For the Civilian.
The town of HEMSTEAD, (sic) situated at the railroad depot, 50 miles from Houston, covers an area of two thousand acres, located on a beautiful parairie, (sic) the balance fine post oak timber.
The soil is excellent for gardening, with abundance of the best water. On a part of the town is found the finest clay, not only for bricks, but for tiles and rough earthenware. The ground is gently undulating, enough to for beauty and easy management of surplus water and not enough for necessitating any costly work for levelling of streets and thorough-fares.
It lies two and a half miles from the Brazos river, to its nearest point. Roads lead to Mrs. Patrick's ferry, two and a half miles, (on the road to Bellville,) McDade's ferry, about five miles, (on the road to Chappell Hill,) to Howth's, to Washington, Rock Island, and several other points. The tract is far enough from the Brazos bottom to avoid any inconvenience from it, and near enough to be the future commercial town, ministering to the wants of a dense population, thickly settled on the richest land in the world. There can be no doubt that the Brazos bottom is capable of supporting many hundreds of thousands of people. Washington county, on the other side of the river, is settled already in such a way as to give a fair support to the young town.
Fair, pleasant, healthy is the surrounding country, and if we examine the natural face of the land in this and the neighboring counties, and calculate the consequences inevitably taking place from it, we must believe that more than one Branch Road, (besides the Brenham road towards Austin, already surveyed) will come at no very distant time and meet our main trunk at Hempstead.
Its birth bears the stamp of American energy. The Houston & Texas Central Railroad will before three months give it a fair start. The rich soil and fine climate around will support its growth, and the large business afterwards insured to her from her location on the map, shall make it a rich sister to Houston, which stands now her parent.
Hempstead contains 754 blocks, all of the 270 feet from East to West, and 250 feet from North to South : each one divided into ten lots, 5 on the East, 5 on the West, and an alley of twenty feet in the middle, North and South. Each lot is then 50 feet wide by 125 in depth, and the four corner lots may be considered as having besides their front East of West of fifty Feet, another front North or South of 125. Whole number of lots 7540.
There are twenty five streets North and South, length 9960 feet, all of them 100 feet wide, except XI or Red river street, and Houston street, through which the railroad tract runs, and whose width is 150 feet.
There are twenty-eight streets East and West, length 9408 feet, all of them 80 feet wide, except 5, which are 100, and which were placed without spoiling the regularly laid out plan of the town, at the points where the most travel is expected.
Each block contains an area of one acre and fifty-five hundreths, or over one acre and a half.
Whole blocks have been reserved for the following uses of the public:
Four for churches, two for schools, four for markets, two for a court house, one for a scientific society or institution, two for an hospital, one for a Masconic (sic) Lodge, one for a theatre.
Two spares of nearly two acres each, and a public spare of nearly thirty five acres have been located so as to add to the health and pleasure of the citizens.
Less than three months ago, the place offered to the eye nothing but the wide prairie and thickly timbered woods, the abode of the deer and the range of fine herds of cattle and horses — and we have now thirty buildings, all good ones, some them large, substantial and highly finished, six stores, a large livery stable, a large blacksmith shop, several waggon (sic) makers, boarding houses, &c. We expect to have the Post office transferred from Rock Island to this point in a short time.
Some of our citizens are building hotels and we prepare to help and get up a place of worship and a good school. By the time you read this, there will be several more buildings.
The cars come within fourteen miles of the town, and between it and the stopping point, hacks and wagons are traveling every day. The cars will be here in August and next fall shall see Hempstead starting ahead in true American style.
"HEMPSTEAD - For the Civilian.", Civilian and Gazette. Weekly (Galveston, TX), Tuesday, May 19, 1857, p. 1, col. 5.