About This Place
Webster is a city in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. The population was 9,083 at the 2000 census.
The community was founded in 1879 by James W. Webster under the name Gardentown. It was established initially as a colony for settlers from England. It began as a stopover for travelers between Houston/Harrisburg, Galveston, Kemah, and Seabrook. Eventually railroads, such as the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway, were built through the area. Farmers in the area raised pears and other produce.
In 1903, the Houston Chamber of Commerce invited Seito Saibara, a former Japanese member of parliament and a Christian theologian, to come to Texas to teach rice farming. Rice at that time was emerging as an important cash crop. Saibara settled in Webster with and established a small farming community of Japanese Christians. Saibara and his son Kiyoaki established the foundations of what became the rice industry of the U.S. Gulf Coast.