Richmond, county seat of Fort Bend County, was laid out in 1837 by two merchants from Brazoria, Robert Eden Handy and William Lusk, on the west bank of the Brazos River, just downstream from Fort Bend. An early party of participants in Stephen F. Austin's project to settle immigrants in Mexican Texas erected a stockade (the “fort” of Fort Bend) and established a community in 1822 at this bend. Such luminaries of Anglo-American Texas as Jane Wilkinson Long, the “mother of Texas,” and Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas, settled in Richmond.
In 1855, the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway reached the east bank of the Brazos opposite Richmond. Its construction was continued westward from Richmond toward the Colorado River in 1858. In 1880, Richmond refused right-of-way to the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, which was required by its charter to build within a specified distance of the Fort Bend county seat. In retaliation, the GC&SF swerved its tracks in a sharp, ninety-degree curve where U.S. 90-A now goes under the tracks and started the competing town of Rosenberg.
After the Civil War, Richmond was polarized politically. Animosity between the Woodpeckers and the Jay Birds led to armed confrontation in 1889, won by the white supremacist Jay Birds (see AS30).
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