Stories from Fort Bend County's Printed Past
Open Now at the Fort Bend Museum
Discover Fort Bend County's Paper Landscape.
Since the beginning of human civilization, our society has documented itself. From official records like deeds and birth certificates to everyday documents such as grocery lists, people have an attachment to putting words on paper.
Starting when Texas was still part of Mexico, this exhibit invites you to explore more than 100 years of Fort Bend County history through a specially-curated selection of historic documents. More than just ink on paper, these documents provide an insider’s look at a number of different stories from our past, and provide a foundation for understanding the greater narrative of Fort Bend County history.
For example, discover why marriages might not be “paper legal” for several years in early Texas – or why “Old 300” colonists petitioned to create a new county. Read letters from the Civil War and telegrams from the devastating 1913 flood, and try to envision the state of affairs in Orchard that made citizens try to call a special election to determine whether hogs could run free within city limits.
Learn more about counterfeit documents and witness massive changes in the county map as it transitioned from large land grants to developed neighborhoods.
Finally, take a look at one of the most significant papers in the Fort Bend History Association’s collection: A document signed by both Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin when Texas was its own country.
Today, we have entered a digital world where we write and send messages in seconds. The written word may be fading into the past, but the “Paper Landscape” our ancestors left behind provides us with unparalleled insight into the people who built Fort Bend County into what it is today.