Saturday, August 23, 2014
 
About UsHistory

History

Weston Lakes has a relatively short history and its history is derived from the shared history of the early settlements of Fulshear and Simonton.  In 1824, a group of Americans came to Texas to live on land that was granted to Stephen F. Austin by the Mexican government. Among them were Churchill Fulshear, and his family.  The family settled on a site of land in present northern Fort Bend County. Their plantation was used as headquarters for part of the Texas Army during the Texas Revolution. Santa Anna's army is believed to have crossed the Brazos River near the Fulshear Plantation on April 14, 1836 on the way to San Jacinto.


Simonton was settled under the same land grant by Thomas Westall.   The city was named after James Simonton who came to Texas in 1850.   The railroad was built in about 1888 and the population of Simonton increased with Simonton being one of the main water stops for the steam engines of that time.  Its early growth and success generally followed Fulshear which garnered the economic center of the area.  Not unlike today. 


The major boon to both cities and the land owners in the vicinity was the routing of the railroad through Fulshear and on to Simonton.  This gave rise to the development of economic and commercial centers catering to the early orchard, pecan, rice, sugar cane, cotton and corn growers and farmers.  Both cattle and horses brought notoriety to the area as well.  Churchill’s interest in horse racing brought many to the northern area of Fulshear for a day at the track locally known as Churchill Downs.  Nationally successful race horses began their quest for fame at the local track.


The boom in the area seemed to peak at about 1900 and 1920.  The City of Fulshear was by some standards a thriving western city with all of the commercial and economic activities of the day.  Saloons, hotels, boarding houses, drug stores, and doctors all made their presence felt in Fulshear.  Commodity general store enterprises were plentiful as well as churches and schools. 


 World War I, the Depression and a changed lifestyle caused people to leave the area and by 1940 the population had decreased to two hundred and eighty-seven with only five businesses in Fulshear and a similar downward trend in Simonton. With a later trend to get away from the big city life of Houston, Fulshear's population as well as Simonton’s began to grow again.  There was no great boom but steady growth occurred from the lows of the depression.  The 1977 census numbered over four hundred when Fulshear incorporated as the Village of Fulshear. Simonton incorporated shortly thereafter, with a similar population. 


During this time the land between the cities remained agriculturally productive; however, with the growth of the City of Houston, the extension of mobility routes to the West of Houston, the development of the city of Katy, the decline of agriculture activity, land for residential development was discovered.  Local visionaries like Carl Bentley, James Hill, Perrin White, James Roberts, the Wendth family (Billy and Jack) and others saw the area which is now Weston Lakes and Fulbrook as ripe for residential development. 


Their vision was manifested with the planting of thousands of Live Oaks on the land now Weston Lakes and Fulbrook despite the skeptics of the day.  The land was the home of many alligators and other wild life that we see residing in the communities but in smaller numbers today.  The trees today stand as testament to their vision.  The commitment of developers like the original developer Bruce Beland ensured the preservation of the environment we have today.  His vision included the development of a planned gated golf course community development called  Weston Lakes.   Weston Lakes began in development in the early 1980s and is continuing in its development even today with added sections and homes still under construction.  With the unfortunate economic downturns in the late 1980s and 1990s related to the oil bubble burst and the savings and loan failures the westward residential development toward Fort Bend County subsided for a time.  For many years home building was stalled. Even with the crowded mobility corridors to the west, movement to the Fulshear, Simonton, Weston Lakes and Fulbrook areas seemed to slow.


Unfortunately for the Beland developer the economic down turn exhausted his resources, and his interest in Weston Lakes was sold to Sierra Properties and Mike Surface in 1992.  Subsequent auctions of lots within the original confines of Weston Lakes brought stability to the community, preserved the golf course, and positioned Weston Lakes for the growth renewal to come.


Weston Lakes and the entire area renewed its growth as part of the housing boom of the late 1990s and the post 2000 period.  The population continued to grow as new sections of Riverwood Forest, Oxbow estates, Fairway Villages, and most recently Waterford of Weston Lakes.  Folks just wanted to get away from the city.  With a population of 2,300 and the observation of the rapid growth in Fulshear, the Weston Lakes decided to incorporate as a city in 2008.   Fulshear embraced the coming tide and without a doubt will become the economic and commercial center of the entire area.  The new development may represent a flashback to the area’s booming history of the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Weston Lakes is and will always be somewhat of a bedroom community of Fulshear and Simonton as the commercial and economic development spreads to that community as well. 


During the population growth of Weston Lakes, community leaders, like Glen Chancellor, Walter Douglas, Gerald Hage, Ed Van Dyke, Vic Zdunkewicz and many others never lost sight of the original vision and goal of a planned, gated, disciplined, socially oriented community.  They were the leaders who guided the Municipal Utility District and the Property Owners Association through the boom and bust development of Weston Lakes along with the respective developers.
 

Some of the many birds, and animals
in the Weston Lakes setting.
Gate affords a sense of Security

 

Because of the then remote and somewhat isolated location of the Cities of Simonton, Fulshear and the surrounding subdivisions political representation at the School District was essential for schooling and protecting our children.  Also because of the newness of gated, private, planned communities in the School District, the District was reluctant to allow School Buses into gated communities.  Children were picked up on FM 1093.  Through the efforts of the School District President, current Mayor of Fulshear and School District member and current Mayor of Weston Lakes, Mary Rose Zdunkewicz the State Legislature stepped in and passed legislation clearly allowing the entrance of School Buses into gated communities to pick up children going to school.
                          
In January 2007 the Weston Lakes Property Owners Association conducted an inquiry into the question of incorporating the area as a City under the Texas Local Code.   The result was that the community was given the opportunity to vote on the issue of incorporation in an election in May of 2008.  The majority of the community voted to incorporate and the City was incorporated as a Type B city as described in the Texas Local Code by order of Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert after the canvas of the vote on May 20, 2008.  Election of municipal officers was conducted on November 4, 2008.  Elected were Mayor, Mary Rose Zdunkewicz, Aldermen, Clifton H. Aldrich, Theodore Case, Denis DeLuca, Gary Owens, and Trent Thomas.  Although Weston Lakes’ history is short, it has the good fortune to share the rich history of our neighboring communities, cities, and Fort Bend County.

City of Weston Lakes, P.O. Box 1082, Fulshear, Texas 77441