Jonathan Edward Pierce and Abel Brown Pierce hired land developer Burton D. Hurd to sell off 9,000 acres of their ranch lands in 1908. The agreement with Hurd called for the development of a town that would include a college and a port on Trespalacios Bay. Advertising the venture in newspapers of northern states, Hurd promoted the area's mild climate and promising farming opportunities. A number of families relocated to Collegeport to purchase land, establish farms, and build new homes.
The Gulf Coast University of Industrial arts, the college promised by the town's developer, opened in 1909. Served by the Missouri Pacific (MoPac) Railroad, Collegeport grew quickly and by 1912 included a bank, post office, school, two churches, retail stores, and other commercial businesses. It boasted the county's first free public library, its first Boy Scout troop, and the Women's Club, founded in 1910.
In 1914 a heavy freeze killed most of the farmers' crops. The following year the area experienced a drought and a disease which devastated the livestock herds, causing many families to move away. The railroad depot, known as Mopac House, was dismantled and rebuilt as part of the public library in 1935.