Baytown (Images of America)
The early history of Baytown is intertwined with the early history of Texas. The first president of the Republic of Texas, David G. Burnet, and two-time president Sam Houston both lived in the neighborhood. Dr. Ashbel Smith, Texas ambassador to France and England, first president of the University of Texas in Austin, and a founder of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, called Goose Creek home. After the last president of Texas, Anson Jones, committed suicide, his widow, Mary Jones, moved here with their children. She later helped form the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and served as its first president. The major industry in the 1800s was brick making, and over a 100-year period, up to 12 million bricks a year were made on Cedar Bayou and shipped to Galveston, where many buildings built with these bricks still stand. In 1908, the industry became oil with the discovery of the Goose Creek oil field, which, for a while, was the largest producing field in Texas. Because of the proximity to the oil field and access to shipping, the huge Humble Oil Refinery was built at Baytown, starting up in 1919.