Farmers Canal Company

By: Robert Wooster

Type: General Entry

Published: January 1, 1995

The Farmers Canal Company, also known as the Hankamer-Stowell Canal Company, was the first canal company to irrigate rice farms in Chambers County. Digging began in 1899, and the canal opened the following year. Water was pumped from Turtle Bay (now Lake Anahuac) into the canal, which traversed northern Chambers County to Stowell, where the company maintained its offices. The first president was F. W. Schwettman. By 1902 the canal watered some 10,000 acres of rice fields. Acreage increased until salt water began infesting Turtle Bay and seeping into the canal. Poor crops, declining markets, the continued problem of salt water, and the devastating 1915 hurricane (see HURRICANES) further hampered operations. After several temporary shutdowns, the Farmers Canal Company closed in 1925. The Devers Canal Company purchased most of the channels in 1927.

Jewel Horace Harry, A History of Chambers County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940; rpt., Dallas: Taylor, 1981).

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

Robert Wooster, “Farmers Canal Company,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995