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Serving Texas in the areas surrounding Houston
In 1836 Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen first advertised the City of Houston, named for Sam Houston, in a Texas newspaper. In 1837 Houston incorporated and became the county seat of what is now Harris County. Early settlers used lumber to build homes, ditches for drainage, and pigs to clean streets. Nine epidemics of yellow fever occurred between 1838 and 1868. Cotton was the main agricultural product. By 1861, with lines in five directions from 50 to 100 miles, Houston was the rail center of southeast Texas. In 1873 Houston joined the national rail network. In 1952 the first freeway (now I-45) was built. In 1969 Houston Intercontinental Airport was built, later renamed George Bush Intercontinental Airport in 1997. Houston’s first refinery was built in 1918. By the 1970s Houston was a world energy capital. To avoid being encircled by incorporated suburbs, Houston began annexing suburbs in 1948. It went from 73 square miles in 1940 to 627 square miles by 2015. It even threatened to annex all unclaimed land in Harris County. Its strongly contested annexation of Kingwood in 1996 resulted in the state law changes that limited the city’s annexation power.