Pleasant Smith Humble

There is no one more misunderstood in history than the founder of Humble, Texas, Pleasant Smith Humble. Most people see Humble as some sort of roaming fisherman from England who set himself up as a postmaster and justice of the peace, even when the rules were in this part of Harris County. It couldn’t be any further from the truth.  

Who is Pleasant Humble?

  First of all, Humble wasn’t English. His parents were married in Mississippi in 1827 and made their home in Louisiana. Humble was born in 1834 while living in Louisiana. He lived in Tyler, Texas, when he was 17. Finally, Humble returned to Louisiana and started to work as a clerk in a store owned by L. N. Markham, a plantation owner who ran a store and was also an active Baptist preacher.  

Pleasant Love Story

  Humble and Markham’s daughter, Jane Elizabeth, were quickly drawn to each other. Well, Markham didn’t like that. He didn’t think that Humble was good enough for his daughter. So, Markham decided that his daughter would go to Shreveport to attend a female academy. The day before her boat was sailing, she and Humble had made a break. They eloped and got married in Caldwell County, La., on October 1, 1860, and kept going. The indignant Reverend Markham and his five sons were in action. Today, this story has been repeated over and over again. It’s a romantic novel, two couples come together in spite of insurmountable odds. But some important facts seem to be left out as people say the story: No. 1: Humble was 25 years old at the time, while Jane Elizabeth was just 17… so you can imagine why her father was a little angry, and No. 2: she was six months pregnant when they eloped. Their son, William Smith Humble, was born in January of 1861. Now we can see why he was angry. Finally, Markham forgave her.  

As a Militar Member

  Humble served in the Confederate Army as a member of the Louisiana militia in 1861 and then in the Texas Cavalry Battalion of Ragsdale in 1864. By 1866, he and his family moved to Texas to buy land here in Harris County. In 1869, Humble bought 100 acres by the San Jacinto River, where he ran a ferry over the San Jacinto River and ran a small grocery store. At the end of 1876, he helped to set up and serve on the school board of Harris County School Community No. 13, the Durdin School Community, which was situated near today’s Lee Road and FM 1960.  

As a Politician

  Most people don’t know that Humble was a politician and a very prosperous individual. Harris County wasn’t the “Wild, Wild West.” You couldn’t simply name yourself as a postmaster or sheriff. Harris County has the rules. Humble was elected sheriff of Harris County in 1876. It was a strong place. The commissioners’ court was responsible for making decisions for Harris County, including which roads were constructed, public education oversight, and much more. Since working as a commissioner for two years, he went on to serve as a prosecutor.   By February 1886, the tribal society of Lord and their U.S.  post office has been closing down. Humble takes up the task of the local mail, most likely out of his shop or home. He worked with the postmaster in Houston in August 1886 to apply for a new U. S. Post Office for the community. The name of the town he named in the application was “Humble, Texas.” The word Humble was pronounced with a silent “H,” and that was the way he pronounced his name. The request was granted and Humble was named U of the area. S. This is the postmaster. He was later elected and served as Local Peace Justice for Harris County Precinct 4, serving from 1887 to 1895.  

Left with a Great Name

  His wife died in January 1906, and their son, William, died later the same year. By 1910, Humble had been frail and had gone to Hardin County to live with his sister. He was suspected to have died between 1910 and 1912. We have no way of telling, and after that time there are no more records of him no death certificate, no more census records, no tombstone… none.   His son had no children, so there were no more descendants of Humble. Yet, the town people of Humble, are the real heirs of a brilliant veteran of the Civil War. Pleasant Humble