Even though Stafford, Texas, is known as a bedroom community of the greater Houston area, it is estimated that four times as many people work in Stafford on any given week day than actually live there, which is evidence of the large amount of commercial activity that helps the city of 20,000 financially.
The 7-square-mile city has gained national attention for its fiscal management and gratefully boasts Stafford as "The city with no property taxes!" The city has cultivated what many believe to be one of the strongest economies per capita in the state. With over two thousand businesses and 50,000 employees, the business community generates the resources for the city to function in the manner it does. Stafford's success comes from a mix of retail, commercial, manufacturing, wholesale, and service industries that bring in sales and franchise tax revenues. The once-agricultural community now has three major business parks, an upscale shopping center and 20 hotels and motels. Its largest employer is Texas Instruments with an estimated 1,500 employees.
William Stafford established a plantation with a cane mill and a horse-powered cotton gin in 1830. On April 15, 1836, during the Texas Revolution, the forces of Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana stopped at Stafford's plantation and ordered it to be burned. Stafford rebuilt his plantation and resided there until his 1840 death. A settlement called Stafford Point established itself around the plantation; it became a townsite in August 1853 when the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway began stopping at Stafford Point. Stafford Point had a post office from 1854 to 1869. Staffordville had a post office from January 5, 1869 to February 26, 1869. The settlement, now known as Stafford, operated a post office from 1869 to 1918; the post office reopened in 1929. In 1931 320 people lived in Stafford. This increased to 400 residents in 1946. Stafford incorporated as a city in 1956.