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City of Oak Ridge North
Submitted by Mary Goranson Eklof

The youngest city in Montgomery County, as of this writing, is the City of Oak Ridge North. It is located in the Charles Eisterwall Survey and was incorporated as late as January 20, 1979 with a population of 2,445. Why did the residents of this South Montgomery County subdivision decide to take this impor­tant step? Let us step back in time, about 15-20 years, and look at the development of the area.

In 1964, an Arkansas corporation, known as the Spring Pines Corporation, bought and developed land in the subdivision called Oak Ridge North. Geographically speaking, the area stretched from Oakwood Drive on the South to Woodson Road on the North and from Blueberry Hill (outside the development) on the East to Budde Road on the West. Inter­state Highway 45 cut through the area (North-South) with the major part of the subdivision being on the East side of this important link between Houston and Dallas. United Diversi­fied, Inc., took over the development in 1969. More acreage, North of Woodson Road, was added to the subdivision after Associated Properties (O. Dean Couch, President) became the main developer in 1971.

Many people were attracted to the beautiful wooded area featuring lower taxes and insur­ance rates than similar areas of Harris County, where the majority earned their living. Oak Ridge North lies within the Conroe Indepen­dent School District, which has a very good reputation. This was another reason families chose to live and raise their children in Mont­gomery County.

As the city of Houston grew, it started to annex more and more land around it to enlarge its tax base. Some of the residents of Oak Ridge North began to worry about being swal­lowed by the Giant. There were some areas of Houston, annexed 20 years earlier, that still were without city services -but the City Fathers liked the tax money from those same areas. Would this be the fate of Oak Ridge North? A movement started in the Oak Ridge North Civic Club to find out if there was any interest in becoming an incorporated com­munity. It appeared most people were satis­fied with things the way they were. As the years went by Houston became even more aggressive in its annexation efforts. It annexed narrow strips northward along Interstate High­way 45 coming closer and closer to Montgom­ery County. When Houston’s E.T.J. (extra-territorial jurisdiction) reached Spring-Cypress Road, in North Harris County, the incorporation interest came alive in two South Montgomery County subdivisions, Oak Ridge North and Shenandoah Valley. The group spear heading the incorporation effort in Oak Ridge North consisted of Bill Blackshear, Fred Hajduk, Jack Eklof, Sheron Johnson, Cliff Stark, Bill Aulenbacher and Dorthy Christman. The proponents of incorporation felt it most important that “we protect ourselves against Houston” and the only way this could be done was either by becoming an incorporated com­munity or by being annexed by e. g. Conroe.  The city officials of Conroe declared that they had no interest in Oak Ridge North, released the area from its E.T.J. in order for Oak Ridge North to call an election to decide the issue. Geographically speaking, the proposed city would encompass the same area as the Oak Ridge Municipal Utility District: the Southern boundary going from the Highway East-South­East along Spring Pines Drive, including Basswood Court, along O.R.M.U.D’s drainage ditch to Maplewood Drive. The city would be the rest of the subdivision East of l. H. 45 up to Oak Ridge Elementary School. In an election, with low voter turnout, it was decided not to incorporate at this time. In Shenandoah Valley, on the contrary, the voters went to the polls on the same day and did decide to create a city of their own.

A time period of two years had to elapse before another incorporation election could be held. On January 20, 1979, the voters in the Oak Ridge Municipal Utility District once again were faced with the decision to incorporate or not. Houston was practically standing on the doorstep, with its E.T.J. already in Oak Ridge North, right to the border of the Utility District. This was really too close to home for most of the residents, who this time realized that it was now or never
if they wanted to have a say in the destiny of Oak Ridge North. The majority approved of incorporation and so the City of Oak Ridge North was born. The following residents worked very hard to inform their neighbors of the positive and negative sides of being an incorporated community: Jerry Bradford, Wayne Witwer, Bill Easton, Jerome Owens and Harry Tate.  The first officials of the City of Oak Ridge North were elected in April, 1979. They were:  G.W. (Bud) Roesler – Mayor; Charles Cooper – Marshall;  Bill Neill – Alderman; John Planchard - Alderman (Mayor pro tern); James A. Osina -  Alderman; W. Don Thacker – Alderman; Fred Wagner – Alderman.

Hired to serve as City Secretary was Sandy Coleman, as Treasurer Laura Spence, Building Administrator Veronica Hutton, as Judge Pat Ruffin (Justice of Peace in Precinct 3). Mrs. Ruffin serving until such time when the Coun­cil could appoint a City Judge. Marilyn Rod­gers was appointed Judge of the City of Oak Ridge North in the Spring of 1980.

The same persons are serving on the City Council in 1980 with the exception of Bill Neill, who did not seek reelection due to his heavy workload as Fire Chief of the Woodlands. His Council seat is now occupied by Veronica Hutton.


Organizations & Clubs in OaK Ridge North

South Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department

Women’s Auxiliary of S.M.C.V.F.O.

Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of America

Girl Scouts of America

Oak Ridge North Civic Club

Four Seasons Garden Club

Oak Ridge North Garden Club

Oak Ridge North Swim Club



Oak Ridge Baptist Church (SBC)

Oak Ridge Church of Christ

Spring House of Faith

Timer Ridge Presbyterian Church

Lord of Life Lutheran Church (LCA was located on the corner of Robinson Road and Patsy Lane, but relocated to the Woodlands in the late 1970’s.)


More on Oak Ridge North

OAK RIDGE NORTH, TEXAS. Oak Ridge North is on Interstate Highway 45 ten miles south of Conroe in southern Montgomery County. It originated in 1964 when Arkansas-based Spring Pines Corporation purchased a large tract of land two miles north of Spring Creek in the Charles Eisterwall Survey-patented in the mid-nineteenth century-and proceeded to build a subdivision. Interstate 45, which runs through the development, was completed just as the subdivision was launched and quickly became an axis for economic and population growth. During the late 1960s and early 1970s increasing numbers of Houstonians, attracted by the beautifully wooded site, its accessibility, and lower tax and insurance rates, began taking up residence in Oak Ridge North. United Diversified, Incorporated, took over the development in 1969, and Associated Properties Company, which added more acreage, became the chief developer in 1971. The community was incorporated in 1979 with an estimated population of 2,445 and elected a mayor and city council. By the late 1970s it had four churches. In 1994 it was served by four schools in the Conroe Independent School District. The town's growth, however, was brought to a halt by the energy-based regional recession of the 1980s, and in 1990 the population was estimated as 2,454.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Montgomery County Genealogical Society, Montgomery County History (Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1981). Barton A. Smith, The Role of The Woodlands in the Economic Development of Montgomery County (MS, Special Collections, Texas A&M University, 1990).

Charles Christopher Jackson


Link to City of Oak Ridge North


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Page Modified: 18 October 2016