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TIMELINE 1910 - 1920

1910

Houston's population stood at 78,800 Houstonians compared to 39,000 Galvestonians. This represented a 76.4 percent increase over 1900. The city's black population was 23,929

Almost 1,300,000 tons of freight passed over the city's wharves in Bayou trade. The goods, valued at nearly $37,500,000 were dominated by cotton, lumber, oil, and rice

Houston bank deposits amounted to $370 per capita when the national average was $194

The importance of the cotton industry to Houston was emphasized by the presence of six oil mills, seven compresses, twelve cotton warehouses, and forty-seven cotton factors

February 18

Houston's first airplane demonstration was given by Louis Paulham, a French aviator

March

The work of placing street signs on each of the four corners of the downtown and principal residential streets has commenced

July

Ground was broken for Rice Institute's first building

July 4

Racial tensions ran high as Houstonians awaited the results of the heavyweight prize fight between black Houstonian Jack Johnson and Jim Jefferies in Reno, Nevada. Johnson's victory sparked some punching, but no riots as in other major cities

August

Union Railroad Station was opened

November

The largest fireproof City Auditorium in the South opened, representing an expenditure of $250,000. This auditorium, coupled with the million-dollar hotel, rendered Houston the leading convention city of the Southwest. The promoters of the auditorium regarded it as the greatest advertising feature which the city possesed.

December

"Carter's folly," a 16-story skyscraper, was completed to the amazement of local residents

The popularity of movies prompted the creation of a Board of Censors

December 1

A new $500,000 post office was opened

1911

The 75th anniversary of Texas Declaration of Independence

Houston's first aviation meet was held

Bellaire was annexed to the city

January 10

Harris County voters overwhelmingly approved the creation of the Harris County and Houston Ship Channel Navigation District, along with a bond issue of $1,250,00 for channel improvements

August 29

The first all-steel train in Texas history left Houston for Galveston

September

Booker T. Washington speaks to a crowd of over 7000 people at the Auditorium

October

The Montrose addition is placed on the market

A railroad strike resulted in the death of one strikebreaker and injuries to several more

November

Mayor Rice makes the first official trip over the Houston-Galveston Electric Railway, better know as the Interurban

December

A survey by the Men and Religion Forward Movement found Houston with 4 theaters, 6 dance halls, 311 saloons, 36 pool rooms, 117 churches, along with good and bad hotels

1912

February 21

Perhaps the most destructive fire in the city's history swept forty blocks in the Fifth Ward, located on the north side, rendering about 1000 people homeless

June

Contracts were signed, and work begun, on deepening the ship channel to 25 feet from Bolivar Roads to the Turning Basin

September 23

Rice Institute opened its doors for classes with an enrollment of 59 students

November

Albert T. Patrick, who is serving a life sentence in Sing Sing prison for the murder of William March Rice, is pardoned by Gov. Dix of New York

1913

Twelve oil companies locate their headquarters in the city of Houston

Ben Campbell became Houston's mayor

Houston had 347 factories producing goods valued at over $50,000,000

A group of citizens forms the Houston Symphony Society, and the Houston Symphony Orchestra was organized with Julian Paul Blitz as conductor

Parcel post delivery was inaugurated

Voters approved $3,000,000 in bonds for port facilities and the establishment of a City Harbor Board

April

The Main Street Viaduct is opened

April 11

A $15,000 Carnegie Free Library for blacks was opened

May

The new $3,000,000 Rice Hotel opens

June

The Houston Symphony Society sponsored its first concert in the Majestic Theatre

July-August

The city provided segregated drinking fountains in front of City Hall, and Union Station established divided waiting rooms

September

Three new schools are opened in Houston for the beginning of the new school year--Dow, Longfellow, and Crocket

October 16

Houston voters approved amendments for initiative, referendum, and recall

November

Main Street's first suffragette parade was led by Mrs. Angelina Pankhurst

December

The first moving picture film of Houston is being made by the Paragon Feature Film Company of Omaha

1914

Houston makes headlines as the first city in the south with a motor bus line

Armour built a 20,000-tons-per-year fertilizer plant

Because of the war, ship channel trade fell off from 1,860,452 tons in 1913 to 1,070,700 tons in 1914

May 30

George Hermann, millionaire and pioneer, gives the city half a million dollars worth of land for a park. The 285 acres of land which would become the nucleus of Herman park is located opposite of Rice Institute

September

Houston school children will start a zoo by buying a pair of Ostriches. This will be the first contribution to the Houston Zoological Gardens

September 7

Work deepening the ship channel to 25 feet was completed

The 50-mile- long, 100-foot wide, 25-foot deep Houston Ship Channel is opened

September 26

The first Ocean-going vessel arrives at the Port of Houston via the Houston Ship Channel which confirms the city's status as an international seaport.
The Schooner William C. May became the first ocean-going vessel to traverse the new 25 foot channel

October

In the week since the school children's donation of Ostriches, the Houston Zoological Gardens has received a pair of white swans and a pair of Chinese Geese from City Council, a fox, four teal ducks, and four fantailed pigeons

November 10

The new deepened ship channel was officially opened in a celebration which featured a cannon fired by remote control by President Woodrow Wilson in Washington

The cotton market collapses

1915

The Gulf Oil Company built a plant at Lynchburg on the ship channel, starting Houston on the way to becoming the focal point of the oil industry in South Texas

The Ship Channel Navigation District completed its first public wharf

March

Houston now possessed 196 miles of paved streets, including those of shell and gravel

May

The Stude family has given the city 22.39 acres of land for a park to be known as Stude Park

June

The city's official flag was designed by W.A. Wheeldon

August

Houston is hit by a hurricane with winds gusting between 80-110 miles per hour. This is the worst storm since the one in 1900

August 22

The Satilla docks in Houston officially making the city a seaport; the first vessel of the Southern Steamship Company. By the end of the war, this company was carrying most of the non-oil tonnage on the channel

October

Houston claimed the first all-woman fair, and the event was opened with a 2,000-woman parade

November

The Liberty Bell arrives in Houston tonight and will be on view at Grand Central station for an hour

1916

A new Houston stock exchange opened. It was basically a clearing house for stocks, leases, and purchase of oil

June 3

Main Street's first "Preparedness" parade was held

August

The First Presbyterian Church of Houston is ranked strongest in the Southern Assembly

November

Harrisburg incorporates and becomes a city

December

T. P. Lee pays $90,000 for the J. W. Link residence-- at the time it was the highest price ever paid in Houston for a residence

1917

J. J. Pastoriza became Houston's mayor. He was followed by J.C. Hutcheson. Jr. the same year

A Federal Farm Loan Bank was opened. It granted $37,000 in loans during its first 7 years

January 13

The Baltimore, the first ship to sail for a foreign port from Houston, left the harbor

June

Over 12,000 men had enrolled in the local selective service registration, and Liberty Loan subscriptions totaled over $2,500,000

Houston's scholastic population is 26,951

July 24

Construction began on Camp Logan, a facility for National Guard Units

African American soldiers at Camp Logan, a U.S. military training base in Houston preparing soldiers for WWII, rioted their resentment of the "Jim Crow" laws

The city is placed under martial law

August 23

A race riot erupted when black soldiers from Camp Logan entered the city to avenge alleged maltreatment of black soldiers by Houston police. When order was restored on August 27, seventeen people were dead and sixteen wounded. Thirteen black participants were later hanged at Fort Sam Houston

September

Construction began on Ellington Field, a $1,000,000 facility to train army flyers

September 1

Houston's first police woman, E. J. Backer, starts work today

October 31

The Texas Gulf Coast oil workers went on strike demanding $4.00 a day. Troops occupied oil installations to prevent sabotage

1918

A. Earl Amerman became mayor of Houston

Industrial development along the ship channel continued with twenty-two establishments now located below the Turning Basin and sixteen above

Eight oil fields around Houston were producing thirty million barrels a year

City firemen, municipal employees of the street and bridge departments, and telephone workers all affiliated with the A.F. of L.

January

Rice Institute student protested military training and regulations by putting the power plant out of operation and breaking windows

February

Vote for the consolidation measure to join Houston Heights development to Houston carries 7 to 1

April 28

At a meeting of the Houston Teachers Association over 250 teachers became of the American Federation of Teachers, an A. F. of L. affiliate

May

The Thirty-third Division leaves Camp Logan for France

Ream Field is established

News arrived of the first Houston boy to fall during WW I, in France, Donald Gregg. There would be 200 more

June

Harris County goes dry, but the roads to Spring, Cypress, and Crosby will be well traveled


Mrs. Hortense Ward was the first woman to register at the courthouse to vote

July

Fifteen thousand, six hundred and forty women registered for the first time for a national election

The Port of Houston was seriously affected by a maritime strike which spread throughout Texas Gulf ports

August

A local branch of the Federal Reserve Bank was opened

November

The League of the Great War, founded in April, became the first local post of the American Legion

1919

Houston property values were assessed at $100,000,000, while the city had industrial plants worth $600,000,000. The 1,293 business houses enjoyed an annual retail trade of $63,000,000

The city experienced new construction worth $4,000,000

West University Place was annexed to the city

The first trucking firm began operating in Houston, and by 1920 there were twenty-two such freight firms

The Port of Houston registered 157 ship arrivals with a combined barge and ship freight of 1,287,972 tons

January

Ellington Field becomes a permanent Air Post

February

Authorities announce plans to deepen the ship channels' draft to a depth of 30 feet, while widening it to 150 feet

March

Central High School burned to the ground

March 2

Pressed by the increasing size of oil tankers, army engineers approved a depth of 30 feet for the channel

July

Railroad shop employees struck, as they would again in October

Daisy Troop No. 1, Girl Scouts of America was organized in Houston

November 15

The first direct-to-Europe cotton shipment left Houston on the Merry Mont. By the end of the 1920s Houston would be the nation's leading cotton exporter

December 17

A $1,000,000 fire swept the Southern Pacific Railroad shops

1920

Federal prohibition of alcoholic beverages begins

Houston's population reached 138,276, a jump of 75.5 percent since 1910. The city's black population was 33,960

Bank deposits per capita stood at $617, when the national average was $392

Houston now had 27,000 telephone customers

The Port of Houston recorded 165 ship arrivals and a combined barge and ship freight total of 1,210,204 tons. The latter figure was still well below pre-war levels

The local Houston chapter of the Klu Klux Klan was formed

February

General John J. Pershing is in Houston

March

Humble Oil and Refining Company has received the largest building permit ever issued in Houston. It is for a $1,200,000 building at the corner of Main and Polk

October

The silver service donated by the people by the people of Houston to the steamship "City of Houston" was presented to Capt. George E. White of the steamer by Mayor A. E. Amerman

 

 









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