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BOLIVAR, TX (BRAZORIA COUNTY)

BOLIVAR, TEXAS (Brazoria County). Bolivar, on the east bank of the Brazos River at the northwest corner of Harris Reservoir in northwestern Brazoria County, was the site of the plantation of Henry Austin, first cousin of Stephen F. Austin.qqv Soon after his arrival in the county in 1830 Austin established a cotton plantation on the Brazos River twenty-five miles south of San Felipe, named it Bolivar, and set up one of the first gins in the county. In 1837 he began promoting the community of Bolivar, which had already had a population of fifty by 1835. According to a contemporary account, "the land around Bolivar is the best in the colony; clothed with heavy timber, with peach and cane undergrowth to the distance of six miles from the river. The bank of the river in front of the town is a high bluff of stiff red clay. At Bolivar, the timber tract is five or six miles wide and the road to the prairie is walled in with tall cane filling all the space between the trees." A Bolivar post office was established by 1838 and discontinued by 1843. The town failed to develop after preliminary sales because of continued pressure for money. Plans to make Bolivar the western terminus of the proposed Galveston Bay and Brazos Railroad were never completed. In April 1839 Austin sold his plantation home for conversion to a public house, and the town was abandoned.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Juan N. Almonte, "Statistical Report of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 28 (January 1925). James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). William Ransom Hogan, "Life of Henry Austin," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 37 (January 1934). Andrew Forest Muir, "Railroad Enterprise in Texas, 1836–1841," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 47 (April 1944).

Diana J. Kleiner

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Diana J. Kleiner, "BOLIVAR, TX (BRAZORIA COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvbsa), accessed July 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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