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Tomball, Texas
Official seal of Tomball, Texas
Seal
Nickname(s): 
The Hometown with a Heart
Motto(s): 
"Tomball. Texan for Fun!"
Location in Harris County and the state of Texas
Location in Harris County and the state of Texas
Country  United States
State  Texas
Counties Harris
City Established December 2, 1907
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
Area
 • Total 13.09 sq mi (33.91 km2)
 • Land 13.01 sq mi (33.69 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.22 km2)
Elevation
187 ft (57 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 10,753
 • Estimate 
(2019)
11,778
 • Density 905.51/sq mi (349.62/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
77375, 77377
Area code(s) 281, 713, 832
FIPS code 48-73316
GNIS feature ID 1348633

Tomball ( TOM-bawl) is a city in Harris County in the U.S. state of Texas, a part of the Houston metropolitan area. The population was 10,753 at the 2010 U.S. census and 11,778 in 2019. In 1907, the community of Peck was renamed Tomball for local congressman Thomas Henry Ball, who had a major role in the development of the Port of Houston.

History

Tomball TrainDepot
Tomball Train Depot

Settlement began in the Tomball area in the early 19th century, where settlers found an open, fertile land that received adequate rainfall—perfect conditions for farming and raising cattle. It was on a land granted in 1838 to William Hurd's heirs. In 1906 the area began to boom. Railroad line engineers often noticed that the Tomball area was on the boundary between the low hills of Texas and the flat coastal plains of the Gulf, making it an ideal location for a train stop. The railroad could load more cargo on each car, because the topography gently sloped toward the Galveston ports and provided an easier downhill coast. Thomas Henry Ball, an attorney for the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railroad, convinced the railroad to run the line right through downtown Tomball. Soon after, people came in droves to this new train stop. Hotels, boarding houses, saloons, and mercantile stores all began to spring up in the area. At first, people called the area Peck, after a chief civil engineer of the railroad line. However, on December 2, 1907, the town was officially named Tom Ball, later to be shortened to one word, for Mr. Ball.

While the boom of the railroad lasted less than a decade, the oil and gas industry began to leave its mark on the area. Oil probe instruments often indicated that oil was just underneath Tomball, especially after the Spindletop gusher in Beaumont. Although early exploration came up dry, the town remained a frenzy of activity for those who dreamed of oil. Undaunted by the challenges, the persevering spirit of Tomball's citizens proved rewarding when a drill hit a 100-foot (30 m) gusher of oil on May 27, 1933. Tomball, which people began to call "a floating island of oil", was immediately flooded with over two dozen oil companies, which drew thousands of workers and boosted the economy like never before. One major player, the Humble Oil Company, struck a deal with the town through which they would provide gas free of charge to the residents in exchange for rights to drill on the land. This agreement lasted until 1988, when the reservoirs began to be depleted.

Tomball incorporated in 1933. Because of the 1933 incorporation, Houston did not incorporate Tomball's territory into its city limits.

Tomball continued to grow over the years and hit its second major boom after World War II. People began to desire a more comfortable life, so the entire area saw a shift of Texans migrating from the "big city" to the countryside. In Tomball, people could escape some of the disagreeable qualities of the city, like high taxes, traffic, and crime, but still enjoy the closeness of jobs, culture, and entertainment. In the 1970s, Tomball's population again soared. The entire "Sun Belt" experienced a huge influx of residents who desired the affordable land and housing, nice weather, low taxes, and abundant job opportunities. Over the next 20 years, Tomball's population would increase from 16,000 people in the school district area to over 85,000 residents.

Geography

TomballMap
Map of Tomball

Tomball is located at 30°5′56″N 95°37′8″W / 30.09889°N 95.61889°W / 30.09889; -95.61889 (30.098905, -95.618899).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.9 square miles (30.9 km2), of which 11.8 square miles (30.5 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2), or 1.54%, is water.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Tomball has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1940 668
1950 1,065 59.4%
1960 1,713 60.8%
1970 2,734 59.6%
1980 3,996 46.2%
1990 6,370 59.4%
2000 9,089 42.7%
2010 10,753 18.3%
2019 (est.) 11,778 9.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
Tomball Pop9089
Tomball city limit sign located at the Harris County line on SH 249, showing the city's population in 2000

At the 2019 American Community Survey, Tomball had a population of 11,778. The racial and ethnic makeup of the city was 60.8% non-Hispanic white, 9.0% Black or African American, 0.1% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.7% Asian, 1.0% multiracial, and 29.5% Hispanic or Latin American of any race.

There was a median value of owner-occupied housing units at $211,700 and median gross rent was $1,072. Of the population, 14.3% of persons were at or below the poverty line in 2019.

At the census of 2000, there were 9,089 people living in the city. The population density was 895.4 people per square mile (345.7/km2). There were 10,009 housing units at an average density of 395.0 per square mile (152.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.73% White, 4.91% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 5.57% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.05% of the population.

There were 14,687 households, out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.3% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,787, and the median income for a family was $45,764. Males had a median income of $38,059 versus $26,799 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,331. About 4.5% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over.

Sister city

Tomball's sister city is Telgte, Germany. The two cities participate in foreign exchange student programs. The high school also receives exchange students from other areas, such as Armenia.

Transportation

The city of Tomball is primarily served by FM 2920 (Main Street) east to west and State Highway 249 (Tomball Parkway) north to south.

David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport, a general aviation airport, is located outside of the Tomball city limits in northwest Harris County. On June 27, 2007, the Texas State Legislature approved Tomball's request to annex Hooks Airport even though the airport does not border the Tomball city limits. Since the airport is in the city of Houston's extraterritorial jurisdiction, the city of Tomball had to get permission from Houston to annex the airport.

Postal service

Tomball PostOffice
Tomball Post Office

The United States Postal Service operates the Tomball Post Office at 122 N Holderrieth Blvd, 77375-9998.

Education

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Pupils who live in Tomball attend schools in the Tomball Independent School District.

The district contains eleven elementary schools (Tomball, Decker Prairie, Lakewood, Timber Creek, Creekside Forest, Creekview, Canyon Pointe, Willow Creek, Wildwood, Grand Oakes and Rosehill Elementary Schools). The schools also include a bilingual program. There are also three intermediate schools (Northpointe, Tomball Intermediate, and Oakcrest Intermedciate. Beckendorf-closed down in 2009), four junior high schools (Creekside Park, Tomball, Willow Wood and Grand Lakes Junior High Schools), and three high schools (Tomball High School, Tomball Memorial High School, and Tomball Star Academy) within Tomball ISD. They also have the Connections Academy which includes the 18+ program.

In 2019, the Texas Education Agency released the 2018-2019 accountability ratings for school districts across the state and Tomball ISD earned an overall "A" rating. TISD earned 92 of 100 possible points overall.

Private schools

Concordia Lutheran High School (9–12) is a private school in Tomball.

St. Anne Catholic School is a Pre-K–8 Catholic school of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Established in 1984, it originally held its classes at St. Anne Church; that year it had 16 Kindergarten students and 13 first grade students. It had had 380 students in 2015. That year Joseph Noonan became the principal.

Other private schools in the greater Tomball area include Rosehill Christian School (K–12), Salem Lutheran School, Cypress Christian School (K–12), and Great Oak School a Waldorf School (Pre-K–8). Cypress Christian, established in 1978, originally held its classes at Cypress Bible Church. It now has over 650 students. In 2018, Dr. Jeffery Potts joined CCS as Head of School. Dr. Potts was on the news for creating a School Marshall Program, where he armed teachers with guns at his previous school.

Colleges and universities

Lone Star College (originally the North Harris Montgomery Community College District) serves the community. The territory in Tomball ISD joined the community college district in 1982. Tomball is served by Lone Star College–Tomball, a member of the Lone Star College System.

Public libraries

A branch of the Harris County Public Library, located in Tomball College, is a joint project between the college and HCPL.

Notable people

  • Jenny Adams, track and field athlete
  • Jimmy Butler, NBA basketball player
  • Ray Collins, NFL defensive tackle
  • Brooke Daniels, Miss Texas USA 2009
  • Mike Eli, singer/songwriter of Eli Young Band
  • Clint Fagan, MLB umpire
  • Karlie Hay, Miss Teen USA 2016
  • Charlie Hayes, former MLB infielder
  • Ke'Bryan Hayes, MLB infielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Keith Heinrich, former NFL player
  • Chris Herrmann, MLB catcher
  • Pablo Huffaker, former monster truck driver, winner of the 2007 Monster Jam World Finals freestyle championship
  • Justin Jackson, NBA basketball player
  • Venric Mark, former college football player
  • Jimmy Needham, contemporary Christian musician
  • Chiney Ogwumike, WNBA player for the Los Angeles Sparks
  • Nneka Ogwumike, WNBA player for the Los Angeles Sparks and President of the WNBPA
  • Troy Patton, MLB pitcher
  • David Phelps, Southern Gospel tenor
  • Gary Porter, former quarterback and coach
  • Debbie Riddle, former member of the Texas House of Representatives
  • Dave Smith, former MLB pitcher
  • Valoree Swanson, member of the Texas House of Representatives
  • Nick Tremark, former MLB outfielder
  • Roger Vick, former NFL player
  • Sherron Watkins, former executive at Enron

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