A circan 1910 photo of Katy, Texas, which is 126 years old today. It was on January 23, 1896, that the Katy Post office opened. As late s the 1820s, Karankawa Indians hunted buffalo at the site where Katy is now situated. Present-day Fifth Street in Katy follows the course of the San Felipe Road. Which was opened to Austin’s colony in that decade. In 1836 Santa Anna used this road in his march toward San Jacinto.
The site of Katy today was in the 1839 land grant of Republic of Texas citizen James J. Crawford. In 1863 at their camp on San Felipe Road, 35 confederate soldiers died and were buried there. Cane Island, the original settlement, was known as a stagecoach stop.
Developers platted the Katy townsite after Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad (‘the Katy Line’) reached this point in 1895. The post office opened on Jan 23, 1896, in the postmaster’s mercantile store. In 1897 William Eule grew a rice crop initiating Katy’s first major industry. Euler’s son Fred dug an irrigation well for the rice fields in 1899. The fierce 1900 hurricane razed or damaged all improvements except two houses in Katy, but the town was soon rebuilt. Beginning in 1927, nearby petroleum developments enhanced the local economy.
When it was incorporated in 1945, the town had 849 people in 1950 and 3800 by 1970. The population today? Roughly 27,000. They play some pretty good high-school football there.