A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912 Page: 166
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166 A THUMB-NAIL HISTORY OF
all the Texas fields and from Oklahoma converge
at Houston and additional lines, to cost something
like $7,000,000, are being constructed.
Houston naturally holds first place as a rice
market, since it has every advantage. Aside from
the physical aspect there is something of a sentimental
side to the question, for it was a Houston
man who first pointed out the possibilities of rice
culture and who actually took steps to develop it.
The late J. R. Morris, as early as the middle seventies,
organized a company and took out a charter,
the object being to cultivate rice in all that territory
lying between Houston and the San Jacinto river.
He had a survey made which resulted in demonstrating
that Houston is about twenty-eight feet
lower than some near point on the San Jacinto river
from which he proposed to start his canal. He
wanted to deflect the water from the river and use
it in irrigating the prairie lands and also to utilize
the surplus in running machinery at the mouth of
White Oak Bayou, at the foot of Main street. For
some reason nothing was ever done by Mr. Morris
and his associates, but attention was drawn to the
possibilities of rice culture, which has resulted in
its becoming one of the large and rapidly growing
industries of Texas. At the time of Mr. Morris'
death it is doubtful if there was as much as an
acre of ground in Texas devoted to the cultivation
of rice. Today rice holds third place in point of
importance among the crops of the State. Harris
county alone has 80,000 acres, while there are 258,-
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Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912, book, 1912; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/m1/184/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .