Sweeny ISD

Sweeny, Texas

Sweeny is a city in Brazoria County, Texas, USA. The population was 3,624 at the 2000 census, 7,316 if you include unincorporated areas of Sweeny. The city's motto is "A City With Pride", and is the westernmost incorporated town in the county.


As of the census of 2000, there were 3,624 people, 1,338 households, and 974 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,946.6 people per square mile (752.3/km²). There were 1,444 housing units at an average density of 775.6/sq mi (299.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.25% White, 15.78%African American, 1.02% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 5.99% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.71% of the population.

There were 1,338 households out of which 38.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,497, and the median income for a family was $42,128. Males had a median income of $43,854 versus $25,710 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,755. About 10.4% of families and 9.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.

Geography and Roads

Sweeny is above sea level and is from the Gulf Of Mexico. The San Bernard River flows west of city limits. The town is in a dense forest on coastal plains.

Sweeny is at the intersections of Farm Road 1459 and 524. The town is accessible from Highway 35 by taking 1459 or 524, which intersect in Sweeny from the highway, forming a "loop" off of 35. Brazoria County Road 332, known as Ashley-Wilson Road is also a main thoroughfare through the city. Plans have been made to close down Farm Road 524 between [Brazoria] County Road 359 and State Highway 35 due to terrorist concerns as the route takes you through the ConocoPhillips and Chevron Phillips Refinery. Sweeny mayor Larry G. Piper has asked for an alternative route to be built as the highway is a major thoroughfare from Sweeny to Bay City, TX and the west.

While most roads in Sweeny are straight and form blocks, both of the main highways have dangerous curves in them. Entering Sweeny on Farm Road 524 from the south, you must slow to an hour rounding a sharp right turn into the business district. Five blocks down, there is the "S-curve", with businesses alongside both sides of the street. Coming into town on Farm Road 1459 by the hospital, you must slow down to an hour with a sharp turn to the left, then to the right two blocks down from the first curve. Several wrecks: some fatal, have occurred in both areas because of speeding or careless drivers.

Union Pacific Railroad cuts a path through a small piece of the south side of Sweeny, with two
grade crossings and a railyard. Train speeds through here usually range from 35-60 miles
an hour, though they sometimes park in the railyard.

City Government / Services

Sweeny is served by a Council-Manager form of Government. The city has a Police Department (Sweeny PD) which boasts a low crime rate, a Volunteer Fire Department (Sweeny VFD), Emergency Medical Service (Sweeny EMS), and a hospital (Sweeny Community Hospital) which is a state recognized level IV trauma center.


Once known as Adamston, the town was named for the family of John Sweeny. The original Sweeny family home, marked by a Texas Historical Society medallion, was still occupied by a descendant of the Sweeny family as of 1991. St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway laid a side track lined with gardens to the town in 1905. In 1895, a post office was formed, closed two years later and then reopened in 1905. A general store and cotton gin were completed in 1908 and a school organized in 1911, with 11 students. Burton D. Hurd, whose company promoted ten-acre suburban garden farms with "Soil Richer Than the Valley of the River Nile" to prospective settlers, platted the townsite in 1911 and by 1914, the town had a gristmill, sawmill, cotton gin, hotel, and several general stores. In 1918 it had a brick factory and an orange orchard and in 1912, a school district was formed. In 1934, oil was discovered in Old Ocean, creating development which made Sweeny prosper. In 1942, a government carbon black plant was built and was taken over by Phillips Petroleum, which developed the facilities into a refinery, natural gas liquids center, and petrochemicals complex with pipelines to markets in the eastern United States. In 2000, Phillips Petroleum merged with both Conoco Inc. and Chevron Corporation to form ConocoPhillips and Chevron Phillips. Sweeny's population in the latter 20th century has fluctuated from 3,087 to 3,699.

Timeline Of Sweeny

1833: John Sweeny settles just outside what will become a town bearing his name.
1905: Railroad reaches town.
1912: Independent school system formed.
1914: Population reaches 200.
1934: Old ocean oilfield discovered.
1945: City incorporated.
1967: City park built.
1988: Community Center / Library completed.
1993: City's first K9 dog killed by two teens, later convicted.
2001: Two trains collide head-on just outside Sweeny city limits.
2002: Tropical Storm Fay dumps over of rain in Sweeny, flooding most roads.
2004: Sweeny gets Christmas snow, with almost 10 inches reported in some places.
2005: Almost all of Sweeny emptied when Hurricane Rita threatened Texas.
2007: Running out of space to grow, Sweeny plans to start annexing land.
2008: Sweeny's mayoral race is decided by 1 vote. Rodney Weems beat Phyllis Kittinger for the title.


Schools are part of the Sweeny Independent School District. Sweeny ISD serves the city of Sweeny as well as outlying areas including Churchill, Shady Acres, River's End, and Old Ocean. The High School's mascot is the Bulldog.

Schools in the district are Sweeny Elementary(K-5), Sweeny Junior High(6-8), and Sweeny High School(9-12), which is a 3A school. In 2007 construction began on the high school to renovate the current building. With growing security concerns the Board of Trustees approved the renovation of the High School, because most of the campus was open to the outside. The new school will have limited outside access.

Wharton County Junior College and Brazosport College are both within a 45 minute drive from Sweeny.

The Sweeny Library, part of the Brazoria County Library System, is located at 205 West Ashley-Wilson Road.


With the population growth of Sweeny in the past decade, there has also been an increase of businesses, which amount to around 115 total including, Fat Daddies opened in early 2008; Sonic Drive-In, Dairy Mart & Bulldog Drive In, which are the popular eateries among teens, a Domino's Pizza and Simple Simon's Pizza franchise, Sprinkle Donuts and Golden Dragon, a Chinese restaurant. Family Dollar and Dollar General are also located within the city limits. LifeCheck, Sweeny's only pharmacy, also opened in 2007, and Stewart's Grocery which is the only Grocery and Video store in town.

Notable Residents


External links

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