History of Alvin

Person standing between a dog and a gooseLooking back on the many years of life in Alvin can tell a lot about its future. The determination of settlers to build a life in the area began with one homestead paving the way to a city of family life and business.

The cattle industry brought settlers to the area in 1845, where Elisha and Missouri Thomas, their children and slaves built a home of cedar logs. When the Santa Fe Railroad expanded westward from Galveston to the interior of Texas, it built a water tank and holding pens for cattle that it shipped on the banks of the Mustang Bayou. The Railroad Company employed Alvin Morgan as an overseer. Morgan arrived in Alvin in 1879. He subsequently purchased two sections of land and built a house.

As the area developed, more settlers moved in and he opened a general store and saloon. He later moved a box car from the railroad and converted it into a post office. The citizenry proclaimed the area a town, and when the population reached 49. they named it Morgan. However they learned that a town with that name already existed in Texas and changed its name to Alvin, still honoring their founding father. Alvin was incorporated in 1893, the first incorporated city in Brazoria County.

Although cattle constituted the first industry in the area, farming was well established by the 1890's. Strawberries, pears, and figs enjoyed periods of boom, and a canning plant was established. Vegetables were also grown for resale. Blocks of ice cut from frozen rivers and lakes in northern states were shipped to Alvin for use to keep the produce from spoiling. Eventually an ice house was established in Alvin to produce ice and the Alvin Box and Material Company was established to produce crates to store the produce during shipment. Several nurseries grew Cape Jasmines (a flower similar to gardenias) for shipment. Several mild winters gave locals the false confidence to grow satsuma oranges during the 1910's. Hard freezes put an end to the citrus cultivation.

Rice farming was one of the major changes that Alvin has seen since its inception in 1948.

In the 1930s, oil was discovered in eastern Brazoria County and even today, oil plays a big part in the economy.

Today, growth and development makes the community productive, yet a hometown feeling of friends and family still exists. The treasured buildings from the past are now being renovated and house new businesses in Alvin.

Located in northern Brazoria County Texas, Alvin has much to offer residents and visitors alike. Follow the links on the left to learn more about the City of Alvin, its government, businesses, schools, college, economic development and tourist attractions.