West Columbia, Texas
West Columbia, an incorporated town on State highways 35 and 36, is located between the Brazos and San Bernard rivers in west central Brazoria County.
Columbia 1935. Columbia, on the league of Mr. Bell, is a place of considerable business, and was, for a while, the seat of justice. It contains a hotel kept by Bell, new and spacious—the largest building there. There is besides a building or two, constructed while it was the seat of the courts, for a court house, and offices, &c. and a few dwelling houses. This town is on the edge of the prairie, and the scenery about it is pretty. A broad road through timber is cut to the landing which is very muddy in wet weather. It was thought by many that this place was not so convenient for the court as Brazoria, which was formerly the seat of justice, and it was accordingly again removed thither. Columbia is more central than Brazoria, but has less accommodation, and is too far from the river for convenience. - Texas by Holley, Mary Austin; Austin, Texas, 1935, pages 113-114
West Columbia was founded as Columbia in 1826 by Josiah Hughes Bell, who laid out the town two miles west of Marion (now East Columbia). It was known as Columbia during the Texas Revolution and when it served as the capital of the Republic of Texas from September to December 1836. There the First Congress of the Republic of Texas convened, and Sam Houston was inaugurated president on October 22, 1836. The House of Representatives met in a two-story frame house and the Senate in a smaller house, at the site of which a state historical marker was later placed. On November 30, 1836, Congress met in joint session and decided to move the seat of government to Houston because Columbia did not have adequate accommodations for government personnel. Stephen F. Austin, then secretary of state, died on December 27, 1836, in Columbia at the home of George B. McKinstry. With removal of the seat of government, Columbia, now known as West Columbia, declined as a commercial center. A post office was established in 1905, but further growth awaited the discovery of the twenty-square-mile West Columbia oilfield in 1918. Read More West Columbia History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>