Katy is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Houston—Katy-Woodlands—Sugar Land metropolitan area. The city is located in Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller counties. The population was 14,102 at the 2010 census, up from 11,775 at the 2000 census. The population was estimated to be 16,158 in 2015.
First Bridge Over Cane Island Creek circa 1895
In the early 1800s Katy was known as “Cane Island”, named for the creek that runs through the area, a branch of Buffalo Bayou. The creek was filled with tall cane, not native to the area. It was presumed to have been planted by either the Karankawa Indians or Spanish explorers to aid in fur trapping until the 1820s.
In 1845 James J. Crawford received a land grant that included this area. The hot summers, thick clay soil made it difficult to attract settlers to the area. Crawford, Peter Black, John Sills and the families of former slaves Thomas (Mary) Robinson and Milto McGinnis were the only recorded residents of Cane Island in 1875.
In 1895, James Oliver Thomas laid out a town, and in January 1896 the town of Katy was named through Thomas’s post office application. The name “Katy” was derived from the MKT Railroad Company and was commonly referred to as “the K-T,” which was also its stock exchange symbol. This common designation soon evolved into “the Katy.
Katy Residents gather for a photo at Cane Island Creek Bridge in 1911.
Dr. James M. and Dove Stewart House, on the National Register of Historic Places.
The anticipations of prosperity would bring growth to the new town which was developed around the original train stop and railroad tracks. By the early 1900s many families had come by train and wagon to establish Katy. Cotton and peanuts and corn were the first successful crops, but rice soon became the primary commodity crop. Katy later became known for rice farming; the first concrete rice driers in the state of Texas were built here in 1944 and still stand as landmarks. The farming community well supported local businesses as several hotels, stores, livery stables and saloons were prospering.
On September 8th1900, the town’s early efforts were swept clean by the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest hurricane in US history. All but two of the original Katy homes were lost in the storm. Despite this, Cane Island rebuilt and continued to grow.
In 1945 the city of Katy was incorporated as a municipality. C. L. Baird was the first mayor. Boundaries were determined by finding the area that contained the most residents and was reasonably sized so that it could be managed by city services.
The construction and opening of Interstate 10 in 1966 allowed for rapid development of the area, as Houston expanded westward. This section was widened in 2008 to an average of 26 lanes, and in some areas 30 lanes total including 6 feeder and 4 HOV lanes for roughly 22 miles, making it the widest Freeway in the world. The population was 9,866 in 1988, 8,005 in 1990, 11,775 in 2000, and 15,591 in 2014. Currently Katy has grown to a population of well over 16,000 residents and almost 270,000 in the Greater Katy area. Katy has won national accolades for growth and sustainability. including the Gadberry Group naming Katy as one of “9 from 2009” most notable high-growth areas in the United States.
Several corporations are headquartered in areas surrounding Katy.
Igloo Corporation is headquartered west of Katy in unincorporated Waller County. Academy Sports and Outdoors has its corporate offices and product distribution center in unincorporated western Harris County.
BP America is headquartered in the Houston Energy Corridor and is the area’s largest employer, with 5,500 employees on its Westlake campus as of 2009. BP’s Katy operations include engineering and business support for much of BP’s onshore operations in the contiguous United States, as well as its operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
As of 2017 Amazon is building a I million-square-foot distribution center near the intersection of Highway 90 and Woods Road. “We are honored Amazon chose Katy to be the location for their next fulfillment center, and we know the City of Katy will benefit from this relationship through increased job opportunities for our residents and their support of local Katy businesses,” said then Katy Mayor Fabol Hughes during the local announcement.
With the economy improving after 2009, retail centers were developed throughout Katy to accommodate the rapid residential growth. The major retail growth is taking place along Katy Fort Bend Road near the east entrance to the Katy Mills shopping mall. In August 2010, H-E-B Food & Drug opened a new UP format store at 1-10 and Pin Oak. In July 2013, Costco announced that it would open a store at the southwest corner of Grand Parkway and I- 10 in 2014, Construction began in August 2013. The new store was planned for completion by early spring 2014 and would be Costco’s fourth Houston-area location.
The Katy Area Economic Development Council serves as the economic development organization for the area. Founded in 2003, the Katy Area Economic Development Council’s.
(Katy Area EDC) mission is to establish the Katy area as the premier location for families and businesses through planned economic growth and economic development. Since its inception, the Katy Area EDC has grown to over 210 members, has a budget of $900,000 and has assisted in the creation of over 16,200 jobs and more than $2.5 billion in capital investment. Katy Area EDC is a full-service private, non-profit, 501 (c) 6 economic development corporation.
Primary and secondary schools
People who live in Katy are zoned to schools in the Katy Independent School District.U5J While multiple Katy ISD schools have “Katy, Texas” postal addresses, only a portion are located in and/or serve the City of Katy city limits.
The elementary schools in the City of Katy are listed here:
- Zelma Hutsell Elementary School
- Katy Elementary School
- WoodCreek Elementary School
The following middle schools serve the City of Katy’s residents:
Katy Junior High School
- Katy High School, the oldest high school, is located nearest to the center city. Katy High School was established in 1898, and relocated to its present location in 1947.
- Katy ISD’s three alternative education schools (Martha Raines High School, Miller Career and Technology Center, and the Opportunity Awareness Center) are all located within the city.
- Aristoi Classical Academy is a charter school in Katy.
- Katy is served by the Houston Community College System. HCC Northwest College operates the Katy Campus in an unincorporated section of Harris County.
- The Bible Seminar offers non-denominational college-level Bible study and ministry training, including a graduate-level Master of Divinity degree. It also offers a Bible Certificate program for local church members and leaders.
- The University of Houston recently purchased the Verde Park Development site with plans to break ground on a Katy Campus at 110 and 99.
- The Cinco Ranch Branch Library is in Cinco Ranch, in Fort Bend County, south of Katy. 1231 The HCPL Maud Smith Marks Branch Library is in unincorporated Harris County, west of Katy.
WoodCreek Junior High School
The following high schools serve the City of Katy’s residents: