W.W. Sheppard was a farmer and proprietor of a trading post on Little Lake Creek (now called Town Creek) in what was then Washington County in the newly formed Republic of Texas. On July 8, 1837, Sheppard placed an advertisement in the Telegraph and Texas Register for lots in the town of Montgomery.
Situated in the county of Washington, sixty miles northwest of the city of Houston, thirty miles east of the town of Washington, and six miles west of the San Jacinto River, in the center of a high, beautiful and undulating district of the country, distinguished for health, good water and soil.
It is expected that a new county will be organized, at the next session of congress, embracing this section of the country, in which event, the town of Montgomery from its central position must be selected for its seat of justice.
By 1850 the trading post had become a thriving town with a doctor, lawyers, general stores, hotels, saloons, schools, churches and was the center of commerce for almost 2,000 people in the surrounding area who were engaged in agricultural businesses such as ranching, farming, and timber. Many of Montgomery’s founders were already well acquainted with General Sam Houston when he spoke to the town in front of the old Baptist Church opposing Texas’ secession from the Union at the outset of the Civil War.
Nearly a quarter of the residents of the growing county were not here by choice. These African slaves were also instrumental in the founding, building, and economic health of the pioneer community. After emancipation, they joined those who answered Sheppard’s invitation to embrace a dream of a better life in this beautiful area.
The families of Montgomery’s founders are still with us today both in Montgomery and in the surrounding area. Many of the founding families of other area communities such as Conroe and Willis have come from Montgomery. As Texas became more urbanized, many of Montgomery’s children have moved to the cities pursuing the same dream. Montgomery has also sent her sons and daughters to defend their country in every war since the Civil War.
In recent years, newcomers have come to Montgomery seeking the opportunity to build new trading posts, subdivide more lots, start new medical and law practices, open new restaurants and watering holes, plant new churches, and write new chapters in the story of this small Texas town.
On July 7, 2012 the town of Montgomery will celebrate its 175th birthday. On this day, we will celebrate our pioneer heritage, our founders, and those who continue to build on their foundation in our community. There will be a number of activities going on throughout the town culminating in an old fashioned street dance at the town square.
We invite all those who have been touched by the spirit of old Montgomery to join us in celebrating our birthday. Details can be found on our website www.historicmontgomerytexas.com.