Bishop Texas Information
Bishop... Since 1910
Bishop did not grow up gradually; it sprang into existence almost fully developed in 1910 as the fulfillment of a young insurance agent's dreams. F.Z. Bishop, the young insurance man-promoter, figured the blackland prairies of South Texas was "mighty good cotton and corn land," and envisioned a model town, surrounded by farm tracts. He made a deal with the Driscoll Ranch for 2,300 acres, bisected by the new rails of the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railroad which had been extended to the Rio Grande Valley four years earlier. The developer brought in 20 steam plows to turn under the waist high grass and laid out his farm land in mile square tracts, linking the sections with 120 miles of improved roads. Some of the farm land was sold as soon as it was broken, but before Bishop put a single town lot on the market, he laid out a zoned business district, designated industrial and residential districts, drilled three artesian wells, put in a water system and built an electric light and power plant. By the end of 1912, Bishop and his chief assistant, D.W. Taylor, had sold more than 40,000 acres of farm land, and the the town had grown to 1,200 inhabitants. When Bishop closed operations just as World War I started in Europe, he had opened for settlement more than 80,000 acres of land and had seen the city well established and looking towards a prosperous future. Bishop today is a far-cry from the city that suddenly sprouted from the coastal prairie in 1910. Agriculture, the community's sole reason for existence in those days, is still a mainstay of the local economy. But the ensuing years have brought the discovery of oil and gas in the area, and the resulting development of the growing chemical industry. Bishop's biggest boost came in 1945 when the Celanese Corporation of America entered the chemical field with the opening of its Bishop plant, which sprawls out along Highway 77 south of Bishop. The Celanese Bishop Facility, as it is now called, presently houses three companies: CELANESE (chemicals), TICONA (plastics), and BASF (pharmaceuticals). With its solid industrial and agricultural base and its strategic location on the Canada to Mexico corridor, U.S. 77 (future I-69), Bishop is poised to move ahead confidently into the 21st century, boasting excellent schools, beautiful churches, and a million dollar City Park.nd breezy summers.