Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Houston

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HOUSTON, a city of the United States, capital of Harris county, Texas, and the next city in the State to Galveston as regards both population and commercial enterprise, is situated on the left bank of Buffalo bayou at the head of navigation, and at the junction of several railways, 50 miles north-west of Galveston. The bayou is crossed at Houston by several bridges. Most of the streets are shaded by fine avenues of trees, and the principal of them are traversed by tramway cars. The chief buildings are the city-hall and market-house, completed in 1874, at a cost of 400,000 dollars, the masonic temple of the grand lodge of Texas, and the hotels, the largest of which is the finest in the State. The city is well supplied with schools and churches, and has two large public libraries. It is the principal railway centre of the State, and the depôt of an extensive and rich agricultural region, besides being the seat of important and varied manufactures. The recent deepening of the bayou so as to make it navigable for vessels drawing 9 feet of water has considerably increased the shipping trade, which is chiefly in lumber. The town possesses iron and brass founderies, railway machine shops, planing-mills, factories for cars, waggons, and agricultural implements, sheet-iron and tin works, a large flour-mill, beef-packing establishments, and manufactures of cotton, soap, Portland cement, and bone dust. In the neighbourhood there are extensive nurseries. The annual fair of the State of Texas is held at Houston. The city, which was named after Samuel Houston, noticed below, was settled in 1836, and in 1837 it was for a short time the capital of the State. In 1870 the population was 9382, and in 1880 it had increased to 17,000.