GALIVESTON. A city, port of entry, and the county-seat of Galveston County, Tex., on Gal veston Island, at the mouth of Galveston Bay, 50 miles southeast of Houston; on the Southern Pacific, the International and Great Northern, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, the Gulf, Colo rado and Santa Fe, and other railroads (Map: Texas, G 5). Regular steamship communication is maintained with important European, Mexi can, and Cuban ports, and there are also lines to China, Japan, and South America, as well as several coastwise lines. The street-railway sys tem comprises 35 miles of track.
The city, including Pelican Island, has a total area of nearly 13 square miles, and is built toward the inland side of the island, while along the outer side extends, for a distance of 30 miles, a hard and level beach. Galveston is the seat of Saint Mary's University (Roman Catho lic), opened in 1854, and of the medical depart ment of the State University. It has two Roman Catholic academies, the Ball High School- (one of the city's principal buildings), and a fine li brary in course of erection, which is to be en with $400,000. There are two orphan asylums, a home for friendless children, and an old women's home, and two well-equipped hos pitals, Saint Mary's and the John Sealy, the latter used in connection with the State Medical College. Other notable structures are the county court-house, custom-house and post-office, city hall, railroad depot, Young Men's Christian As sociation Building, Masonic Temple, and several of the business buildings. There are here three forts, a life-saving station, a State quarantine station, an office of the United States Marine Hospital Service, and the State branch of the United States Weather Bureau. A railroad bridge, two miles long, connects with the main land.
Galveston, with an admirable location for a commercial centre, has also improved means for handling its important commerce. Both by rail and water transportation facilities are excellent. By means of rock jetties, 12 miles long, com pleted by the Federal Government in 1896 at a cost of $8,000,000, the channel between the island and the mainland has been deepened to afford an average of 27 feet. Terminal tracks,
aggregating 50 miles, extend to the wharves, of which there are now 6 miles. There are four export grain elevators, with a total storage ca pacity of 3,750,000 bushels, and one clearing and conditioning elevator, a coal elevator, marine works, creosoting works, etc.
Galveston in 1901 ranked third among ports of the United States in exports (value, $10G, 526,508), a gain of $14,000,000 over 1900; and thirty-sixth in imports (value. $1.048,866). Since the improvements in the harbor, the export trade has substantially increased, though, on the con trary, imports have decreased. The city alter nates with New Orleans as the largest cotton exporting centre in the United States, is the first in the amount of cottonseed products, and eighth in wheat. In value the leading exports for 1901 were: Cotton. $85,857,145; oil cake and meal, $5,568,449; cottonseed oil. $1,502,307; wheat, $11,476,205; flour, $462,607; lumber, $479,457. The live-stock trade is now compara unimportant; the lumber exports have fallen off because of the unusual demand at home; and imports of coal have suffered consider ably, owing to the discovery of Beaumont oil, which is being used largely for fuel. Galveston is the centre of an extensive wholesale and jobbing trade. The manufacturing interests are important and varied; the products include rope, bagging, beer, cement, pipe, ice, iron, sash, doors, :blinds, cotton oil, flour and meal, etc.
The government, under a charter of 1876 (last revised in 1893), is vested in a mayor, chosen biennially, and a city council, the members of which, though elected one from each ward, are voted for by the entire city. The executive ap points the recorder and the city clerk, and nom inates, subject to the consent of the council, a number of other municipal officials. The boards of water commissioners, health, public works, and school trustees, the hospital board, and police and fire commissioners, are chosen by popular vote. The water-works and electric-light plant are owned and operated by the municipality. Population, in 1890, 29,084; in 1900, 37,789.