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.
- 905 Aldine-Bender Rd. (FM 525)
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.
County postal map shows Aldine
(Above "R-R" in "H-A-R-R-I-S")
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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