Winnie - Stowell Area
In the late 1800s, two railroad engineers came to Chambers County in the coastal plains of Texas from Newton, Kansas, and left behind more than site surveys. Fox Winnie and H. C. Stowell journeyed to the area where two cities now bear their names to make surveys for the Gulf and Interstate Railway Company (now Santa Fe Railroad). The company decided to build a railroad from Galveston to Kansas City, providing a rail outlet from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast.
About 50 years earlier, the first settlers to the area came from the coast communities of High Island, Gilchrist and Port Bolivar. By 1894, the eastern section of Chambers County was opened to homesteaders. During this time, an economy based on agriculture which thrives to this day was developed, with figs and other fruit crops, cotton, rice and cattle. With the oil boom of the early 20th century in Texas, oil exploration and production came into the area today, the Winnie-Stowell area has its share of oil and oil-related-industry.
A neighborly atmosphere prevails in the two communities, which are linked to the more urban centers of Beaumont-Port Arthur, Galveston and Houston by a modern highway system. Because of its location at the center of this system, the Winnie-Stowell area has justly earned its motto as "Gateway to the Gulf."