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Monday, March 17, 2014

A History of Sugarland Industries - Part 4: Sugar Land Motor Company

This week's spotlight is focused on the Sugar Land Motor Company.  The following links go to an old Fort Bend Mirror article from January 1956.  Gus Stabler, long-time manager of the Motor Company, gives a brief history.  I've included an image of the article, plus a typed transcript since it's hard to read.

You'll notice the original building, formerly a mule corral, burned down in 1931.  The next aerial was taken in 1940.  I think the original corral was in the location of the Motor Company as shown in this photo.

As the article says, the Humble service station and Motor Company moved to a new location at Brooks St. and Highway 90A in 1941, as shown in the following aerial which was taken nearly 10-years later in 1950.

The next photograph shows dignitaries at the grand opening of the Humble service station.  Tom James, assistant to Gus Ulrich who was head of Sugarland Industries, is the second man from the left.  Gus Stabler (white shirt) and E. O. Guenther (?) are second and third from the right.  I presume the other men are from Humble Oil.

In 1956 Sugarland Industries opened a Texaco service station on the southeast corner of Brooks St. and Highway 90A.  Here's an earlier posting about that event, and here's a 1956 aerial photo to orient its location.

You'll notice the flat-roofed extension behind the Humble Station.  It housed the show room and sales offices.  The attached structure behind it was the maintenance garage and parts department.  The next photo shows Susan Wood (SLHS '57) and an unidentified salesman showcasing a new '57 Chevy in front of the show room.

In the summer of 1964 KHOU-TV weatherman, Sid Lasher, moved his family to Sugar Land.  To celebrate the occasion and promote Sugar Land's commercial establishments, The Fort Bend Mirror ran a photo essay introducing Mr. & Mrs. Lasher to each business.  (Click this link to view the entire article.) 

One of Sid's stops was the Sugar Land Motor Company, shown in the following photo.

Finally, my thanks go to the Helmcamp family for saving this promotional match book, commemorating the Motor Company's 40th year in business.