In 1916 Howard F. Smith, Sr. worked in the oil-services industry and formed the Howard Smith Company, which manufactured a patented well screen/filter that is installed at the bottom of oil, gas and water wells in order to prevent the consolidated formation sand from entering the well base. These screens became a standard for the industry which included all the major oil companies, water-well drilling contractors, and government entities throughout the world.
In 1977, the company used excess funds to enter the commercial real estate market in Houston, and it also formed another company to continue the manufacturing side of the business. Halliburton Company of Dallas purchased the manufacturing business in 1979. The proceeds of the sale of the manufacturing business have been used by the company to expand its commercial real estate portfolio and to diversify into other investments. The company originally formed by Howard F. Smith, Sr. is still a family-owned company managed by the founder’s grandson, Howard F. Smith, III.
In 2003 the company was re-structured, and HSC Realty, L.L.C. and multiple limited partnerships were formed. The various limited partnerships own shopping centers and undeveloped land in the Houston area.