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Fort Bend County, Texas

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Fort Bend County, Texas.

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The county was founded in 1837 and organized the next year. It is named for a blockhouse at a bend of the Brazos River. The community developed around the fort in early days.

Before European settlement, the area was inhabited by Karankawa Indians. Spanish colonists generally did not reach the area during their colonization, settling more in South Texas.

After Mexico achieved independence from Spain, Anglo-Americans started entering from the east. In 1822, a group of Stephen F. Austin's colonists, headed by William Travis, built a fort at the present site of Richmond. The fort was called Fort Bend because it was built in the bend of the Brazos River.

Fort Bend County was the site of the Jaybird–Woodpecker War in 1888–89. After a few murders were committed, the political feud culminated in a gun battle at the courthouse on August 16, 1889, when several more people were killed and the Woodpeckers were routed from the county seat.

Governor Lawrence Sullivan Ross sent in militia forces and declared martial law. With his support, the Jaybirds ordered a list of certain Blacks and Woodpecker officials out of the county, overthrowing the local government. The Jaybirds took over county offices and established a "White-only pre-primary," disenfranchising blacks from the only competitive contests in the county. This device lasted until 1950, when Willie Melton and Arizona Fleming won a lawsuit against the practice in United States District Court, though it was overturned on appeal. In 1953, they ultimately won their suit when the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Jaybird primary unconstitutional in Terry v. Adams, the last of the white primary cases.

In the middle 1950s, Fort Bend and neighboring Galveston County were plagued by organized crime, which was involved with brothels and illegal casinos. Editor Clymer Wright of the Fort Bend Reporter joined with state officials and the Texas Rangers to rid the area of such corruption. Wright defied death threats to report on the issues and clean up the community.

Adjacent Counties

Cities, Towns, Villages & Communities

Arcola | Beasley | Booth | Cinco Ranch (part) | Crabb | Clodine | Cumings | Duke | Fairchilds | Fifth Street | Foster | Four Corners | Fresno | Fulshear | Greatwood | Guy | Houston (part) | Juliff | Kendleton | Long Point | Meadows Place | Mission Bend (part) | Needville | New Territory | Orchard | Pecan Grove | Pecan Hill | Pleak | Pittsville | Powell Point | Richmond (County Seat) | Riverstone | Rosenberg | Siesta Plantation | Simonton | Sugar Land | Tavener | Thompsons | Weston Lakes



National Register of Historic Places

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USGW Archives

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TX Gen Web