About Arcola

Permits & Planning

Permits & Planning

Welcome to Arcola, Texas

Arcola is at the junction of Farm Road 521 and State Highway 6 and the intersection of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and the Missouri Pacific railroads, twenty miles east of Richmond in southeastern Fort Bend County. The site is on part of the league granted in 1822 to David Fitzgerald, one of the Old Three Hundred. A large portion of the grant was sold to Jonathan Dawson Waters in the middle 1840s. By acquiring the whole league in 1850, Waters became the owner of one of the largest cotton and sugar plantations in Texas, which he called Arcola. The Houston Tap Railroad was built through the area of the plantation in 1858. After Waters’ death the plantation lands were purchased by Col. T. W. House of Houston.

The Arcola community was formed predominantly by freed slaves. A post office was established in 1869 and served off and on until 1920. Arcola became a railroad junction in 1878 when the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe was built through the county. By 1884 the community had a sugar mill, two steam gristmill-cotton gins, two general stores, a Baptist church, and a school. In 1903 the Arcola school district had two schools serving forty-two White pupils and four schools serving 176 black pupils. In 1914 the community had an estimated fifty inhabitants and one general store. In 1940 Arcola had a church, a school, the Riceton-Arcola cemetery, and four businesses. Arcola’s population slowly grew to 120 in 1949, 299 in 1968, and 661 in 1986, when the community incorporated. Some of its growth may be attributed to its proximity to Houston. The population was 2,034 as of the 2020 census, up from 1,642 at the 2010 census, up from 1,048 at the 2000 census.

Far left: This plaque is dedicated to Daniel Perry, an early settler born in Mississippi in 1791 came to Texas in 1832 with his wife and two sons. He joined the Texas Army as a captain and recruiter. He fought the battle of San Jacinto and then served in the Republic of Texas Navy. In 1837, Perry signed the petition for the creation of Fort Bend County.

Middle: This plaque represents Duke Community in 1824, Old Three Hundred settlers David Fitzgerald, Thomas Barnett and Moses Shipman received land grants in this area. Fitzgerald fought at Anahuac in 1832; Barnett signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Far right: This plaque is dedicated to The Fitzgerald and Fenn Families. David Fitzgerald, a veteran of the American Revolution and the War of 1812, came from Texas to Georgia in 1821. Fenn served during the Texas Revolution and signed the 1837 petition for the creation of Fort Bend County. One of their sons, John R. Fenn, was a war veteran, Duke’s first


Arcola is located near the eastern edge of Fort Bend County at 29°30′5″N 95°27′50″W (29.501339, –95.463760). Texas State Highway 6 passes through the city, leading northwest 14 miles (23 km) to Sugar Land and southeast 14 miles to Alvin. Downtown Houston is 22 miles (35 km) to the north.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Arcola has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.1 km2), of which 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2), or 0.98%, is water


Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 154 7.57%
Black or African American (NH) 457 22.47%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 1 0.05%
Asian (NH) 25 1.23%
Pacific Islander (NH) 1 0.05%
Some Other Race (NH) 2 0.1%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 35 1.72%
Hispanic or Latino 1,359 66.81%
Total 2,034

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,034 people, 596 households, and 487 families residing in the city.

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,640 people, 295 households, and 233 families residing in the city. The population density was 548.5 inhabitants per square mile (211.8/km2). There were 324 housing units at an average density of 169.6 per square mile (65.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 34.26% White, 34.16% African American, 0.38% Native American, 2.19% Asian, 27.10% from other races, and 1.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 51.91% of the population.

There were 295 households, out of which 46.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.7% were non-families. 16.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.55 and the average family size was 4.06.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 37.4% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 16.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,607, and the median income for a family was $32,500. Males had a median income of $26,818 versus $21,172 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,735. About 24.3% of families and 26.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.3% of those under age 18 and 26.4% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure

Law enforcement is provided by the Arcola Police Department, The Police Chief is Arika Carr. Fire protection is provided by the Fresno Fire Department. Emergency medical service is provided by Fort Bend County EMS.

Fort Bend County does not have a hospital district. OakBend Medical Center serves as the county’s charity hospital which the county contracts with.


Arcola pupils attend schools in Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD). FBISD formed in 1959 by the consolidation of Missouri City Independent School District and the Sugar Land Independent School District.

The community is within the East Division, controlling school board slots 5 through 7. Most of the city is zoned to Heritage Rose Elementary School, Billy Baines Middle School, and Ridge Point High School. The section north and east of Texas State Highway 6 and north and west of Farm to Market Road 521 is zoned to Burton Elementary School, Lake Olympia Middle School, and Hightower High School.

History of schools

At the time FBISD formed, in 1959, there was one school for black students in Arcola, Oaklane Elementary School, serving grades 1–8. Black students in grades 9–12 was assigned to M.R. Wood School in Sugar Land. White students, at the time, were assigned to an elementary school in Missouri City, a junior high school in Sugar Land, and a high school in Missouri City. Those sites now house E. A. Jones Elementary School, Lakeview Elementary School, and Missouri City Middle School, respectively. Dulles High School became established as the white high school of FBISD. Desegregation occurred in 1965, and Oaklane closed at that time. Oaklane students were reassigned to Blue Ridge Elementary School in Blue Ridge, now a part of Houston. Dulles Junior High School served as FBISD’s sole junior high school from March 1965 to August 1975. After desegregation, Dulles High was the only zoned high school in the district until Willowridge High School in Houston opened in 1979.

Previously all pupils north of State Highway 6 attended Burton Elementary School in unincorporated Fort Bend County. Some pupils south of Highway 6 attended Sienna Crossing Elementary School, and other pupils south of Highway 6 attended Schiff Elementary School in unincorporated Fort Bend County.

Prior to the opening of Hightower in 1998, Elkins High School served Arcola. After 1998 and prior to 2010 all Arcola pupils were zoned to Hightower.


Houston Southwest Airport, a general aviation airport, is in the Arcola city limits.

In 2005, the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court approved the creation of the Fort Bend County Public Transportation Department (FBCPTD) to serve the general public in Fort Bend County. The purpose of the FBCPTD was to provide seamless service between urban and rural communities; access rural transit funding and increase services to residents in Fort Bend County without increasing a financial burden to the taxpayers. Today, the Fort Bend County Public Transportation Department is known as Fort Bend Transit (FBT).

Parks and Recreation

Fort Bend County has twelve active parks, three leased parks, five community centers and three parks under development. Our parks feature walking trails, playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, football fields, cricket fields, splash pads, fishing holes, and other outdoor recreation. We also offer pavilions, community centers, and building rentals for banquets, weddings and other private events. The Parks and Recreation Department also includes the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds.


Texas State Historical Assc.