The city of Sugar Land was originally called “Oakland Plantation” by Samuel M. Williams, one of the first settlers in the area, because of the wide varieties of oak trees growing in the vicinity. Together with his brother Nathaniel, the Williams Brothers operated a corn, cotton and sugarcane plantation. After the Civil War, Colonel E.H. Cunningham bought the plantation in 1879 and established a town around the sugar refinery.
The Kemper Family of Galveston purchased Ellis Plantation in 1906, located adjacent to the Cunningham Plantation which they eventually acquired in 1908. The resulting partnership was renamed Imperial Sugar Company which they associated with the Imperial Hotel in New York City. Sugar Land continues to carry the Imperial Sugar crown logo in its seal in recognition to this heritage. Imperial Sugar provided residential facilities, schools, hospitals, and small business opportunities in the company town surrounding the refinery.
The town eventually grew and expanded and by 1959 the residents voted for the incorporation of Sugar Land as a general law city. It is one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States that is now home to white-collar, college-educated residents working in the booming energy industry, petroleum exploration and refining. Sugar Land is also the headquarters of several national companies engaged in aeronautics, energy, petrochemicals, manufacturing, software and engineering industries.
The energy deregulated power market of Sugar Land provides commercial electricity to existing and upcoming businesses in the city. The competitive market also provides residents with the power to choose their retail electric providers, giving them the unique ability to shop Texas electricity and compare rates and services from these various retail providers. The resulting benefits from this competitive market includes significant savings for residential, small business and industrial consumers derived from much lower electricity rates as compared to other power regulated states.