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ROSHARON, TEXAS. Rosharon is at the intersection of Farm roads 521 and 1462, fourteen miles north of Angleton and 7½ miles east of the Brazos River in northern Brazoria County.
The site was settled before the Civil Warqv by cotton and sugar planters and probably had no name until 1859, when the Columbia Tap Railroad was completed and a stop there was named Masterson's Station for the owner of a nearby plantation. It was also known locally as Buttermilk Station because an early resident frequently brought a bucket of buttermilk and a dipper to the stop to treat the crew to a drink. About 1900 George Wetmore Colles bought property near the site. He called his place, and later the town, the Rose of Sharon Garden Ranch because of the Cherokee roses growing in the area. The town's name was later shortened to Rosharon. Colles obtained a post office in 1912 and designed the community water system. A. G. Arcaro operated the first store and the post office in one room of his house. After the business was sold, the post office was closed, then reopened in Boyd's Store thanks to the efforts of Tom Lochridge. This post office closed in 1920. Lochridge platted the townsite and had a cotton gin moved to Rosharon from Houston, thus providing employment for several persons. The gin's engine was used for the town's first power plant. He also operated the community's first telephone exchange in his home. The first school was held in a private home and later moved to a separate building. Some years later the Rosharon district was consolidated with the Angleton schools; students were bused to Angleton in the late twentieth century. Church meetings were first held in a former school, then in a tavern that community members had bought and converted into a church. Eventually a brick church was constructed. South Texas Water Company located in Rosharon in 1935, and its fresh watercanals for irrigating rice brought some seventy-five to eighty rice farmers to the area. The population was estimated at 500 in 1988, when the town had a post office. Most residents commuted to jobs in nearby towns, but the surrounding land was still used for ranching and farming. The main crops were rice and soybeans, with lesser amounts of corn and some cotton. Four units of the Texas Department of Corrections, three at Ramsey and one at Darrington, were located nearby, and TDC employees and their families added considerably to the town's economy (see PRISON SYSTEM). In 1990 and again in 2000 the population was 435.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Angleton Times, April 20, 1986. Vertical File, Brazoria County Historical Museum, Angleton, Texas.
Mayor: Manvel is about to boom
MANVEL — Manvel is the next development hot spot along Highway 288, and developers have plans for commercial and residential ventures in the area, Mayor Delores Martin said.
"We are exploding," Martin said. "When I first became mayor in 2001,1 said that Manvel was a sleeping tiger but it was slowly waking up, and it's all true."
Two developers have purchased land at the intersection of Highway 288 and Highway 6. Diversified Real Estate of Las Vegas bought 320 acres — 120 acres for retail and 200 acres for residential — on the east side of Highway 288 and Argovitz Capital Corp. of Houston bought the 150 acres on the west side of Highway 288 for a shopping center, Martin said.
Argovitz Capital's plans still are in the making, but they include a large shopping center, said Brent Argovitz, vice president of the company. "We're responsible for The Crossing on 518 in Pearland," Argovitz said. "That is the class of shopping center we want to build — or better."
Representatives of Diversified Real Estate would not comment on any aspect of the development plans. Manvel city officials are trying to prepare for the expected growth in the 555 squaremiles of the city, Martin said. The city hired consultant Ron Cox, former Friendswood city manager for 15 years, to help guide the city's planning to meet emerging needs, she said. "If we get the proper plan laid down, new development will fit into a larger plan," Martin said. "The first things Ron told me we had to address was our public utility department and the police department." The city needs to determine where new infrastructure should be built and how it will pay for future water and sewer lines, Cox said. Officials also need to expand the police department to keep pace with the growing population, he said.
"Most of the development coming in is commercial and it's very unusual to get commercial before residential," Cox said. "The city will be able to create a tax base before it needs to expend infrastructure to residential areas."
Commercial developers will help the city fund utilities to their sites, Martin said. Manvel's police department already has experienced growth and residents might welcome one to two new officers a year into the community because they are needed to patrol the streets, Chief Ralph Garcia said. "Even since we've moved into a larger facility a year ago, our work volume has doubled," Garcia said. "It's going to remain a relatively safe city, but we've had an increase in traffic accidents and domestic issues." Garcia added, "This is a safe community and we want to keep it that way."
The city's plans also include attracting developers with high architectural standards, a will to provide large residential lots and a want to leave green space for parks and recreation, Cox said. "The higher the quality of the development, the less problems," Cox said. "We want to keep the urban look."
Projected sales and the number of jobs the new developments would bring are unknown, but Martin is excited about the prospect of sales taxes and work opportunities the commercial and residential ventures will give Manvel, Martin said. "We don't want to pay for development," Martin said. "We want it to help the city and have them hold their own."
City officials foresee more developers gravitating to Manvel in the near future, Martin said. She hopes that current developers won't be the last. "I think it's the location of 288 because it's the only corridor left that hasn't been exploited," Martin said. "We just happen to be in the right place at the right time."
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