Local History Online Exhibits

To learn more about the resources we have for researchers of local history or genealogy, please visit our Local History Department page.

Texas City During World War II

Screen capture of the Texas City During World War II exhibit

Join us for a closer look at life on the home front in Texas City during World War II. The unexpected closure of the Texas City Army post in 1915, followed by the difficulties of the late 1920s and early 1930s, took a significant toll on the local economy and depressed the population growth of the town. In the 1930 census, a population of just over 3500 was recorded for the young community. But by the early 1930s, Col. H. B. Moore and other city leaders were beginning to achieve some success in expanding the city's industrial base. Increased storage capacity at the grain elevator, expanded infrastructure in rail, ship and road facilities, and the deepened Texas City Channel strengthened outside interest in the young city as an industrial center.

Texas City History

Screen capture of the Texas City History exhibit

To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Texas City, Moore Memorial Public Library has created a permanent online historical exhibit about Texas City's history. This exhibit was created by the staff of Moore Memorial Public Library over a two-year time period. To develop the articles, staff used print resources from our collection, archives and vertical file (including some materials that were donated to the library by community members), authoritative sources available through the Internet, and materials borrowed through interlibrary loan from other institutions.

The exhibit has been designed with multiple and flexible access points, to accommodate varying levels and types of interest. The navigation buttons on the left side of the pages allow individuals to explore the exhibit by choosing specific topics of historical interest or to proceed chronologically through the full span of Texas City history. For those who simply wish to view historical photographs, we have included a photo gallery of more than 240 pictures. Users who would like a short, historical recap of the most important events along with a sample of historical photographs from a particular time period can choose the Decades option.

We envision this exhibit as a permanent record of the city's history. We hope to update and add new material to it as additional historical information and sources come to our attention, and as new historical events unfold. We have designed the exhibit to be a comprehensive overview of Texas City history as well as a photographic scrapbook of life in this community over the last one hundred and twenty years.

We hope you find this exhibit both enjoyable and educational. Please let us know any comments you might have.

Helen Edmunds Moore (1882-1968)

Screengrab of the Helen Edmunds Moore exhibit

Who was Helen Moore? She was worker, a volunteer, a state legislator, a traveler and a nature enthusiast. She worked tirelessly to help others and her community. In Texas City, Helen Moore is remembered largely in connection with Moore Memorial Library.

While she and her husband, Hugh Benton Moore worked with the civic club to start the library, this event was only a small part of what she did with her life. Mrs. Moore worked to promote many worthy causes, including: women's right to vote, our community's readiness for enemy attack (during World War II), better conditions and treatment for the mentally ill and other persons cared for by the State of Texas, and better standards and practice in the medical profession.The online exhibit provides information about Mrs. Moore's life and her contributions to our community.

Texas City Disaster: April 16-17, 1947

Screengrab of the Texas City Disaster exhibit

The morning of April 16, 1947, started out as an average spring day, but by day's end several hundred Texas City residents lost their lives and thousands of dollars of property were destroyed when a ship in the port of Texas City exploded.

This exhibit was created by staff librarians Daniel Stuart, Samantha Johnson, and Amelia Chau. It provides a description of the 1947 Disaster, its causes and its impact on the community. The exhibit includes photos, maps, and a bibliography of sources relating to the disaster.

1867 Settlement

Screen capture of the Texas City During World War II exhibit

The 1867 Settlement is the only freedmen's settlement in Galveston County and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. The new local history exhibit focuses on the history of the founding families of the area and the community's growth and change from the Reconstruction-era through the mid-twentieth century. You can find the exhibit here.

Historical Texas City photographs (Portal to Texas History)

Screengrab of the Portal to Texas History

Curious about what Texas City used to be like? Take a trip into Texas City’s past while sitting at a computer. Historical photographs from the U.S. Army Camp and the 1st Aero Squadron based in Texas City during 1913-1915 are available online.

Digitization of these photographs was planned and performed by the Digital Projects Unit of the University of North Texas Libraries and was made possible by grant funding from the Summerlee Foundation. Moore Memorial Public Library staff selected the photographs to be used and created the metadata to make online access possible.

As of July 1, 2006, approximately 550 historical photographs have been digitized for Moore Memorial Library through the Portal to Texas History grant. The U.S. Army Camp/1st Aero Squadron collection is the first Moore Memorial Library Collection to be released to the general public access through the Internet.

The library staff is very excited about this opportunity to make valuable, but fragile, historical materials available worldwide. And perhaps some of the persons viewing the collection will have additional historical information that will broaden our knowledge of Texas City in the past. Please call the library at 409-643-5970 or email Library Director Beth Ryker Steiner at esteiner@texas-city-tx.org with any comments or questions about these collections.