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Woodlands & Montgomery County History

HISTORICAL – Rattlesnakes, Indians and a Pioneer Preacher HISTORICAL – Rattlesnakes, Indians and a Pioneer Preacher

One of the most colorful preachers in the Texas Republic was Z. N. Morrell. In 1844, he wrote: “My mind was impressed strongly that my labors were in demand in the county of Montgomery.” Though …

HISTORICAL – Sam Houston: The Vision of Danville HISTORICAL – Sam Houston: The Vision of Danville

In 1858 Texas was awash in unrest. Talk of Civil War abounded, while Indian Wars in the north along the Red River mirrored Mexican Civil War-induced conflict along the Rio Grande to the south. In …

HISTORICAL – Native American Tribes of Montgomery County HISTORICAL – Native American Tribes of Montgomery County

By Robin Navarro Montgomery
The original Montgomery County stretched from the Brazos River in the west to the Trinity River in the east, and south to north from Spring Creek to the Old San Antonio Road. Within …

HISTORICAL – Original Montgomery County: Focal Point of Texas History HISTORICAL – Original Montgomery County: Focal Point of Texas History

On Dec. 14, 1837, Montgomery County became the third county established under the authority of the Republic of Texas, 1836-45. Later, between 1846 and 1873, the county yielded territory to the formation of all or …

HISTORICAL – Conroe College’s Grand Vision of 1905 HISTORICAL – Conroe College’s Grand Vision of 1905

From its founding in 1903, Conroe Normal and Industrial College was on the cutting edge of trends in African American education. Among its early leaders were persons of renown throughout the state and beyond. One …

HISTORICAL – Conroe Normal and Industrial College: Spirit of the Golden Bell HISTORICAL – Conroe Normal and Industrial College: Spirit of the Golden Bell

 
By Robin Navarro Montgomery, Ph.D.
In post-Civil War Texas, segregation cast a pall over efforts of African-Americans to educate themselves. In those few schools for African-Americans in existence, most teachers were white Christians. At the beginning …

HISTORICAL – Eagle Scout Preserves Historic Richard Williams Cemetery HISTORICAL – Eagle Scout Preserves Historic  Richard Williams Cemetery

The Richard Williams Cemetery east of Willis received a facelift in 2015, thanks to members of the Montgomery County Historical Commission’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB). For his Eagle Scout project, member Ross Ohendalski worked with …

HISTORICAL – George Bell Madly, the “King of Egypt” HISTORICAL – George Bell Madly, the “King of Egypt”

The community of Egypt was located near the junction of Farm Roads 1488 and 2978 about nine miles southwest of Conroe in southwestern Montgomery County. In its heyday, Egypt was surely a land of plenty. …

HISTORICAL – Stephen F. Austin’s Second Colony HISTORICAL – Stephen F. Austin’s Second Colony

 
Most everyone has heard about Stephen F. Austin’s First Colony established in 1823 and known as San Felipe de Austin, now known as San Felipe, Texas, but it is less well-known that a second colony …

HISTORICAL – Magnolia: The Town With Four Names HISTORICAL – Magnolia: The Town With Four Names

The Dean Brothers general merchandise store.
When Texas won independence from Mexico in 1836 and became a republic, people began to settle in the prairie lands west of the San Jacinto River. In 1840 Joseph Mink …

HISTORICAL – Mostyn-Tillis Prairie HISTORICAL – Mostyn-Tillis Prairie

Just west of The Woodlands on FM 1488 is a subdivision called Mostyn Manor Estates. This is not a name the developer made up – it belongs to a ranching family on whose land it …

HISTORICAL – New Caney, Texas HISTORICAL – New Caney, Texas

The annual Texas Sawmill Festival took place Oct. 1 at Bull Sallas Park in New Caney with an estimated 8,000 people in attendance. The festival pays homage to days past when New Caney and East …

Back When … The Lewis Family of Montgomery County Back When … The Lewis Family of Montgomery County

By Frank M. Johnson
Three miles west of the City of Willis is the Lewis Creek Reservoir, which supplies water to the adjacent Lewis Creek Power Plant. The 1,010 surface acres of water cover nearly one-quarter …

Back When … Honoring Algernon “Texas” Alexander:  A Father of Texas Blues Back When … Honoring Algernon “Texas” Alexander:  A Father of Texas Blues

On Aug. 12, 2016, the Montgomery County Historical Commission honored Algernon “Texas” Alexander, who was one of the most influential figures of the early Texas Blues movement. His pioneering contributions as a singer and writer …

Back When … How George William Strake Made a Difference Back When … How George William Strake Made a Difference

George William Strake was born on Nov. 9, 1894 in St. Louis. His father, William George Strake, died less than a year later; his mother, Anna Casper Strake, passed away by the time George was …

Back When … Capt. Thomas Wesley Smith,
Tobacco King of Willis
Back When … Capt. Thomas Wesley Smith,<br /> Tobacco King of Willis

Thomas Wesley Smith was born on July 13, 1829 in Logan County, Kentucky. In 1845, at the age of 16, Smith came to Texas and settled in the town of Montgomery, where he met and …

Back When …
John Wahrenberger: A Conroe Founding Father
Back When … <br />John Wahrenberger: A Conroe Founding Father

At a time when a small, seemingly inconsequential sawmill community served as the intersection of two new major railroads carved out of a big thicket of virgin timber — home to deer, wolves and bears …

Back When … The Downtown Conroe Fire of 1911 Back When … The Downtown Conroe Fire of 1911

Many of the buildings in downtown Conroe are just over 100 years old due to a devastating fire on Feb. 21, 1911 that destroyed most of the buildings downtown. They were comprised of wood, a …

Montgomery County Historical Commission Seeks Information on World War I Veterans Montgomery County Historical Commission Seeks Information on World War I Veterans

Project Will Result In A Book With The Compiled Stories
In February 1918, three months shy of his 22nd birthday, Thomas Earle Gentry was inducted into the U.S. Army as a private from Conroe. The …