The Brookshire City Hall

The Community Of Brookshire

A Profile

The City of Brookshire was incorporated in 1946. Before that time it had all of the characteristics of a very small town and farming community. Brookshire has a long history of farming and ranching. Flat land, productive soil and good rainfall make the area ideal for crops which need a lot of water. Plentiful grass and open land are ideal for the cattle industry. Agriculture was the major reason in the beginning for the existence of Brookshire. Agriculture storage silos still operate here, but not at their peak as they did in the years of the past.

Interstate 10 has changed the industry in Brookshire. Industries, like the Flying J Truck Stop, that need to be located on major transportation arteries (like the freeway or railway) have made Brookshire home.

With the westward sprawl of Houston and the tremendous growth of our neighboring town, Katy, our city is set for much more growth. We are encouraging economic growth in a coordinated, enthusiastic and cooperative approach through civic and business leaders.

The Waller County Museum

A History Of Brookshire, Texas

BROOKSHIRE, TEXAS. Brookshire is on U.S. Highway 90 and Interstate Highway 10 in southern Waller County thirty miles west of Houston.

The townsite was originally named Kellner for John G. and Amalie Kellner who purchased a strip of 1,538 acres from Katy to the Brazos river in1891. In 1892 he worked with John Bacon, MK&T Railroad agent, and donated land for the railroad right of way to get the railroad to pass through his property. The first plat for a town was presented in 1892 and an additonal plat was recored in 1983.

The town is named for Capt. Nathen Brookshire, who received title to a league of land as a member of Stephen F. Austin's fifth colony in 1835. Many skeptics thought that the area, which was surrounded by coastal prairies, was unfit for settlement. Detractors were surprised when—because of the rich alluvial soil of the Brazos riverbottom and the arrival of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad—Brookshire developed into a thriving agricultural community. The railroad and Brookshire's proximity to Houston made the town an ideal shipping point for crops such as cotton, melons, corn, and pecans. By 1893 a post office had been established at the community. With agriculture as its basis, the economy of Brookshire flourished. By 1897 the Brookshire Times noted that the town had some thirty businesses and had shipped 10,000 bales of cotton that year. Although cotton remained king in Brookshire in 1900, the crop's economic significance diminished over the next three decades because of falling cotton prices and the demand for farm labor in the lucrative war industries. The community's economy, however, was not devastated, as rice became a major cash crop that increased in production every decade after 1900. Brookshire's population was 1,250 in 1920, then fluctuated over the next two decades, then steadily increased through the 1980s. In 1980 Brookshire, with a population of 2,244, was a center for rice, peanut, soybean, and cattle production. The town had a number of churches, a sizable consolidated school district, two banks, and several large businesses. The Waller County Museum, in the home of former resident Dr. Paul Donigan, is located in Brookshire. Each October the town is host to the Waller County Festival, which celebrates diverse ethnic backgrounds. In 1990 the community's population was 2,922, and in 2000 it was 3,450.

The Brookshire Times 1897

In 1897 Mr. Adams, wrote in his paper, “The Brookshire Times”, an article on progress of the new Town of Brookshire:

There is no town in the State that can compare with this place in capacity of growth and quick ascendancy to a high standard, both financially and influentially. It is a source of wonder to the people in other portions of the State, how this town, built on the prairie, attained such magnitude and commercial importance in so short a time.

The MK&T Railway, in the early nineties, prepared to build into Houston. When the surveying corps selected the route between Sealy and Houston it passed through some of the finest land in the South, commonly called the "Brazos bottoms." The station of Brookshire was platted in what, to an inexperienced man, would be considered the opposite of an advantageous site for a city. But the officials planned even better than they knew. Though the location was on a prairie, it was only two to three miles from the bottoms, and this contiguity has given the little city the finest freight traffic for its size in the State.

The place was named in honor of Nathan Brookshire, who is a large land owner in the vicinity, and a leading resident. The city, itself, is situated on the William Cooper survey, one of the oldest head rights in the State. The country around is very fertile, the bottom land producing from one to two bales of cotton and over fifty bushels of corn to the acre; and the prairie from one-half to a bale of cotton to the acre. The prairie herbage is sweet and succulent nearly the year round, and furnishes splendid grazing for hundreds of head of cattle. Besides cotton and corn, truck farming is also an industry, as Houston always offers a remunerative market. Melon growing was also started last year. Enough melons were raised to ship ten car-loads. Fruits do well and peach and pear orchards and vineyards abound; some already bearing and others only in their incipiency, yet all have a healthy yielding appearance.

There are gins located in the heart of the city, the property of Houston parties. They are considered the equal of any in Texas, both in capacity and in construction. Fifty bales per day are easily turned out. They received a large amount of cotton grown in the vicinity, and with the output of surrounding gins, Brookshire shipped over 10,000 bales of cotton, which is more than many places of triple its size did. In addition to cotton, the Houston oil mills received 10 cars of cotton seed. This traffic, when computed in dollars and cents, indicates a good profit to both the Katy and the town.

The pecan crop in Waller County this year is something immense; a number of carloads have already been shipped from this point, and there are many bushels to gather. The average price paid by local buyers is 5 cents per pound.

Water is obtained at a depth of sixty feet and is of the freestone quality, for which Waller County is noted. Fuel is abundant, as the immense Brazos valley bottoms are only a couple of miles away.


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