Ask2: How did Sugar Land get its name?

(Sugar Land Heritage Foundation)

HOUSTONAt KPRC 2, we're dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our new Ask2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

Question: How did Sugar Land get its name?

The Bayou City burb half an hour southwest of Houston got its name from the product it produced for nearly two centuries: sugar.

Sugar Land served as the site of major U.S.sugar producer Imperial Sugar's headquarters, main sugar refinery and distribution center from 1843 until the refinery shuttered its doors in 2003.

Even after the departure of the sugar refinery that gave Sugar Land its sweet name, the city continues to honor its sugar-packed past. The official city seal even features the Imperial Sugar crown logo.


Want to dig deeper into Sugar Land's history? Here's some more background:

In 1824, Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas" brought 300 settlers to the state.

Three of these settlers, brothers Samuel, Nathaniel and Matthew Williams settled in Fort Bend County and founded one of Lone Star State's first sugar plantation in what is now Sugar Land, according to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. In 1843, Matthew Williams opened a mule-powered sugar mill on the banks of Oyster Creek.

A little over half a century later, in 1905, Issac Kempner purchased the mill and formed the Imperial Sugar Company. The large company attracted a large population made up of German and Czech immigrants, according to Imperial Sugar. The company built homes, a bank, several stores and other infrastructure to support its growing workforce.

Sugar Land grew steadily as a company town and incorporated as a city in 1959, eventually developing into a city with some 117,800 residents, according to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation.

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