Your estate plan should accomplish far more than simply deciding who receives which assets when you are gone. Because of the numerous and varied roles your estate plan will play in your life, creating your plan should be a priority. At the Texas practice of Mendel Law Firm, L.P. we understand how important a well drafted and comprehensive estate plan is to you and your family and we would be honored to help residents of Baytown create an estate plan.
History of Baytown, Texas
Way back at the end of the Ice Age, melting water near what is now the Gulf Coast formed the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers. That same flowing water formed the numerous lakes and bays that surround what is now Baytown, Texas. Like much of the American southwest, the Baytown area was once home to indigenous tribes, specifically the Kawankawa’s Capoque and the Atakapan’s Akoksia tribes. European settlors began showing up in the area now known as Baytown as early as the 1820s. One of the area’s earliest settlors, Nathaniel Lynch, operated a ferry crossing at the junction of the San Jacinto River and Buffalo Bayou. Now known as the Lynchburg ferry, Lynch’s ferry service still operates to this day.
Baytown was actually formed when three separate town’s merged – Goose Creek, Pelly, and East Baytown. Goose Creek, named for the bayou of the same name where Canada geese used to winter, lives on in the “Goose Creek” school district which dates back to the early part of the 19th century. When the Goose Creek Oil Field was discovered, the nearby communities of Pelly and East Baytown flourished, as did many “boomtowns” during that time period. The “East” was eventually dropped from the city of Baytown’s name because the town was actually located west of the (then) larger town of Goose Creek. Shortly after the end of World War I there was talk of merging the three cities; however, Baytown was not in favor of the merger. Despite Baytown’s opposition, the three cities did consolidate in 1947, naming the new city “Baytown.” Modern day Baytown was officially incorporated on January 24, 1948.
Not surprisingly, oil continued to play a major role in the city of Baytown. The Humble Oil and Refining Company (which later became ExxonMobil), founded by one-time Texas Governor Ross S. Sterling and his associates in 1916, developed the Goose Creek Oil Field as well as built the first offshore drilling operation in Texas and the second in the United States. The company went on to build the Baytown Refinery, one of the largest Exxon refineries in the world. Although numerous other refineries have been built in the area since that time, Exxon-Mobil remains one of the major employers in the city with no less than ten plants operating in the Baytown area. As was typically the case at that time, the discovery of oil caused the population of Baytown to increase dramatically.
By the 1970s, oil began to give way to steel manufacturing as a primary economy for Baytown. At that time, United States Steel opened the Texas Works nearby where the 48-inch welded pipe used in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System was produced. Unfortunately, the plant was officially closed in July 1986 as a result of the overall decline in the American steel industry during that time. The mill, however, was later purchased by Jindal Steel and now operates as JSW Steel USA, Inc.
Baytown, Texas Today
Located in the Gulf Coast region of Texas, the city of Baytown lies within the counties of Harris and Chambers, Texas. Baytown itself has a year around population of around 75,000 residents; however, the city is part of the much larger Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area which has a population of over 6.5 million people.
The city of Baytown’s economy is heavily focused on industry, including oil, rubber, and chemical plants. To accommodate those industries, the city created three industrial districts which are all outside the city limits but within its extra-territorial jurisdiction. Industry giants ExxonMobil, Bayer, and Chevron Phillips serve as anchors for the industrial districts in Baytown. In fact, the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex, which will celebrate its centennial in 2019, is one of the world’s largest industrial complexes and is home to the Baytown Refinery which has the distinction of being the largest refinery in the United States. Moreover, the Bayer Baytown Industrial Park is the largest of Bayer’s U.S. chemical processing sites and the Cedar Bayou plant, operating since 1963, is Chevron Phillips Chemical’s largest manufacturing site in the United States.
Residents and visitors alike will find plenty to do in Baytown. The city’s year around temperate climate allows nature lovers to enjoy the city’s 47 parks anytime of the year. Baytown Nature Center is another option for those who prefer to be outside. Located on a 450-acre peninsula along the Houston Ship Channel, the center is surrounded on three sides by Burnet Bay, Crystal Bay, and Scott Bay and serves as both a recreation area and a wildlife sanctuary for hundreds of bird species, mammals, reptiles, and aquatic species.
For lovers of the arts, the Baytown Little Theater is a must. This community theater has been operating for over 50 years, making it one of the longest continuously running community theaters in the state of Texas. The Baytown Symphony Orchestra, in residence at Lee College, is another treat residents and visitors of Baytown may enjoy.
If action is more your style then make sure you don’t miss the Royal Purple Raceway, a motorsports complex featuring National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) races and a weekly drag racing program. The raceway opened back in 1988 and is capable of seating 40,000 fans who pack in to watch races around the high-banked dirt oval race track.
Residents of Baytown are fortunate in that they are able to take advantage of the small town size and feel of Baytown while remaining just a short drive from all the conveniences offered by Baytown’s much larger neighbor, Houston.
Contact an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney for Help
If you would like to get started on your estate plan, contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. by calling (281) 759-3213 to schedule your appointment today. We are proud to serve the community of Baytown.