In central Montgomery County, Conroe was elected as the county seat in 1889. In 1881 Houston lumberman Isaac Conroe established a sawmill. The community took the name Conroe's Switch, in honor of the former Union cavalry officer who founded it, and within a decade the name was shortened to Conroe. A lumber boom beginning in the late 1800s in the Piney Woods of eastern and central Montgomery County attracted scores of settlers to Conroe. By 1892 the area had become a shipping center for lumber, cotton, livestock and bricks. By 1900 Conroe was Montgomery County's largest community.