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Galena Park is a city in Harris County, Texas, United States, within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. The population was 10,887 at the 2010 census.
Issac Batterson and his family settled in the area in 1833; it was a part of the Ezekiel Thomas Survey. The area of Galena Park began as the settlement of Clinton in 1835. The center of what would become Galena Park was a 1,000-acre (400 ha) tract that Batterson purchased from the estate of Ezekiel Thomas. The settlement originally served as a farming and ranching community but in the 1880s transformed into a railroad center along the new Port of Houston. With the coming of the petrochemical industry in the early 1900s, Clinton again transformed into a refinery center.
Clinton attempted to establish a post office in 1935, but the request was denied as another Clinton, Texas had established the name. The settlement's name was changed to Galena Park after the Galena Signal Oil Company of Texas, which built the first refinery there. Galena Park's original name survives today as the name of a major street in the city, Clinton Drive. Because of the 1935 incorporation, Houston did not incorporate Galena Park's territory into its city limits, while Houston annexed surrounding areas that were unincorporated. By the late 1930s Houston was growing as a port, so Galena Park expanded. Since the 1940s area residents considered the city to be a part of Greater Houston.
The economy of Galena Park began to suffer in the early 1980s, when cranes used to haul ship cargo were reduced; prior to the early 1980s a team of workers who took up to one week to load cargo off of a ship stayed in the port city and contributed to its local economy, but the new technology lead to ships unloading all cargo in less than one day. The 1980s also hit Galena Park's economy with all the layoffs from the steel mills. The economy further decreased after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when sea port administrators tightened security rules that governed whether sailors could leave ships docked at port.
Galena Park is located at 29°44′20″N 95°14′14″W (29.738928, -95.237211).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.0 square miles (13 km2), all of it land.
The city is east of the 610 Loop, north of the Houston Ship Channel, and adjacent to the City of Jacinto City, as well as the Clinton Park neighborhood of Houston. Clinton Drive is the main arterial road for Galena Park and traffic to and from the ship channel and the Port of Houston uses this road. The area around Galena Park includes freeways, freight railway, and heavy industry.
The border between Galena Park, previously an all-White city and Clinton Park, an African-American neighborhood, is barricaded as of 2008. Rafael Longoria and Susan Rogers of the Rice Design Alliance said in 2008 that the barricade "provides a stark example of how the prevailing segregationist sentiments of the era is still in evidence."
As of the census of 2010, there were 10,887 people and 3,021 households residing in the city. The population density was 2,183.3 people per square mile (843.0/km²). There were 3,273 housing units at an average density of 654.6/sq mi (253.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 11.4% White, Not Hispanic, 6.6% African American, Not Hispanic, 0.13% Native American or Native Alaskan, Not Hispanic, 0.09% Asian or Pacific Islander, Not Hispanic, 0.16% from other races, not Hispanic, and 0.25% from two or more races. People of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin of any race were 81.4% of the population, a 21% increase in Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin population over the 2000 census.
Remaining demographics were not yet available from the 2010 census (expected release Summer-Fall of 2011). As of the 2000 census there were 3,054 households out of which 46.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.4% were non-families. 17.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.47 and the average family size was 3.92.
In the city, the population was spread out with 33.8% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 16.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 99.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,660, and the median income for a family was $34,702. Males had a median income of $29,814 versus $21,172 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,207. About 21.5% of families and 25.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.2% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2014 Esmeralda Moya is the mayor. The City of Galena Park made history on June 21, 2014 by electing mayor Moya, Commissioner Serna, and Commissioner Flores as the first Hispanics to hold these positions in office. Moya was sworn into office on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at Galena Park’s City Hall located at 2000 Clinton Dr., Galena Park, Texas 77547.
As of 2015 year the city council has four positions, with each having a responsibility for a particular municipal department or group of departments. Commissioner Danny Simms, position one, heads the water and sewer services. Cruz Hinojosa, position two, heads police and fire services. Mariacela Serna, position three, heads parks and recreation. Juan L Flores Jr., position four, heads street and bridge services. In addition Jim L. DeFoyd serves as the city attorney, Mayra Gonzales serves as the city secretary and the tax collector and assesser, and City Administrator Robert Pruett directs public works.
The Galena Park Fire Department and the Galena Park Police Department serve the city. As of 2008 Jonathan Rader serves as the Chief of Police. Paul Gregory was promoted to Fire Chief in July 2013. Gregory has been a long-time firefighter at Galena Park and has served for many years at the chief of Tarkington Volunteer Fire Department.
Galena Park is located within Harris County Precinct 2; as of 2011 Jack Morman headed Precinct 2.
Galena Park is located in District 143 of the Texas House of Representatives As of 2011 Ana Hernandez Luna, formerly Ana E. Hernandez, represented the district. Galena Park is within District 6 of the Texas Senate; as of 2011 Mario Gallegos, Jr. was the representative.
Galena Park was within Texas's 29th congressional district; as of 2011 Gene Green represented the district. The United States Postal Service operates the Galena Park Post Office at 1805 Clinton Drive.
Students in Galena Park attend schools in Galena Park Independent School District.
Four separate elementary schools, Galena Park Elementary School in Galena Park, MacArthur Elementary School in Galena Park, Jacinto City Elementary School in Jacinto City, and Pyburn Elementary School in Houston, serve students from the city of Galena Park Almost all Galena Park students are zoned to Galena Park Middle School (6-8) in Galena Park. A few in northeast Galena Park are zoned to Woodland Acres Middle School in Houston. All Galena Park residents are zoned to Galena Park High School (9-12) in Galena Park.
In addition GPISD operates the William F. "Bill" Becker Early Childhood Development Center, a preschool program for low income families, in Galena Park.
Our Lady of Fatima School, a PK 3 to Grade 8 Roman Catholic school, is in Galena Park . The school is fully accredited by TEA and TCEA. It has served the community for over sixty years and is open enrollment to all faiths and denomination.
Galena Park is zoned to the San Jacinto College system.
The Harris County Public Library (HCPL) system operates the Galena Park Branch at 1500 Keene Street in Galena Park. The 5,800-square-foot (540 m2) branch, a partnership between HCPL and Galena Park, was built in March 1996 opened in December of that year.
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