History of Katy

Small-Town Charm with Big-City Convenience

Katy was founded in 1896 as a town, but it was 50 years before it was recognized as a city. In the 1940s, there were problems. Road repair was unregulated, so many individuals repaired the streets in front of their businesses and homes. On a large scale, driving was often very dangerous. Katy had a lot of trash; it was everywhere. Local residents buried or burned trash, and fires were common. There were also no rules regarding animals, so livestock and pets sometimes roamed the streets.
Plans were drawn up for consideration of incorporating a municipality. Boundaries were determined by finding an area with a concentration of homes and businesses that could be managed by city services that didn't exist yet. An election to decide if Katy would become a city and who would assume the seats of mayor and two city commissioners was held in November 1945.
There were 47 votes in favor, and 19 votes opposed to the idea of creating a city. Nine residents ran for mayor, including one woman. Calvin Baird won with 18 votes, narrowly defeating T. B. Tucker who got 17 votes.
There were 25 candidates for commissioner, including most of those who also ran for mayor. Arthur Miller with 18 votes and Ed Romack with 14 votes assumed the two commissioner seats.
Over the next few months ordinances were approved creating the office of a City Marshall and a Health Officer, assessing a property and sales taxes, requiring permits, and granting franchises for new utility services.
The city elected to change to an alderman form of government, splitting into two wards and electing five aldermen in 1965.
Today, the City of Katy is a tiny part of the greater Katy area. Some area residents don't even know there is an actual city here or think it is nothing more than a namesake. But the city holds the historic roots that brought the early growth westward from Houston, and it was all started with only 66 votes…

Katy Heritage Park
Katy Heritage Park is home to five historic Katy structures and a beautiful bandstand. Our historic homes are decorated with period-appropriate historical items. Enjoy these homes that have been in Katy for over 100 years. Have a picnic and enjoy the shade in our gazebo. The park grounds are open from dawn until dusk.

MKT Railroad Museum 
Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Depot, which has been restored to serve at the Visitors Center. It is a central location for tourists and visitors to obtain information, brochures, and maps for the City of Katy and Katy businesses. The Katy Heritage Society Railroad Museum inside the Depot displays many original elements and explains how the Depot operated as a passenger rail service in Katy until 1957. The Heritage Society’s red caboose is also located on the beautifully landscaped site with benches and a town clock.

Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum 
An old-fashioned broad-ax slashed binder-twine was used to officially open the 9,600-square-foot Katy Heritage Museum in 2002. Vintage farming equipment and artifacts from Katy’s agricultural and pioneering history are on display, along with scores of old photographs and fascinating antiques. Schools, clubs and groups can make arrangements for special tours.

You'll love Katy Mural
An iconic spot in town for photos, the mural features some of the most important landmarks and locations in Katy. The mural is painted on the side of the Katy Heritage Museum.

Katy Rice Dryers
At one time the now iconic landmark rice dryers processed rice for the 300 area farmers who harvested 75,000 acres of rice.