a Pecan Shell
The town was named for Leon Blum,
a prominent Galveston
merchant and railroad official.
was reportedly capturing horses in the area long before Texas Independence.
Real settlement didn't get underway until the 1880s with the arrival
of the railroad (the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe). The town was
platted on land belonging to one W. H. Taylor who sold farmland
as city lots.
A post office was granted in 1882, and the first school opened the
Blum was the home of Gus Bailey, the husband of Circus Queen Mollie
Bailey. He remained in Blum because of poor health while Mollie
traveled all over the state managing the circus.
The population of Blum was just over 300 in 1890 and it surpassed
1,000 by 1908.
That same year over 5,000 bales of cotton were ginned and shipped
and the town incorporated in 1913. The population dropped to 550
in the 1920s and it declined further to 403 during the Great Depression.
Town's Namesake - Leon Blum, 1837-1906
Leon Blum, businessman
and philanthropist, was born in Alsace, in 1837, immigrating to Texas
in 1854. His first store in Richmond moved to Galveston
in 1869 and he reportedly became the largest importer of dry goods
in the state.
His interest in cotton led him
to invest in the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, resulting in
Blum, Texas being named in his honor in 1881.
He contributed to the Bayland Orphans' Home for Boys and to various
schools. He died at Galveston
and was buried in the Hebrew Cemetery there.
Cemetery Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, July 2007
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