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TIMELINE 1910 - 1920


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


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


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


Union Railroad Station was opened


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.


"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


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


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


The Montrose addition is placed on the market

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The Main Street Viaduct is opened

April 11

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


The new $3,000,000 Rice Hotel opens


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Harrisburg incorporates and becomes a city


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


A local branch of the Federal Reserve Bank was opened


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


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


Ellington Field becomes a permanent Air Post


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


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


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


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


General John J. Pershing is in Houston


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


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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