Galveston County, Texas

Galveston County, located on the Gulf Coast of Texas 80 miles southwest of the Louisiana state line, east of Brazoria County, south of Harris County and west of Chambers County. The Gulf of Mexico forms the county’s border to the southeast.

Cities, Towns & Communities

Algoa | Alta Loma | Arcadia | Bacliff | Bayou Vista | Bayview | Bolivar Peninsula | Clear Lake Shores | Crystal Beach | Dickinson | Friendswood | Galveston – county seat | Gilchrist | High Island | Hitchcock | Jamaica Beach | Kemah | La Marque | League City | Port Bolivar | San Leon | Santa Fe | Saccarappa | Texas City | Tiki Island


Galveston 1935. Galveston is situated on the bay of that name in Vehlein’s grant, and, as a commercial town, pos­sesses one of the best locations on the Gulf. In­deed Galveston as a harbor is said to be much su­perior to any other on the Gulf between Pensacola and Vera Cruz; and her vicinity to the West Indies, the United States, and the Mexican ports, with the Gulf stream, the great river of the ocean, at hand to sweep her vessels, with its mighty and rapid current, to the eastern Atlantic, renders her position for foreign commerce highly felicitous. 

Galveston County was formed in 1838 under the republic from Harrisburg, Liberty, and Brazoria counties and organized in 1839. The county was organized in 1839. The first county courthouse, at Saccarappa, a community named for a river in Maine by settlers from that state, was located at the eastern end of Galveston Island. Before the Civil War, goods flowed into Galveston from across the county and the region. By 1839 steamers that furnished supplies to much of Texas plied the distance between the port and New Orleans, and construction of the Galveston wharves began in that year. The city’s development and importance is measured by the fact that Galveston had the only legitimate labor unions active in Texas before the Civil War. Galveston itself soon developed a sophisticated and cosmopolitan society. The inauguration of a ferry service from Virginia Point to Eagle Grove on Galveston Island improved transportation in 1838, but rail transportation soon replaced water transport. The Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad was chartered in 1853 and completed to Houston in 1859. A fourteen-mile canal constructed in 1857 connected Oyster Creek, West Bay, and the Brazos River, and ultimately became part of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The first bridge from Galveston Island to the mainland was completed in 1859.

County and Town Histories

Sketch of Galveston County, 1881, by Maggie Abercrombie.

The Early History of Galveston, 1916, by Joseph O. Dyer. Read the book online at Read the book online at The Portal to Texas History.

Galveston: The Commercial Metropolis and Principal Seaport of the Great Southwest, 1885.

Galveston Community Book: A Historical and Biographical Record of Galveston and Galveston County, 1945, by Samuel Butler Graham and Ellen Newman.

Galveston: History of the Island and the City, 2 vols., 1974, by Charles Waldo Hayes.

Galveston: Ellis Island of the West, 1983, by Bernard Marinbach.

Galveston: A History, 1986, by David G. McComb.

Ray Miller’s Galveston, 1983, by Ray Miller.

The Industries of Galveston, 1887 by Andrew Morrison.

Galveston, The Oleander City. Galveston in a Nutshell, 1904. Read the book online at

Bolivar! Gulf Coast Peninsula, 1985, by A. Pat Daniels.

Events That I Remember, A personal account of growing up in Galveston, Texas, 1909-1980, by Paul A. Schumann. Read the book online at

The Port of Galveston and the State of Texas, 1890, by Andrew Morrison. Read the book online at

The Great Galveston Disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane, c1900, by Lester Paul. Read the book online at the Portal to Texas History.

The Complete Story of the Galveston Horror, c1900 by John Coulter. Read the book online at

Diamond Jubilee, 1847-1922, of the Diocese of Galveston and St. Mary’s Cathedral, By Kirwin, J. M. (James Martin). Read the book online at

Lot and Block Book of Texas City, Galveston County, 1902-1911: showing names of property owners, dimensions, lot numbers, block numbers, and street number of each block. Read the book online at The Portal to Texas History.


Galveston, TX 29° 18′ 4.8528″ N, 94° 47′ 51.7056″ W

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