Houston’s Forgotten Founding Allen

HOUSTON’S FORGOTTEN FOUNDING ALLEN Allen brothers' Houston sales adThe third name in the trio of John, Augustus, and Charlotte Allen is typically dropped when discussing the founding of Houston via arguably questionable New York newspaper advertisement (touting an elevated, salubrious, and breezy paradise along the Texas coast).  But Charlotte likely bankrolled the whole operation, Maggie Gordon notes this week in the Chronicle: Charlotte’s inheritance money was used to make the purchase of the city’s original 8,500 acres of swampland in 1836. And of the 3, Charlotte was the only Allen to spend subsequent decades involved in the Houston real estate scene, including the donation of land for the first city hall on the site of today’s Market Square Park. John, on the other hand, died of what may have been mosquito-borne illness 2 years in to the venture, while Augustus took off back to New York in 1850, after he and Charlotte split up. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Image of the Allen brothers’ advertisement: Houstorian

2 Comment

  • Houston: “an elevated, salubrious, and breezy paradise along the Texas coast” …. more ‘proof’ of climate change? (of course, tongue in cheek)

  • Swamp, indeed. Within living memory we’ve heard Galveston County people refer to the Houston area as “high ground”.