This community traces its origin to settlement by a few families along the bayshore in the mid-1800s. Completion in 1854 of the Half Moon Shoal Lighthouse, a Federal project near the present day Texas City Dike, hastened the formation of a village which in 1878 added a post office under the name Shoal Point.
In 1891-1892 Minnesota investors chose Shoal Point as the future site of a port and industrial center and asked their friend Frank Davison to manage the venture. By the end of 1893 the town, renamed Texas City, had a hotel, railroad station, post office, and a 6-mile-long channel project underway.
Despite delays created by the 1900 storm, an enlarged channel capable of receiving ocean going vessels was completed by 1905. Construction of a tank farm in 1920 initiated decades of oil refining and petrochemical industrial development. The city's rapid growth in the late 1930s and during World War II was briefly interrupted by the disastrous port explosions of 1947. Nevertheless, during the 1950s the city's population almost doubled to 32,000 people as the local economy responded to a surge in worldwide demand for oil by-products. By 1992 Texas City was Galveston County's largest mainland city.