Frost Town Community
512 McKee St.
Houston , 77002
Directions: Marker is northeast of downtown Houston, it is in the center of James Bute Park, the park is immediately south and east of the McKee Street Bridge; McKee can be reached from I-10
Key Time Period: 1836 - 1845 Republic of Texas
Marker Text: The Frost Town Community developed on the property of Jonathan Benson Frost, a veteran of the Texas war for independence. After the battle of San Jacinto in 1836, Frost returned to his Tennessee home and brought his family to Texas, establishing a blacksmith shop and homestead about one mile east of the new city of Houston. He died from cholera in 1837, and in 1838, his brothers, Samuel Miles Frost and James Coleman Frost, subdivided his property, creating one of Houston’s earliest additions, which remained in residential use until the early 1990s. German immigrants soon settled here, and by the 1850s, Frost Town was a thriving community which reflected its residents’ cultural heritage. Several prominent Houston-area German families lived in the settlement. Others in the area included Irish immigrants and employees of the Galveston, Houston & Henderson Railroad, which reached the area in 1853.
By the 1870s, Frost Town was a community in transition. Area railroads had contributed to industrial development between Houston and Frost Town, and freedmen moved into the community, which was now considered part of Houston’s Second Ward. By the early 20th century, unskilled workers began to move into Frost Town, which was now connected to industries on the north side of Buffalo Bayou by a steel truss swing bridge built in 1904. Mexican residents began to move into Frost Town, while Anglo-European residents left, further shifting the community’s demographics.
Between 1930 and 1950, Frost Town became increasingly isolated because of industrial development. Residents began relocating following World War II, when the Elysian Viaduct and U. S. Highway 59 were constructed through the area, eliminating Frost Town’s residential buildings. Today, James Bute Park marks the former community, which existed for more than 100 years. (2008)
Marker is property of the State of Texas
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Key Map Information: 493 M
GPS Coordinates: 29 45.870, 95 21.101
Precinct No: 2
Marker No: 15497