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Woodlands & Montgomery County History

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 …

Back When … History of Montgomery County Courthouses Back When … History of Montgomery County Courthouses

Montgomery County courthouses have been the center of political, civic and business activity for more than 175 years. Today’s courthouse in Conroe is a tribute to the history of one of the oldest counties in …

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 …

Back When … Spring Creek County Back When … Spring Creek County

On Nov. 17, 2015, a forgotten part of Texas history was brought to light and honored with a Texas Historical Commission Marker. Spring Creek County was one of 16 “Judicial” counties established between 1840 and …

Back When … Charles B. Stewart, Designer of the Texas Flag Back When … Charles B. Stewart, Designer of the Texas Flag

Charles B. Stewart was one of the founding fathers of Texas and the designer of the Texas Flag that we know today. He was born on Feb. 6, 1806 in Charleston, South Carolina, to Charles …

Back When …
Stephens F. Austin’s Second Colony
Back When … <br />Stephens 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 …

Back When …
First Montgomery County Historical Marker Awarded to Shepard Barber Shop
Back When … <br />First Montgomery County Historical Marker Awarded to Shepard Barber Shop

Since 1912, five generations of local Conroe men, their sons and grandsons needing a haircut or a shave have sat in the chairs of what is now Shepard’s Barber Shop at 116 Simonton Street in …

Back When …
Eagle Scout Preserves Historic Richard Williams Cemetery
Back When … <br />Eagle Scout Preserves Historic Richard Williams Cemetery

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

Back When …
George Bell Madeley, the “King of Egypt”
Back When … <br />George Bell Madeley, the “King of Egypt”</br>

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. …

Back When …
Birthplace of the Texas Flag
Back When … <br />Birthplace of the Texas Flag</br>

By Char Schneider
Six Flags of Texas” is not always a reference to the amusement park. The term originated from the fact that the state of Texas has flown under six different flags or governments.
The first …

Back When … What’s a Blue Law? Back When … What’s a Blue Law?

Why are the malls closed?” “Why is this section of the grocery store roped off? I need nails and screws!” These were some of the conversations heard throughout the South, including Texas, until as late …