OurBaytown.com - Baytown's Historical Resource

What's in a name?

While researching genealogy I came across your very interesting article about the naming of BAYTOWN streets.
W.E. DeFee was my great grandfather. He had three children for which he named streets. The article was correct that he named one Jack Street after his only son and youngest child. The article was partially correct about Murell Street. His second oldest child was named Muriel. It was pronounced like a short u sound which may have led to the sign makers spelling it the way it was noted in the article.
He did not have a child named James. My Grandmother, Worbie Defee Doak said that a Street named Worbie existed but was lost when Main Street either came to be or was expanded. She died in 1989 so I can't obtain a certification of hers remarks to me made 30 years ago. My grandfather resided in Humble later in his life and owned and operated a 5&10 cent store from 1946 until his death. Hope this helps. Doak McBryde

Humble Oil & Refining Co. founder Ross S. Sterling and pioneer land owner Price Pruett laid out the town site of Goose Creek, first known as New Town. (Middle Town was Pelly and Old Town, the Goose Creek Oil Field area.) Wanda Orton

Lillie-Duke Hospital stood at the corner of West Pearce and South Ashbel. The Goose Creek Hospital, later renamed as the Baytown Hospital, was located on West Defee next to the Del Mont Hotel. Wanda Orton

  Bayless Street was named after my great uncle Lee Bayliss, who died serving in the Army in WWII.
They misspelled the name, though. Christiana Bayliss

  Ferguson St. off of N. Main by E. Fayle was named for my husband's great-grandfather Henry M. Ferguson and family, who owned Ferguson's Garage on that street and built all of the houses that were on the street. Melanie B Ferguson

The parallel streets William Ave. and Scott Ave. were named for the pioneer William Scott.  William Ave. is frequently mislabeled “Williams Ave.” Robert Kirkley

"By the early twentieth century, the relatively temperate bay breezes and good views and fishing began to lure people from nearby towns to the Beach City area. About 1930 Joseph Weingarten, who built the Weingarten's chain of grocery store
s, constructed a mansion summer house just inland from the former site of Houston's Ravenmoor. The Weingarten house, under different ownership, was being remodeled circa 1981 and caught fire. The fire was believed to have been caused by a heating gun used by workers to remove old wall paper. The home was a total loss. A new home was later constructed on this site." Angie Gupton Middleton

Bowie School Drive, which runs between the other San Jac hospital campus and Bowie Elementary was originally named Wied Road. It was named for my late mother-in-law's family, who owned land along Kilgore Road back in 'the day.' My MIL said that the City later voted to change it, when 'weed' became a drug term. (I think that is awful, since they were a pioneer Baytown/Cedar Bayou family.) Her parents had a farm on the corner of E. James and Kilgore - where the apartments are now. My husband used to ride a horse from there to his home on W. Elvinta, and never cross a street the whole way. He used to fish and hunt in what is now the Eva Maude subdivision. His dad's family had Middleton Rd. named after them, and they used to live there before a hurricane moved their house into the middle of the road, and they built the house on W. Elvinta.  Angie Gupton Middleton

I am writing to give a little history on who the street I live on was names after. I live on a little dead end street off of Kilgore Road. The street sign says Rosille Dr. but all the legal documents say Rosille St. We bought our house from a lady that said it was the first house built on this street and that the street was named after a previous Baytown mayor’s wife, Rosille Myers. I don’t know the mayors’ name. J. Earnst

John A Street near where you lived in Wooster was named after John A. Old. He was a chemist at the Humble Refinery. He also was a glass blower who made their lab beakers individually. He also built the pipe organ in the old church on Bayway Drive. The church is still there, but the organ was dismantled and stored somewhere. I work with Don Old. John A. was his grandfather. Don was born in Baytown at San Jacinto Hosp. and lived on McKinney.  Bruce Marshall

Next to Bay Villa on Bayway Drive is a pipe that runs into the Scott bay. The original name of this was "Wagon Box Creek".  It appears on other documents under another name , which I cannot remember at this time. At the turn of the century when the government came to Baytown to make the first maps of the area. The map makers asked a local resident the name of the creek. These people were" Yankees" that had just moved to the area and gave the name "they called it" to the map makers !

 Therefore the wrong name got put on the maps.  I came by this information during research I did years ago while documenting Lafitte treasure stories in the area. I am a descendent of the Brown family who lived on Scott Bay since the 1800's.  My great aunt Alice Collins ( Brown) gave me this information and also said that during the early years when wagons came from Houston to load their goods onto ships anchored in Scott Bay. They would drive the wagons down this creek bed to get onto the beach of the bay.
These wagons passing were also the only source of news from the outside world for the Brown Family. The Browns who also operated  a ship and barge service  along the  channel &  barged  bricks from the family brick ovens on Cedar Bayou and also operated a ship yard on Cedar Bayou..& built the first school house and loaned the land to the school district for  Burnett Elementary School.  
Kim Powell ( grandson of Florence Brown)

  Knowlton Street named for Charles Knowlton, who brought his family here from England in 1873. He worked for his father-in-law, Thomas Wright, who had arrived two years earlier and who owned several brickyards in the Cedar Bayou area. I note you listed at least one elementary school ... of course, it is no more, but there was for so many, many years the David G. Burnet Elementary School out at Wooster. Interim president of the Republic of Texas from March to October, 1836, he was particularly touchy about the pronunciation of his name - "Burn'it," saying that it had only one t -- not nett. He built his home, Oakland, in what is now the Lakewood Subdivision at Wooster. Trevia Wooster Beverly

Fleming street is named after Jeff Fleming a land developer and real estate broker. Nowlin is named after Boudreaux D. Nowlin a partner of Jeff Fleming. Mitchell Jackson

Wooster is named after Quincy Wooster. Wooster was formed in 1892 and was originally where present day Brownwood is.

Q. A. Wooster named Weaver Avenue after Gen. James B. Weaver (Greenback party nominee) who he supported for president in 1880.  Wybra Wooster Holland

Q. A. Wooster named Steinman Street after his son-in-law, Steve Steinman.  Wybra Wooster Holland

Q. A. Wooster named Shreck Avenue after his son-in-law, W.A. Shreckengaust.  Wybra Wooster Holland

Q. A. Wooster named Crow Road after his friend and business partner, W. D. Crow.   Wybra Wooster Holland 

Q. A. Wooster named Mapleton Avenue after Mapleton, Iowa, which is where he lived before coming to Texas.  Wybra Wooster Holland

Sjolander Road is named after John Peter Sjolander (the sage of Cedar Bayou). He is recognized as one of Texas’ premiere poets

Schilling Street is named to honor Nicholas Schilling, an early physician

Alexander Drive is named after C.Q. "Kid" Alexander, the last Mayor of Goose Creek

Bowie Street is named after the famous frontiersman, James Bowie

Cleveland Street is named after E.D. "Eddie" Cleveland, the mayor of Pelly and the first Mayor of Baytown

Sterling High School, our library, and Sterling Street are named after Ross Shaw Sterling, founder of the Humble Refinery and Governor of Texas

Defee Street honors W. E. Defee, an early land developer. He named Wright Street after Thomas Wright, Jr., who owned the property. Murrill, James, and Jack Streets were named after W. E. Defee’s children

Brownwood is named after Edwin Rice Brown Sr., who bought the land from the Wooster Estate. It was an exclusive residential area with many restrictions.

Crockett Elementary is named in honor of the Alamo hero, Davy Crockett

Decker Drive got its name from Thomas I. Decker, County Commissioner from the Baytown area

McKinney Road was named by the Milam Brothers (Brickyard owners) for their grandfather, Collin McKinney, who had signed the Texas Declaration of Independence

John Martin Road is after John G. Martin, County Commissioner and Baytown native.

Pruett Street is named for Price Pruett, land developer, Gulf and Humble Streets are named after oil companies, Commerce denoted business, and Ashbel, Gaillard, and Jones were all early settlers

If you have knowledge of other street names, please send the info here: 

Much of the information on this page comes from the excellent book  'The History of Baytown' available at Sterling Municipal Library and the Baytown Historical Museum located at 220 W. Defee.