to Richmond, bypassing Sugar Land entirely. Terry and Kyle bought 2,500 acres of land located in the path of a direct alignment. The bend in the railroad between Stafford and Sugar Land, is a result of this land purchase, which caused the railroad to select an alignment through Sugar Land.

After the Civil War, the sugar mill expanded into the sugar refining process. In 1907, I.H. Kempner and W.T. Eldridge purchased the Sugar Land plantation and refinery, and it became the Imperial Sugar Company. To ensure a successful business venture, these partners wanted to attract dependable families and a permanent workforce by providing a quality living and working environment. In an effort to create a model community, the Imperial Sugar Company provided workers with housing, a hospital, a grocery store, and an exemplary school within proximity to the factory. In 1908, Imperial Sugar Company sold land for the Central Prison Unit, which opened in 1909. Farmlands were drained and levees were built to prevent flood damage and to protect the area. Some of the original houses in Mayfield Park, The Hill, and along Brooks Street were home to Imperial workers in the 1940s and have been passed down for generations. Imperial's eight-story brick Char House, stood next to the Imperial Mercantile, Imperial Drug Company, Imperial Bank and Trust, post office, and the Imperial Sugar Company executive offices.

  1. City of Sugar Land, Texas, Sugar Land Comprehensive Plan: Vision 2025, 2012, www.sugarlandtx.gov, accessed May, 2015.
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