The original settlers to the area now called Tomball began arriving from Europe in the mid-1800s filled dreams, hope for a better life, and a desire for true freedom in a new home.
These pioneers were pleased to find the thick, lush forests around Spring Creek to be much like the Black Forest of Germany and prime property for a soon-to-come lumber industry. They also found the rich soil throughout the area to be perfect for farming and livestock.
Just after the turn of the 20th Century this simple railroad stop and surrounding community was named Peck, but soon that all would change. In ceremonies held on December 2, 1907 at the now historic downtown depot, Peck was renamed Tomball in honor of the man responsible for routing the railroad and its operations through the small town . . . his name was Thomas Ball.
Thomas Ball was a lawyer for the Trinity & Brazos Valley Railroad, a former congressman, practice law in Houston, was three-time mayor of Huntsville, Texas and is known as the “Father of the Port of Houston”. By turning the sleepy town into a vibrant rail center, Ball virtually ensured the growth that would follow for years to come.
As the city continued to grow over the next 25-years, residents had little idea of the economic boon that was about to gush into their lives. On May 27th, 1933 the Humble Oil Company struck oil southwest of town earning Tomball the nationally recognized nickname of “Oiltown USA”. Humble Oil Company, now known as Exxon, and more than 20 other energy companies worked the fields around the City for many years producing more than 100 million barrels of oil and 316 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
In the decades to follow Tomball has continued to grow into an economically diverse and prosperous community near to the big city while retaining its small town history and hometown sensibilities.