2000 Census - Unknown
Sabine Pass Texas History:
Initially called Sabine City, the town was platted as early as 1836 by the Sabine City Company which projected the town would become a major seaport. Notables such as Sam Houston, Phillip A Sublett, George W. Hockley, John S. Roberts, Albert G. Kellogg, Niles F. Smith, and Sidney Sherman eventually joined the company. The first Jefferson County sawmill was built in Sabine City 1846; the town received a post office in 1847. By the time of the Civil War the town had changed its name to Sabine Pass, and a newspaper and an Eastern Texas Railroad connection had been established; cotton and cattle were major exports. The town incorporated in 1861. During the Civil War Fort Sabine and Fort Griffin were established to protect Sabine Pass from Union troops. The 1862 outbreak of yellow fever led most residents to evacuate, and dissuaded Union troops from permanently occupying the area. In 1863 Dick Dowling defeated Union troops at the famous Sabine Pass Battle; Sabine Pass residents Catherine “Kate” Magill Dorman and her friend Sara Vosburg were heroines of the yellow fever epidemic and of the Sabine Pass Battle. By 1880 Sabine Pass had 460 residents, making it the second largest town in Jefferson County. The 1886 hurricane killed 86 people, destroyed the town, and eventually led to the town’s decline. Other factors leading to the decline included the 1915 hurricane, the refusal of the Kountze brothers, who owned most of the choice tracts of land in the area, to make a deal with prospective developer Arthur E. Stilwell, and the construction of the deep water ports at Beaumont and Orange, Texas. In the wake of the discovery of the Spindletop oilfield, Sun Oil Company built docks and a pumping plant in Sabine Pass; the operations were discontinued in 1927. Commercial fishing and marine repair remained the major local industries; small quantities of oil were discovered in the Sabine Pass oilfield in 1958. Port Arthur annexed Sabine Pass in 1978. In 1984 Sabine Pass had 1,500 residents; today the Sabine Pass census numbers are included in the Port Arthur census. The town is #023 on the Sabine Birding Loop. Sabine Pass is located on the mouth of the Sabine River estuary (across from Louisiana) on SH 87, 30 miles southeast of Beaumont, 36 miles southwest of Orange, 27.5 miles southwest of Bridge City and 13 miles south of Port Arthur, Texas. Remembering Sabine Pass
Historic City of Sabine Pass, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“The first known settlers in this area were John McGaffey and Thomas Courts, who arrived in 1832. Sam Houston assisted Manuel de los Santos Coy in acquiring a land grant here in 1833. Two years later Houston and two partners purchased Coy's property holdings. On January 19, 1839, Gen. Sam Houston signed the charter that established the city of Sabine. Houston was active in promoting the sale of 2,060 town lots. The city soon flourished. Houston and his partners lost title to the town when the General Land Office determined that John McGaffey held original claim to the lands. The city of Sabine developed into a major port. In 1860 the State Legislature, in approving a new charter for the city, changed the name to Sabine Pass. It was the scene of a major Civil War engagement in 1863, with Confederate forces preventing a Union attempt to capture the port and gain major inroads into Texas. The Federal Harbor Act of 1882 led to construction of jetties here and development of inland ports along the Neches and Sabine rivers. By the early 20th century Sabine Pass began to decline due to hurricane damage which prevented railway maintenance.” The marker is located in the Sabine Pass Lions Park at 7th and Broadway.
Historic Sabine Pass, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Established in 1837 as Republic of Texas port of entry and customs office. In the Civil War had defenses of one cavalry, one artillery and three infantry companies. Guarded shipping against the Federal blockade, admitting to port vital factory goods, guns, gunpowder, medicines. Guarded access to upriver ports that loaded out cotton, received guns. Stood sentry over coastal troop movements by rail, wagon or horseback from Texas to eastern battles. Was swept in 1862 by yellow fever brought in by ships from Havana. Ailing men had to spike their guns. Lost Sabine City to the Federals, who burned Taylor's Bayou Railroad Bridge and planned to make coastal plantations their commissary. Recaptured in Jan. 1863 by Confederates, the Pass made military history Sept. 8, 1863, when fewer than 50 men under Lt. Dick Dowling defeated large Federal fleet bringing in 5,000 troops to conquer Texas and cut her off from remainder of the Confederacy. Battlefield Park and monument open to public. Now a commercial fishing and marine repair center. Entrance from the Gulf of Mexico of Sabine-Neches Waterway. Important because of the petrochemical and oil industry along the shores.”
Historic Catherine "Kate" Magill Dorman, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“(1828-1897) Georgia native Kate Dorman and her husband Arthur McGill owned the Catfish Hotel at Sabine Pass as early as 1847. McGill died in an accident in 1858, and in 1859 Kate married John Dorman. In 1862 the Catfish Hotel became a temporary hospital, and Kate nursed victims of a yellow fever epidemic. A strong supporter of the Confederacy, Kate Dorman assisted Lt. Dick Dowling’s troops the day of the Battle of Sabine Pass in September 1863.” Marker located in the Sabine Pass Cemetery, 5100 Cemetery Road.
Catherine "Kate" Magill Dorman:
Kate and her first husband Arthur Magill built the popular Catfish Hotel in 1852. Arthur was killed in 1859 when the boiler on a steamboat exploded; in 1860 Kate married Captain John Dorman, master of the Neches River cotton steamer Doctor Massie. When yellow fever broke out in 1862 many town residents fled Sabine. Kate stayed; she converted the hotel into a temporary hospital and with the help of two friends, Sarah Vosburg and Sarah Ann King, nursed the sick. All three survived the epidemic, but within a four month period approximately 100 Sabine residents and almost 200 Beaumont residents died of the disease. During the Battle of Sabine Pass Kate and her friend Sarah Vosburg stayed in the hotel cooking meat, donuts and coffee for the Confederate soldiers. In the midst of the battle Kate and Sarah hitched up a horse and cart and carried the hot meal to the gunners at the fort. Kate is buried in the Sabine Pass Cemetery at 5100 Cemetery Road.
Historic Dick Dowling, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Sabine Pass. In memory of Lt. Richard W. Dowling and his men. Texas remembers the faithfulness and valor of her sons and commends their heroic example to future generations. Thus it will be seen that we captured with forty-seven men two gunboats mounting thirteen guns of the heaviest caliber and about three hundred and fifty prisoners. All my men behaved like heroes, not a man flinched from his post. Our motto was victory or death. Official report of Lt. Richard W. Dowling. At this site on Sept. 8th, 1863 Dick Dowling and forty-seven men comprising Company F, Texas Heavy Artillery, Jefferson Davis Guards, C.S.A., from a mud fort repulsed an attack made by four warships and twelve hundred men of the Federal Army thus saving Texas from invasion by the enemy. There is no parallel in ancient or modern warfare to the victory of Dowling and his men at Sabine Pass considering the great odds against which they had to contend. Jefferson Davis.” The marker is located at Sabine Pass State Park & Historical Site. Dick Dowling died during the 1867 yellow fever epidemic that struck Galveston and Houston.
Historic Sabine Pass Cemetery, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“The oldest continually used cemetery in Jefferson County, This graveyard has served the citizens of the Sabine Pass area since the 1840s. The earliest documented grave is that of a 12-year-old John A. Dashiell, son of William V.C. and Mary Dashiell, who died on August 27, 1847. The large site now known as Sabine Pass Cemetery represents a combination of five formerly distinct burial grounds. Included in what was once called "The Colored Peoples Cemetery" is the unmarked grave of 108-year-old Louis Williams. Born a slave in Mississippi in 1813, Williams died on June 23, 1921. Among the burials in this historic graveyard are those of many distinguished military veterans. Able Coffin (1792-1862) and Burwell Jackson (1783-1864) fought in the War of 1812. Jacob Harmon Garner (1814-1887), Benjamin Johnson (1815-1872) and Niles F. Smith (1800-1858) were Texas Revolution veterans. Soldiers and sailors from both the Union and Confederate forces of the Civil War also are interred here. The two Union sailors Patrick Ferlin and Albert W. Marshall, died of wounds sustained during the offshore naval encounter on January 21, 1863, while serving on the ship Morning Light. A number of Confederate veterans rest in the cemetery, as does Catherine "Kate" Magill Dorman, dubbed "the heroine of Sabine Pass" for her assistance of the southern troops. A number of graves have been specially marked with military or state historical markers. Maintained by Jefferson County and cared for by local volunteer organizations, the Sabine Pass Cemetery remains in use by citizens of the area. Its historic gravestones and monuments provide a unique component of the cultural history of Jefferson County.” 5100 Cemetery Road.
Historic 1886 Hurricane at Sabine Pass, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“In October 1886, Sabine Pass was the second largest town in Jefferson County, boasting a new rail line and an optimistic outlook on continued growth as a major coastal port. On the afternoon of October 12, just two months after a hurricane had destroyed the Texas port of Indianola (200 mi. SW), a fierce storm ravaged the town of Sabine Pass. The hurricane's strength lay in its 100 mile-per-hour winds and the swiftly rising water that swept homes off their foundations and carried people and animals as far as 25 miles away. Eighty-six people, including entire families, were killed, and only two of 77 houses remained intact after the waters subsided. Stories of survival are documented as well, signifying the determination of residents to endure the storm. Rescue and cleanup efforts began promptly, with the citizens of Beaumont, Orange, Galveston and Houston providing boats, rescue teams and financial assistance. Special legislative action provided tax relief for the storm-ravaged area, exempting citizens from payment of state and county taxes in 1886. As one of several difficulties Sabine Pass faced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the 1886 hurricane contributed significantly to the town's decline in the years to come.”