Sugar Land, TX and Its Impressive History
Thanks to its safe city, new neighborhoods and buildings, and beautiful agriculture, Sugar Land, TX has attracted many residents over the years. Located in the sweet spot next to Houston, it attracts many young families and entrepreneurs. If you currently reside here, or you’re looking to move, there is some impressive history behind how Sugar Land, Texas came to be that you want to know! The interesting history adds a bit of charm to the fast-growing city. It didn’t just get its name from an early settler with the last name Sugar Land—it actually has a unique story behind how this town came to be:
Sugar Land, TX before the Sugar
The original land was owned by the Mexican government, which granted it to a man named Samuel M. Williams. The land was granted to him because Samuel proved to be well educated, spoke Spanish, and wrote in a fine Spenserian hand. During this time, he called what we know as Sugar Land, “Oakland Plantation”. This was because the land held many varieties of oaks such as Pine Oak, Post Oak, Live Oak, Water Oak, and Red Oak. In fact, land grants at this time were measured by one oak to another.
The Sugar Industry
The name Sugar Land was given for a reason, and the story behind it is quite interesting. One day, a captain of a small freight boat named S. M. Swinson was in the route of a long journey leading him along the US. coast. During his journey, he made several stops to pick up various commodities and dispensed of them as his journey went on. One of his stops throughout his journey was Cuba, where it happened to be sugar cane season. S.M. Swinson took a small load of their sugar cane stalks and then delivered them to Samuel M. Williams, who was his next stop. The next time Swinson came back to Oakland Plantation, he saw hundreds of sugar cane plants growing higher than a man on a horse. He saw this as an opportunity and went back to Cuba to acquire more stalks, and soon after they built a mill.
Shortly after Samuel Williams had passed away, the family decided to continue the operations of the mill. For unknown reasons, this wasn’t possible. The operation was then purchased by Benjamin Franklin Terry and William Jefferson Kyle. In the year of 1849, Kyle and Terry left Texas to go explore the fields of California. With the hopes of returning to Texas with a lot in hand, they had successfully expanded to 60 wagons, 2 companies of pack mules, 2 sets of engineers, and prospected gold.
Sugar Land, TX Today
In 1853, Terry and Kyle made it back to Texas with about half a fortune and purchased from the S. M. Williams family all of Oakland Plantation. At this time, the two men renamed it Sugar Land because the lands were rich in sugar cane. The railroad, which brought in many of its financial gain and residents, was built by these men. Today Sugar Land’s population sits at 86,777.
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