Just south of Pearland is the rural little burg of Iowa Colony. Originally established in 1908, and named after the colonists from Iowa who settled there, Iowa Colony began as a tiny farming community and pretty much stayed that way for many many years. Iowa Colony was served by the rail line that ran through nearby Manvel and a post office was opened in 1919. Although oil was discovered in 1948, the population had only expanded to roughly 27 people by the mid 1960s. Greater growth was enjoyed after the town was incorporated in 1973. Today, with a population of just under 2,000, Iowa Colony is one of those charming little towns that likes to take life at its own pace.
Drawn by the rich prairie soil, ample wildlife and warm climate, W.R. Booth and family began putting down roots just south of Houston on the bank of Chocolate Bayou in 1857. The settlement was known as Pomona. By around 1877, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad had reached this growing settlement, and by 1890 a proper township was established. Due to there already being a Pomona in west Texas, the town was renamed Manvel after the president of the Santa Fe Railroad. Things really took off soon thereafter. Businesses were started, a post office was established and everything from a grocer to a general store to a doctor to even a couple of real estate agents called Manvel home. At various times throughout Manvel’s history profitable crops included strawberries, oranges and rice. And, in 1931 oil was struck – revealing Manvel as an oil rich territory. Today, Manvel remains a delightfully charming small town. However, with easy access via the 288 corridor and highway 6 – as well as close proximity to Pearland, Houston, Galveston and Freeport – Manvel is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing rural/suburban treasures in Texas.