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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Gulf Coast : Aldine

ALDINE, TEXAS

Harris County, Texas Gulf Coast
FM 525 and the Hardy Toll Road in Houston
Population: 13,979 (2000)

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History in a Pecan Shell

The town was originally named after a local family and built along the rails of the International–Great Northern Railroad. Aldine had a post office from 1896 through 1935 when it merged with service from Houston. In 1914 Aldine's business interests included fig-growing, dairy production and poultry raising. In 1925 Aldine had reached a population of 100 but declined to a mere 30-40 residents through the 30s and 40s. Then, in the 70s, the population growth increased at the same rate as Houston's and by the mid 80s it was up to 12,623.

Aldine is one of many Texas towns to benefit from its proximity to a large city - at the cost of losing its individual identity.

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Historical Marker - 905 Aldine-Bender Rd. (FM 525)

Aldine

The railroad arrived in this area, first called Prairie Switch, in 1873. The Aldine Post Office was established in 1896; twenty-five to thirty families, most of Swedish descent, settled on Aldine's fertile land. Here they grew such products as Satsuma oranges, pears and magnolia figs.

In 1900 developer E. C. Robertson and his partner, F. W. Colby of Kansas, began to market parcels of land to out-of-state speculators, many of whom bought tracts sight unseen. A Presbyterian Church was organized from a Union Sabbath School in 1902, and the town began to grow. It soon boasted a hotel and general store, a two-room schoolhouse erected on this site in 1910, and a cemetery deeded for community use in 1911.

Aldine resident J. C. Carpenter operated a small fig cannery until 1914 or 1915 when the Carpenter Fig Company opened a cannery nearby. Reportedly one of the largest fig preserving plants in the U. S., it employed twenty-five to thirty people during the canning season. The fig industry died out from 1918 to 1920 because of freezes, blight and lack of sugar during World War I. Dairy farms replaced fruit farms and the Magnolia Oil Company established a large crude oil pumping station in Aldine in 1923.

The Aldine Railroad Depot shut down in 1931 or 1932, and the post office closed in January 1935. The community turned to automobiles for transportation. Farmers began marketing their wares in Houston. The town of Aldine gradually declined. In 1932 four area common school districts joined to form the Aldine Independent School District. Now a part of the metropolis of Houston, the townsite of Aldine remains only in the annals of Texas history.
(1999)
Harris County Texas 1907 Postal map
1907 Harris County Postal map shows Aldine
(Above "R-R" in "H-A-R-R-I-S")
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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