Charlotte B. Allen – Houston’s Forgotten Founder

Mar 20, 2019 | News

Charlotte Charlotte Baldwin Allen is considered the Mother of Houston. She has been long overshadowed by her more high-profile husband, New York real estate speculator, Augustus Chapman Allen, who officially co-founded the city with his brother.  We believe she deserves to be recognized as a cofounder along with her husband and brother in law. 

It was Charlotte’s inheritance that gave the brothers the funds to purchase the land that is now the fourth largest city in the country. 

At the time women could not own property, and upon marriage, women’s assets became the property of her husband.    

Later, Charlotte became the primary financial driver of Houston’s early construction industry, bankrolling the navy and building the short-lived Capitol of the Republic of Texas to boot.

What’s more, she donated countless leagues of public land – even though as a woman she did not legally own any herself – including the site used for the first City Hall (now Downtown’s Market Square Park) and countless plots to civic organizations.

The time has arrived to share an iconic story that has remained largely buried in the Bayou City’s historical legend. 

Last year, we met the courageous women at NASA in the movie Hidden Figures

We cannot continue to let the many contributions and sacrifices women have made be left out of our history. 

We should have more streets named for these amazing women, statues erected so our next generation knows their names and what they sacrificed.