Native Americans lived for thousands of years in what is now called the Houston Wilderness region, stretching eastward from Lake Livingston to the Trinity River and westward beyond the Brazos. Along the northern border of League City, a midden site on Clear Creek reveals human occupation during the Paleo-Indian period beginning around 9000 to 8000 BC. It is the earliest shell midden discovered and recorded in Southeast Texas. Archaeologists have determined that the site continued to be occupied seasonally until the early sixteenth century.
The last Native American group to use the Clear Creek midden site belonged to the Akokisa (or Orcoquisac) tribe, who ranged from Galveston Bay north to present-day Conroe. They were an Atakapa-speaking people ancestrally related to the Atakapa tribes that dwelled to the east in Louisiana.
The name Akokisa is thought to mean “river people.” They were hunters and gatherers who moved seasonally with food supplies. From October to the end of February, these Indians lived on the barrier islands where they spearfished and collected oysters and bird eggs. During the spring and summer they moved inland to camps along the shores of rivers and creeks where they gathered roots and berries and hunted game with bows and arrows. For shelter, they built structures on accumulated mounds of discarded clamshells, lined with willows and covered with mats and skins.
By the early eighteenth century, the Atakapa tribes possessed horses, which enabled more proficient hunting of deer, buffalo, and bear to trade with the French residing in East Texas. However, disease and war with westward-moving Anglo-Americans severely decimated the number of native peoples of southeast Texas. By the early nineteenth century, only scattered camps remained made up of occupants of several different tribes.