EST. May 1912
In January, 1912, a grass root group of citizens that saw a need for drainage for agriculture crops in the Hamshire area, met to decide on forming a drainage district.
This group totaling 52 citizens approached Jefferson County Commissioners Court with their petition. Commissioners Court looked favorably on this petition and started the ball rolling.
On May 13, 1912 the tax payers voted 47 to 4 in favor of the District. Jefferson County Drainage District No. 3 was formed under the provisions of Section 59 of Article XVI (16) of the Texas Constitution, being the third district in the State to be formed. And now is 2nd only to Drainage District No. 1 in Galveston County.
Three Commissioners were appointed by Commissioner’s Court torepresent the District they were George Gill, George Sorkness, and E.A. Englin. In October of 1912, D.E. McCall was appointed to succeed E.A. Englin, who resigned as Commissioner. With the Board organized, the issuance of $100,000 bond, an assessment of property taxes, the work commenced with the approval of hiring E.A. Dieter to survey the District’s boundaries for the sum of $10.00 per day for every day worked on this project. Compensation for his efforts totaled $500.00.
Land of Opportunity
The Hamshire region included some of the richest farming land in the State. The creation of the new district provided for various improvements including increased drainage, widening and deepening of water courses and construction of new ditches; in which all of these improvements would better farming conditions, reduce mosquito problems and improve health for local citizens.
Local farmers and ranchers did their part in the operations of the district by lending their equipment and labor for widening and deepening canals and ditches.
In the late 1920’s, after the initial drainage systems were in place within the District, expansion of drainage systems within the District were at a standstill, however Drainage Commissioners were still appointed to oversee the taxation and bond payments for the District.
Then in 1946, seeing a need to continue and expand on the original drainage systems within the District, LeRoy McCall, Sr., Rodney Christ, and Herbert Clubb were appointed as Drainage District No. 3 Commissioners.
The Commissioners hired employees, purchased a dragline and began the work of improving and enlarging the drainage systems within the District. Beginning with the widening and deepening of Taylor’s Bayou.
The joint efforts between Drainage District 3, Drainage District 6 and Trinity Bay Conservation District created yet another improvement within our District’s drainage system, the Mayhaw Diversion Project. This project allowed an abundant amount of water to be diverted away from the township of Hamshire and provided flooding relief on the Taylor’s Bayou Watershed.
Triumph over Tragedy
In 2005, Drainage District No. 3 saw one of its most challenging times. Hurricane Rita! This hurricane had inundated our drainage systems. Destroying the eco-systems, fish habitats, and blocking the waterways with debris. Without the help and support of the Natural Resource and Conservation Services also known as NRCS, we would not have been able to accomplish the extraordinary amount of work that allowed us to not only restore our drainage systems, it also allowed us to improve them and be bettered prepared for future occurrences. And who would have thought, only a short three years later, we were again calling on the NRCS for their help, and once again with their support our Drainage District was able to recover from Hurricane Ike. During these times of recovery, their contributions provided resources for our District to recover without undue burden of increased taxation to the taxpayers of our District.
Drainage District 3 has had the good fortune to have an outstanding working relationship with other county entities, businesses, and individuals, whose input and support has been invaluable in allowing our District to provide the services that are needed to maintain our drainage systems and help reduce the flooding within our District.
Today, Jefferson County Drainage District No. 3 encompasses approximately 40,000 acres within its boundaries and has in excess of 450 miles of drainage ditches and navigable waterways. Under the direction of the Jefferson County Drainage District No. 3 Board of Commissioners, LeRoy McCall, Jr., Frank Rose, Joel Levingston, Jr., and Superintendent Fred Folsom, along with the District’s employees, we continue to serve the taxpayers of our District by continuing the work of improving and maintaining the drainage systems within our District that were put into place.