The community is located east of Downtown Houston, south of the Brays Bayou and Buffalo Bayou junction, and west of Brady's Island. It was founded before 1825 on the eastern stretches of the Buffalo Bayou in present-day Harris County, Texas, on land belonging to John Richardson Harris. In 1926, Harrisburg was annexed into the city of Houston. The original name of Harris County was Harrisburg (Harrisburgh) County until it was shortened after the demise of the City of Harrisburg.
John Nova Lomax of the Houston Press said that Harrisburg has "a purple, bright blue or yellow cantina on every corner, sometimes several" and that "you just felt like you were in a border town" in a 2008 article.
Harrisburg was surveyed in 1826 and formally named Harrisburg by its founder, John Richardson Harris. Harris named the town both after himself and after Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which had been named for his grandfather. John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen wanted to found a new city on a water area upstream from the Galveston Bay. The location of Harrisburg, which had been platted by Harris in 1826, was the Allen Brothers' first choice. The brothers could not buy Harrisburg since Harris was dead, and no clear title to the land existed. The brothers founded Houston in an area which was the brothers' second choice.
In 1835, the General Council of Texas, a provisional government of Texas, made Harrisburg its capital. On April 16, 1836 during the Texas Revolution, almost all of Harrisburg was burned by the forces of Antonio López de Santa Anna. After the Texas Revolution ended, the city of Houston was founded just west of Harrisburg and was named county seat of Harrisburg (later shortened to Harris) County and capital of the Republic of Texas.
In 1851, the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railway (B.B.B. & C.) began construction of its line between Harrisburg and Alleyton, Texas. It began operations on January 1, 1853. Harrisburg was the starting point of the line, the first functioning railroad line in the state.
After the Civil War, the railroad expanded and changed its name to the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway. Harrisburg remained an important rail town until a fire in the 1870s destroyed the rail yards, which were rebuilt in Houston.
The population of Harrisburg dwindled with the loss of the railroads and with the widening of the Houston Ship Channel in 1919. In December 1926, the City of Houston annexed Harrisburg. The 1926 annexation of the Harrisburg area added 1,293 acres (523 ha) of land to the city limits.
Government and infrastructure
Primary and secondary schools
Harrisburg is served by the Houston Independent School District.
Harrisburg is served by the Stanaker Branch of Houston Public Library.
- Lomax, John Nova. "Sole of Houston: Deep Harrisburg: Lomax and Beebe Take on the East Side Again." Houston Press. February 26, 2008.
- TSHA Online
- Rust, Carol. "Houston has street sense (and nonsense as well)." Houston Chronicle. Wednesday April 16, 1997. Houston 1. Retrieved on October 26, 2011.
- Lee, Renée C. "Annexed Kingwood split on effects." Houston Chronicle. Sunday October 8, 2006. A21. Retrieved on July 6, 2011. Print version exclusively has the information cited; the information is not included in the online edition.
- City of Houston, Council District Maps, District I." City of Houston. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
- "Post Office Location - HARRISBURG." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
- Weisman, Laura. "Nine Houston post offices marked for closure (with poll)." Houston Chronicle. July 26, 2011. Retrieved on July 26, 2011.
- "J. R. Harris Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
- "Davila Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
- "Deady Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
- "Milby High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
- "About Us." Deady Middle School. Retrieved on October 28, 2011.