Gulf Coast
2010 Census - 10,400
2000 Census - 9,083
Webster, Texas
Webster Texas History:
In 1879, James W. Webster brought a group of English colonists to the site and founded the community of Garden Town. It became a crossroads for travelers to Galveston, Kemah, and Seabrook. It was later served by the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas and International-Great Northern railroads. The town’s name was changed to Websterville when the post office was established in 1882. Because the town was prone to flooding, it was slow to grow. In 1890, the population was 140. James Thompson established a dry goods and grocery store. In 1892, Thompson moved his home and the Websterville post office from Garden Town to the current Webster townsite. It was at this time the town officially became Webster. In 1904, a colony of seventy Japanese farmers settled nearby to experiment in growing oranges and rice under the leadership of Seito and Kiyoaki Saibara. Other area farmers ran dairy farms and raised livestock. Webster incorporated in 1958. The town started growing rapidly in 1961 due to the construction of the Johnson Space Center. A water channel connects Webster to Clear Lake (the lake). Webster is located IH-45, West Nasa Parkway and SH 3, approximately 4.6 miles south of the Johnson Space Center and Clear Lake, 2.2 miles southwest if Nassau Bay, 6.7 miles slightly northeast of Friendswood, 12 miles northeast of Alvin, 34 miles northeast of Angleton, 52 miles northeast of Surfside Beach, 30 miles northwest of Galveston, 22.5 miles northwest of Texas city, 2.7 miles northwest of League City, 13.2 miles southwest of La Porte, 8.6 miles west of Kemah, 13 miles southeast of Pasadena, and 24 miles southeast of Houston, Texas.
Historical Seito and Kiyoaki Saibara, Texas Historical Marker Text:
Seito Saibara (1861-1939), former president of Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and first Christian member of the Japanese Diet (Parliament). (He) arrived in the United States in 1901 to study theology, and with the desire to establish a Japanese colony in America. Saibara came to Texas in August 1903 at the invitation of the Houston Chamber of Commerce to advise farmers on the cultivation of rice, which was emerging as a major cash crop. He decided rice farming was the ideal business for a colony, leased this tract of land (which he later purchased), and sent for his family. The oldest son, Kiyoaki Saibara (1884-1972), brought from Japan 300 pounds of Shinriki seed, a variety superior to native rice; and together, father and son planted a field near the canal (1/2 mile NE). Their first crops were utilized primarily for distribution as seed in Texas and Louisiana. The Saibaras built a house (250 yards S), and several families soon moved here from Japan, but the colonization effort failed because of disillusionment and homesickness of the new colonists. Seito Saibara aided the growth of the Texas rice industry with improved rice strains and agricultural techniques until his death, and Kiyoaki Saibara continued new developments until his retirement in 1964. The marker is located in the 300 Block of East NASA Road and Old Galveston Road.