The City of Humble will celebrate its 75th anniversary Tuesday, Dec. 2, during the Humble Beautification Committee’s annual Christmas Parade of Lights. The parade theme is an “Olde Fashioned Christmas,” which is appropriate for the 1933 period in which the city was incorporated. The parade will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. and travel down historic Main Street. The earliest written records of the Humble Area date back to 1528. These records were written by a member of the Spanish expedition into the territory. Pleasant Smith Humble and his wife, Jane, settled here just before the Civil War. As the community grew, Pleasant Humble set up a post office in his home in August 1886 and took the position of postmaster. Our city was named Humble at this time because mail carriers were instructed to “deliver to Humble.” In addition to his job as postmaster, Pleasant Humble was also a self-educated lawyer, operated the commissary at Bender’s Mill, cut cross ties from his land, sold gravel from the river and appointed himself the first Justice of the Peace. In 1904, C. E. Barrett drilled for oil, securing a small producing well on Moonshine Hill. In 1905, with the drilling of a second producing well, the great oil boom began, which caused a village of approximately 700 people to grow into a town of 20,000. With Humble’s oil production being the largest in the state, the field was named for the town, Humble Oil and Refining Company (incorporated in 1911). With the population growth, entrepreneurs came forward to fulfill the commercial needs of the community. Between the years of 1904 and 1910, many new businesses began in the area. The new businesses included the telephone company, the electric company, hotel, ice house, theater, department store, grocery store, bakeries, opera house, skating rink and Humble State Bank. In 1917, World War I began which was the first mechanized war. This war created a need for oil and gasoline which Humble helped supply. Along with the natural resources, Humble provided her share of manpower. The women served as Red Cross workers, making bandages, knitting socks and blankets and selling war bonds. The men served and did their part as well. Some died in the service of the country and live oak trees were planted in their memory at Charles Bender High School, now known as the old Humble High School. The ‘20s were prosperous in Humble and the Chamber of Commerce was organized in 1923. By 1924 there were fewer horses and more cars and trucks and Robbins Chevrolet began operations. Mary Stanley’s Bathhouse, located at the corner of 1960 and River Road, utilized the warm waters of the Artesian Well and was a popular establishment with the oil field workers. The Artesian Well is still located at the corner of what is now known as First Street and North Houston Avenue. The jail and courthouse were ready for occupancy in 1928 and a new brick school was built in 1929 with funds provided by a $140,000 bond issue. Humble had a city-owned water and sewer system in 1934. By 1956 Lake Houston was offering 58,200-square feet of recreational water for people to enjoy. In 1976, Northeast Hospital Authority was created and ground was broken for a $10 million facility to fulfill a community desire for local hospital services. Two important factors affecting the growth of Humble include the Eastex Freeway (U.S. Highway 59) and Houston Intercontinental Airport (Bush Intercontinental Airport), which opened in June of 1969. The City of Humble was incorporated August 28, 1933 with Mayor J. D. Dubose; Aldermen W. H. Bennett, J. M. Hester and H. D. McDonald, E. N. Collins and G. E. Treadwell and City Secretary A. G. Harrison. The mayor and Aldermen began public works projects such as widening and paving streets, laying water mains and storm sewers and setting up street lights to begin the infrastructure of the city, some of which is still in place today. There were many factors that helped Humble become the city it is today. The oil fields, railroads, cattle business, lumber mills, churches and the airport were major contributors to our community and promoted growth. Another factor was the civic pride the citizens had in their community. With that pride and the government leadership, the city has become what it is today. In the 75 years, the city of Humble has been governed by 13 mayors and many councilmen. The longest serving mayor was Haden E. McKay, M.D. who served for 24 years, from 1971 to 1995. With the leadership of the past and present, Humble has grown and prospered. Humble has modern roadways, safe water supplies, state of the art police, fire and emergency services. Humble also provides wonderful recreational areas for our families to enjoy. In 1976, during the country’s Bicentennial celebration, the City Seal was designed and adopted. The seal displays the history of the community – oil fields, railroads, cattle, lumber mills, the airport and churches. The seal honors the early settlers and others who worked to make Humble a city that is a great place to live, raise a family and work. In the future, the City of Humble will continue to provide quality and reliable municipal services to the citizens of the Humble. Humble has a great colorful history but many more chapters are to be written by future generations which will only add to the greatness of our community. – Mayor Donnie McMannes

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