By Jay Socol, Director of Public Communications
Happy 82nd anniversary, College Station!
On Oct. 19, 1938, area residents overwhelmingly voted 271-39 to incorporate as a city after a petition was initiated several months earlier.
To that point, College Station had been the simple name of a train station mail stop since 1877, a year after a small, rural college opened its doors near the railroad tracks. But the members of the growing community dreamed of more.
Among the many fabulous finds in College Station’s Project HOLD (Historic Online Library Database) is imagery of that original visionary petition. You can see the envelope dated March 24, 1938, and the petition addressed to the Honorable County Judge of Brazos County, Texas, that references June 2, 1938.
The petition expressed the desire of the undersigned to call an election about incorporation. The unincorporated town, it read, “contains six hundred inhabitants or over…” An accompanying hand-drawn map of the “Proposed City of College Station” reflects “A. & M. Colledge [sic],” two rail lines, “New Hwy No. 6” (now Texas Avenue), “Zoo Lake,” and “Creamery.”
The signatures on the petition include many who became the first chosen and, later, elected leaders of this new city, including Binney, Jones, Gabbard, Langford, Long, Lipscomb, Orr, Munson, Quisenberry, Patranella, and Kemmerer.
The documents are a reminder of the profound changes that can occur within a generation or two. In 1938, A. & M. College of Texas had 5,582 students. Today, enrollment at the flagship campus of Texas A&M University is 65,684, and College Station is the 20th fastest-growing city in the United States.
Other recent accolades for College Station include being among the top U.S. cities for best public schools, best cities to raise a family, best college towns, and best cities for business, careers, household income growth, and economic advancement.
Here’s to the next 82 years!
About the Blogger
Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 12th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.
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