Built on a league granted to one of the Old 300 settlers, Arcola is located about as far east as one can get in Fort Bend County. This parcel of land, acquired by Jonathan Dawson Waters in the 1800s, became one of the biggest sugar and cotton plantations in Texas.
In the 1890s, C.A. Beasley arrived in Fort Bend County to work as an agent and telegraph operator for the local railroad. As the railroad grew, so did Beasley, attracting many residents from the north. The community officially incorporated in 1970 and today, over 700 residents call Beasley home.
Fairchilds, located in southeastern Fort Bend County, is named for early settler Philo Fairchilds. In 1896, a colony of Mennonites bought a league of land on Big Creek and soon, several families settled the area. In 1990, Fairchilds reported a population of 150 and had a feed store, café, and general store.
Located in northwest Fort Bend County where the Katy prairie meets the Brazos River bottom, Fulshear developed around a league of land granted to one of Stephen F. Austin’s original Old Three Hundred—Churchhill Fulshear. In 1888, Churchhill’s son allowed the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad to travel through his land. Fulshear’s economy boomed as supplies arrived by rail and families moved closer to the railroad. Today, the area is noted for its native pecan trees.
City of Fulshear website
It’s rumored that Katy earned its name after a local saloon keeper’s wife. After a hard day’s work, the builders and workers of the railroad would say they were heading to “Katie’s.” In 1896, the town officially made Katy its name. It’s located 30 miles west of downtown Houston, the fourth largest city in America.
City of Katy website
Originally called Oak Hill, this area was an early stop on the main stagecoach route between Columbia and San Antonio. In the 1860s, a land agent named William Kendall purchased land and divided it into small farms, which were then offered up for sale. Eventually, the community that formed became known as Kendleton.
Meadows Place, incorporated in 1983, is the safest city in, and the gateway to, Fort Bend County. Its excellent location, varied housing stock, autonomous government, exemplary schools, inviting parks, outstanding police department, strong code-enforcement policy and low taxes has given generations of residents the ideal family-friendly environment. Here, residents enjoy small-town tranquility within the Greater Houston Area.
City of Meadows Place website
By any measure, Missouri City is an exceptional city in which to live and work. It has been named by CNN/Money Magazine one of America’s Best Places to Live and, by Congressional Quarterly, one of its safest cities.
Missouri City website
Cattle grazed freely in this part of Fort Bend County up until the 1890s. That’s when August Schendel built a home, a cotton gin and a store in the area, which he named Schendelville. When he tried to establish a post office, he joked that the town should be called “Needmore” since it needed more of everything. The post office replied that Needmore was already established, thereupon naming it Needville. Today, Needville is “where thousands live the way millions wish they could.”
City of Needville website
Located in western Fort Bend County, Orchard is a beautiful stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line. One of the first settlers, S.K. Cross, promoted the community in 1890 as he sold his land to German, Bohemian, and Polish settlers. These settlers began planting large fruit orchards and visitors were soon calling the area Fruitland. The post office application for Fruitland was denied because another existed, so the community reapplied with the name Orchard in 1892.
Pearland is actually a part of three counties: Brazoria, Fort Bend, and Harris. Native Indian inhabitants hosted European visitors here in 1528. Once promoted as an “Agricultural Eden,” Pearland got its name from the abundance of pear trees in the community. Today, Pearland is home to over 91,000 residents.
City of Pearland website
Pleak gets its name from real estate developer A.E. Pleak. A successful oilman, he donated land for a school in 1912, which resulted in the formation of a small community in the area that still bears his name.
Village of Pleak website
The seat of Fort Bend County, Richmond is located on the Brazos River, fifteen miles southwest of Houston. The area, which was originally known as the “fort on the bend,” is filled with woods and trails, looking much the way it did when it was discovered.
City of Richmond website
With the railroad’s arrival, Rosenberg got its true start. Thomas Barnett, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was one of its first residents. In 1880, a train depot was named Rosenberg Junction to honor Henry von Rosenberg, president of the GC & Santa Fe Railroad. Rosenberg quickly became a boomtown in 1920 when oil was discovered here, earning the nickname “City of Mud.” Today, it’s known as “the city that works,” naturally attracting residents and businesses who value long-term commitments.
City of Rosenberg website
Named after James Simonton who came to Texas in 1850, this city became known for the quality artesian water beneath the entire area. Around 1888, the railroad was built and the population of Simonton increased, as it was one of the main water stops for the steam engines at that time. In the 1900s, potatoes and cotton became export crops. There was even a cotton gin located near the railroad until the 1980′s. Today, most of Simonton’s residents work in Houston, Katy or Richmond-Rosenberg.
City of Simonton website
In August of 1853, a day of festivities and an evening of barbecue were held to celebrate the fact that the railroad would soon run through town. Since then, Stafford has had plenty more to celebrate. In fact, the city has been named by Fortune as one of the Top 50 Best Places in the nation to live and launch a business.
City of Stafford website
In 2009, Sugar Land celebrated its 50th anniversary, along with it’s rich history. Stephen F. Austin’s secretary once owned land right where the city is located. In 1840, sugarcane was planted and quickly became the area’s cash crop. While the production of sugar isn’t the staple it once was, the city’s exponential growth and development are just as sweet, earning it the distinction of being named the “Best Place in the Southwest to Live” by CNN/Money Magazine (2006).
City of Sugarland website