‘Our Town:’ Alief was once called something else

Alief started out as a town of about 25 in the early-to-mid 1880′s.

Back then, the place, now neatly tucked west of the Sam Houston Tollway, was well outside of Houston by available conveyances.

And it was called “Dairy,” because there was one.

But that name would not stick because it was too confusing with another town in Northeast Texas by the name of “Daisy.”

But Daisy was not to be. It vaporized off of maps 80-90 years ago.

And the town name “Dairy” went away even quicker than that.

According to the Alief Super Neighborhood Council, in 1896, Alief Ozelda Magee (Morris, maiden name), became the postmistress of Dairy and a post office was established in her and her husband’s home. Alief Magee’s husband was the area’s dentist.

By 1897, the area was already being called Alief, to avoid the aforementioned confusion.

Alief Magee died in 1899, and her burial plot, once moved, now stands at the corner of Dairy Ashford and Bellaire Blvd. in old Alief cemetery.

“It’s just pretty amazing to still have that,” Natali Hurtado, Executive Director of the International Management District, a taxing entity that seeks to serve and unite Alief’s diverse population through community improvement projects.

“It’s booming. It’s grown a lot,” Johnny Vo, a frequent customer at Lee’s Sandwich Shop, said while playing a round of Xianqi, or Chinese Chess.

One of the hallmarks of the area is “Little Saigon”, a bustling commercial district along Bellaire Boulevard just outside of the Sam Houston Tollway.

Alief may be the most ethnically diverse corner of an already ethnically diverse city.

According to figures from the City of Houston’s Planning and Development Department, in 2019, the Alief Super Neighborhood was comprised 112,672 people. about three times more people than 20 years earlier.

According to the same census figures, the median household income in 2019 was $42,921 and 51% of the population self-identifies as Hispanic, a roughly 20% increase versus 20 years ago,19% of the population identified as “Non-Hispanic Asian”, a two percent decrease.

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