Acres Homes, TX

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: General Entry

Published: November 1, 1994

Updated: December 11, 2015

Acres Homes, once considered the South's largest unincorporated black community, is south of Aldine and ten miles northwest of downtown Houston in Harris County. It developed around the time of World War I, when landholders began selling off homesites in plots big enough to allow small gardens and maintain chickens or farm animals. The town derived its name from the fact that land was sold by the acre and not by the lot. The first settlers came from rural areas, attracted by the community's inexpensive land, low taxes, and the absence of city building standards. Residents dug wells and built sanitary facilities, but conditions in the settlement subsequently declined. When the city of Houston approved a plan to annex the area and install water and sewer lines, Acres Homes was a 12½-square-mile, heavily wooded, dispersed slum settlement without transportation or educational facilities. Though 90 percent of the residents were homeowners, most housing was substandard.

In the 1960s congressman and future president George H. W. Bush sponsored a girls' softball team, the Bush All Stars, which played at Carver Park in the community. Acres Homes resident George F. Sampson was involved in a case that charged the Aldine Independent School District with racial discrimination against Sampson's sons. Though Sampson won his case in 1964, the district was not integrated until 1965. In 1970 a group of ministers persuaded the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to build Lincoln Park, a 264-unit low-income housing project, at Acres Homes. Six years later the development, having fallen into disrepair, was repossessed by HUD. Rehabilitation began in the 1980s, but by then the project was troubled by crime and drug abuse. Lincoln Park reopened in 1986 after a $4.2 million federal investment brought central heat, a day-care center, and other major improvements. The community itself had become a sprawling working-class neighborhood of well-kept brick and frame homes interspersed with abandoned and dilapidated shacks. After November 1987 the War on Drugs Committee organized antidrug parades through the park, sponsored drug-prevention workshops, and encouraged reporting of illegal drug use. In 1989 President Bush and William Bennett returned to participate in events relating to the War on Drugs campaign in an effort to rid the park, renamed Winzer Park, of drug dealers. In 1988 a Citizens Chamber of Commerce was formed to help revive the community and handle growing conflict between local residents and Asian owners, primarily Vietnamese, of the twenty-six businesses that had moved into the community after 1975.

Houston Metropolitan Research Center Files, Houston Public Library. Erika Sampson, "George Franklin Sampson: The Effect of One Man," Texas Historian, March 1990.

  • Peoples
  • African Americans
Time Periods:
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression
  • World War II
  • Communities
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Diana J. Kleiner, “Acres Homes, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994
December 11, 2015

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

Acres Homes
Currently Exists
Place Type
Town Fields
  • Has post office: No
  • Is Incorporated: No
Belongs to
  • Harris County
Great Texas Land Rush logo
Adoption Status: ⭐
This place has been adopted and will not be available until September 17, 2023
Adopted by:
Donald Lyles DBA Texas Treasures(R)
Dedication Message:
In memory of Mister Jezell Lyles, Junior