Monthly Archives: August 2008

1890 Map of Houston

An exciting addition to the Library of Congress’ online historic maps collection is the William W. Thomas & Co. large-format street map of Houston dated 1890. A large jpg version has been posted here).

[William W. Thomas]

According to the Houston Fire Museum website, William W. Thomas, a volunteer fireman, was elected to Houston’s Board of Aldermen in 1900 and chaired the board’s fire committee. Thomas appears to have served as an alderman until 1905 and, judging from newspaper reports from the time period, he was very active and outspoken in proposing and promoting city improvements. In lobbying for a new Harris County courthouse, he called the exisiting courthouse an “old shack”.

The 1890 map is especially interesting when viewed in comparison to the large-format 1913 J.M. Kelsen map of Houston.