Robert Wooster

FARMERS CANAL COMPANY. The Farmers Canal Company, also known as the Hankamer-Stowell Canal Company, was the first canal company to irrigate rice farms in Chambers County. Digging began in 1899, and the canal opened the following year. Water was pumped from Turtle Bay (now Lake Anahuac) into the canal, which traversed northern Chambers County to Stowell, where the company maintained its offices. The first president was F. W. Schwettman. By 1902 the canal watered some 10,000 acres of rice fields. Acreage increased until salt water began infesting Turtle Bay and seeping into the canal. Poor crops, declining markets, the continued problem of salt water, and the devastating 1915 hurricane (see HURRICANES) further hampered operations. After several temporary shutdowns, the Farmers Canal Company closed in 1925. The Devers Canal Company purchased most of the channels in 1927.

Jewel Horace Harry, A History of Chambers County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940; rpt., Dallas: Taylor, 1981).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Robert Wooster, "FARMERS CANAL COMPANY," accessed July 22, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox