Freeport, on the Missouri Pacific tracks some sixteen miles south of Angleton in southern Brazoria County, is a deepwater port three miles from the mouth of the Brazos River on the Gulf of Mexico. The community's post office has been in continuous operation since 1898, but the town itself was officially founded by the Freeport Sulphur Company and formally dedicated in November 1912. Freeport was at the site of the world's largest sulfur mines and was the home of the Houston and Brazos Valley Railway. The community also provided storage tanks for the Freeport and Mexico Oil Company. A one-room school was in operation there by 1913, and by 1914 the community had a hotel, a bank, a fish and oyster plant, and a church. The weekly Freeport Facts was established in 1912, when the community's population numbered 300. Freeport incorporated on February 10, 1917, and by 1929 the local population had reached 3,500. In 1937 the area was served by two schools for White students, one school for Black students, and a high school; by 1939 the Freeport school district had twenty-seven teachers. Between 1931 and 1939 the town reached 4,100 residents and seventy-five businesses; from 1941 to 1950 it declined to about 2,579 residents but had 135 businesses. Growth was spurred by construction of the Dow Chemical Company facilities, beginning in 1939, and the town's participation in the Brazosport industrial area by 1944. By 1952 Freeport had a population of 6,008 and 195 businesses. On July 27, 1957, Velasco, one of the oldest towns in Texas, was incorporated into Freeport. In 1961 Freeport had 11,619 residents and 280 businesses, and in 1984 it had 13,444 residents and 513 businesses. It is home to one of the Gulf's largest commercial shrimp trawler fleets (more than 500 boats). In 1990 the population was 11,389, and in 2000 the city had 659 businesses and 12,708 inhabitants.