Fort Bend
Gulf Coast
2010 Census - 11,679
2000 Census - 11,081
Richmond, Texas
Richmond Texas History:
The townsite was first settled in 1822 by a small group of settlers led by William W. Little. They were soon joined by members of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred colonists. The settlers built a log fort on the bend in the Brazos River and a settlement known as Fort Bend grew up around the fort. Before the Civil War, the town became a cattle ranching center. Two weeks after the fall of the Alamo and the Goliad Massacre, the town was abandoned during the Runaway Scrape. In early 1837 after the Civil War, Robert Eden Handy and William Lusk established the town of Richmond on the site. They sold lots and named the town after Richmond, England. In 1837, Richmond became county seat of the newly formed Fort Bend County. The town's early residents included some of the best known Texans of the period, including Erastus (Deaf) Smith, Jane Long and Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar. In 1855, the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad built a line through town. In 1878, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway extended its tracks through the area but bypassed Richmond when the town refused to give the railroad a right-of-way. A new, rival community called Rosenberg was built on the railway three miles from Richmond. In 1884, 2,000 people lived in Richmond, but because of competition from neighboring towns, the population dropped through 1904. The economy was dependent on agriculture until the 1920s when oil production began. By 1934, there were 8 producing oilfields and a sulfur mine in the area. By 1990, Richmond and Rosenberg had grown together, and many of the citizens of both towns were commuting to Houston for work. Richmond is located on the Brazos River at the intersection of U.S. 90A and FM 762, adjacent to the northeastern city limits of Rosenberg, 31 miles northeast of Wharton, 15 miles northeast of Needville, 36 miles east of Eagle Lake, 20 miles southeast of Wallis, 19 miles south of Katy, 57 miles southwest of La Porte, 34 miles southwest of Houston, 14.5 miles southwest of Missouri City, 8.5 miles southwest of Sugar Land, 36 miles northwest of West Columbia, Texas.
Richmond Historical District:
The six block historical district is bordered on the north by Morton Cemetery, on the south by Houston Street, on the west by 7th Street, and on the east by the Brazos Rivers. Buildings include the 1897 Fort Bend County Jail (now Police Headquarters in Decker Park), the Fort Bend County Courthouse, Decker Park, The Fort Bend Museum Complex (1880s McFarlane Home in Decker Park), and the downtown business district.
Fort Bend County Courthouse, 1908:
This courthouse was designed in beaux arts style by architect Charles H. Page of Austin. The courthouse is almost identical to the Hays County Courthouse in San Marcos. The courthouse cost $75,000 to build; the land was purchased for $6750. Additions were added in 1935 and 1957. From 1980-1981, the courthouse was renovated and restored to its original state. Located on the courthouse grounds are the Mirabeau B. Lamar Monument, and the Constantine W. Buckley Texas Historical Marker. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (281) 342-3411. 301 Jackson Street.
Fort Bend County Jail, 1897:
The county’s stunning 3rd jail was built out of red brick and McNeal limestone in Romanesque Revival style. The interior included a basement (rare in those days), the sheriff's living quarters and office on the first floor, and a second/third floor containing cells and the gallows. It was used as a jail until a new one was built in 1955. In 1996 the building was renovated for the Police department. An addition was built and connected to the former jail by an atrium; the gallows and some of cells were kept intact, and a museum was located in the front portion of the jail building. Tours may be arranged. (281) 342-2849. 602 Preston Street.