Learn more about the historic 1867 Settlement in Texas City

Pooja Lodhia Image
Friday, July 10, 2020
Learn more about the 1867 Settlement in Texas City
In 1867, 320 acres west of Texas City were set aside for freed people to settle. See how the 1867 Settlement Historic District played an important role in Texas history.

TEXAS CITY (KTRK) -- ABC13 Plus is all about showcasing what makes our communities unique.

We're in Texas City this week, and reporter Pooja Lodhia visited the only Reconstruction-era black community in Galveston County.

"They struggled, but they endured," explained Ridawana Bell Sneed. "They overcame slavery and there were able to settle here."

Her ancestors lived in a part of west Texas City called "The Settlement."

In 1867, the local County Judge offered up 320 acres of land for freed men to buy.

They needed character references from white businessmen to be considered.

Flavilla and Frank Bell built the Bell House in 1887 and became the first Black homeowners in Texas City.

Their granddaughter, Vera Bell Gary, is still living, at 94 years old.

"My great-grandmother was a slave. My grandmother grew up in this house. Now, I'm going to make sure everybody knows about it," she said.

The Bell House has been designated as a historical landmark and is open for special events.

You can find more information on the Texas City website.