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HOUSTON, a city and county-seat of Harris co., Tex.; on Buffalo Bayou, and on the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe, the Texas and New Orleans, the International and Great Northern, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, and several other important railroads; 50 miles N. W. of Galveston. It is connected with Galveston by a ship canal, built by the United States Government and accommodating large steamships. It is the second city in the State in population and commercial importance.

Public Interests.—The city is built on both sides of the bayou, which is crossed by several bridges. The principal buildings are the City Hall and Market House, built of brick, and containing, besides the city offices, the Houston Lyceum; the Cotton Exchange, containing the Texas Geological and Scientific Association; the Masonic Temple; Union Station, William M. Rice Polytechnical Institute; and the Postoffice. The city is lighted by gas and electricity, has an abundant water supply, fire department, electric street railways, two public high schools, and a public library.

Business Interests.—The city ranks first in the State in manufactures. These include oil, furniture, iron cast- ings, cigars, brick, pottery, jewelry, sheet metal, paint, chemicals, medicine, trunks, leather goods, barrels, soap, soda water, etc. There are several railroad machine shops, sugar and pulp mills, and cotton compresses. There are many large banking institutions. The exchanges at the United States clearing house in 1919 amounted to $899,984,000; an increase over the previous year of $92,508,000.

History.—Houston was settled in 1836 and was the capital of the republic of Texas in 1837. Pop. (1910) 78,800; (1920) 138,276.