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 and 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, which was commonly referred to as "the K-T" (also its stock exchange symbol). This common designation soon evolved into "the Katy."
Katy is a city in the US State of Texas within the Greater Katy area, itself forming the western part of the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Homes and businesses may have Katy postal addresses without being in the City of Katy. The city of Katy is approximately centered at the tripoint of Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller counties.
First formally settled in the mid-1890s, Katy was a railroad town along the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad/ MKT which ran parallel to US 90 (today Interstate 10) into downtown Houston. The fertile floodplain of Buffalo Bayou, which has its source near Katy, and its tributaries made Katy and other communities in the surrounding prairie an attractive location for rice farming. Beginning in the 1960s, the rapid growth of Houston moved westward along the new Interstate 10 corridor, bringing Katy into its environs. Today, Katy lies at the center of a broader area known as Greater Katy, which has become heavily urbanized.
While largely subsumed into Greater Houston, the town of Katy is still notable for Katy Mills Mall the Katy Independent School District and its historic town square along the former right-of-way of the MKT railroad.
1. Katy is dissected by two major highways, breaking it into four quadrants. The two highways are Grand Parkway 99 (tollway to the north and free road (through Katy only) to the south), and Highway 10 running east and west. Below I will break down the four quadrants.
1. Old Katy - This is the the northwest section. Most people choose this area because it houses the lovely elementary school Katy Elementary. There is some new and old construction, along with some larger lots in Old Katy, as well as the Downtown area. In our local MLS, this area is referred to as, Old Towne, but do know, all the time I lived there, not one single person every called it that.
2. North - This section in our MLS is partly on the west side of Grand Parkway 99 (this is a new highway), but 4/5 of it is north of Highway 10 and east of Grand Parkway 99. There is a lot of newer development in this area, but many of the schools aren't on the top of the district's list.
3. Southeast - Just as its name portrays, this section can be found south of Highway 10 and east of Grand Parkway 99. It houses some of the most beloved and original to Katy's popularity, neighborhoods, including Nottingham Country and Kelliwood. This area does include part of Cinco Ranch, and one of my favorite areas Grand Lakes. The schools in this area are all favorites, especially Nottingham Country Elementary School. If you are looking for character with great schools, this might be area for you.
4. Southwest - This section can be found south of Highway 10 and west of Grand Parkway 99. The bulk of Cinco Ranch, along with many other new communities, can be found in this area. I would go as far to venture that this area of Katy, has fueled most of its growth in the last 10-15 years. Besides Cinco Ranch and Seven Meadows, other favorites include Cross Creek Ranch, Firethorne, Jordan Ranch, Tamarron, Falcon Ranch, King Lakes, The Reserve at Katy, Trails of Katy, Willow Creek Farms, Woodcreek Reserve, and Young Ranch. This section also houses the favorite schools that anyone moving to Katy is sure to love.