Tomball, Texas

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Tomball, Texas
City
Official seal of Tomball, Texas
Seal
Nickname(s): The Hometown with a Heart
Motto: "Tomball. Texan for Fun!"[1]
Location of Tomball, Texas
Location of Tomball, Texas
Coordinates: 30°5′56″N 95°37′8″W / 30.09889°N 95.61889°W / 30.09889; -95.61889Coordinates: 30°5′56″N 95°37′8″W / 30.09889°N 95.61889°W / 30.09889; -95.61889
Country United StatesUnited States
State TexasTexas
Counties Harris
City Established December 2, 1907
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Mayor Gretchen Fagan
 • City Manager George Shackelford
Area
 • Total 11.9 sq mi (30.9 km2)
 • Land 11.8 sq mi (30.5 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 187 ft (57 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,753[2]
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 77375, 77377
Area code(s) 281, 713, 832
FIPS code 48-73316[3]
GNIS feature ID 1348633[4]
Website www.ci.tomball.tx.us

Tomball 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 census.[5] 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.[6]

City government[edit]

Position Official Notes
Mayor Gretchen Fagan Elected May 2007, Reelected 2010, 2013
Councilman, Position 1 F.S. "Field" Hudgins Elected May 2011
Councilman, Position 2 Mark Stoll Elected June 2009, Mayor Pro-Tem[7]
Councilman, Position 3 Rick Brown Elected May 2010
Councilman, Position 4 Derek Townsend Elected May 2009[8]
Councilman, Position 5 Preston Dodson Elected August 2010
City Manager George Shackleford July 12, 2010
Assistant City Manager Christal Kliewer Weber
City Attorney Scott Bounds
City Attorney Loren Smith
City Secretary Doris Speer
Fire Chief Randy Parr
Police Chief Robert Hauck June 2, 2008[9]
Director of Public Works David Kauffman
City Planner Rebeca Guerra June 11, 2012[10]

On September 7, 2010, the Tomball City Council voted down a proposal to make English the official language of the city, and it voted down a measure that would have forbidden illegal immigrants from owning and/or renting property and operating and/or owning businesses.[11]

History[edit]

Tomball Train Depot

Settlement began in the Tomball area in the early 19th century, where immigrants 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.[12][13]

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.[citation needed]

Tomball incorporated in 1933. Because of the 1933 incorporation, Houston did not incorporate Tomball's territory into its city limits.[14]

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.[citation needed] Today, the population within the city limits is up to 10,753, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Over 80 percent of all homes in the area were built since 1970.[citation needed]

Geography[edit]

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).[15]

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.[16]

Climate[edit]

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.[17]

Demographics[edit]

Tomball city limit sign located at the Harris County line on SH 249, showing the city's population in 2000

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 9,089 people residing 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[edit]

Tomball's sister city is Telgte, Germany. The two cities participate in foreign exchange student programs.[18] The high school also receives exchange students from other areas, such as Armenia.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Harris County operates a tax office at 101 South Walnut Street in Tomball.[19]

The North Harris County Regional Water Authority provides water services to Tomball, which is located in Voting District No. 2.[20] The Texas House of Representatives bill that created the water authority, HB 2965, was signed into law on June 18, 1999. On January 15, 2000 voters voted to confirm the creation of the authority in a special election.[21]

Over 1,000 autogyros in the world are used by authorities for military and law enforcement, but the first US police authorities to evaluate an autogyro are the Tomball police, on a $40,000[22] grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, together with city funds,[23] costing much less than a helicopter to buy ($75,000) and operate ($50/hour).[24][25] Although it is able to land in 40-knot (74 km/h; 46 mph) crosswinds,[26] a minor accident happened due to a wind gust.[27]

Transportation[edit]

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 must get permission from Houston to annex the airport.[28]

Healthcare[edit]

Tomball Regional Medical Center

The city is served by Tomball Regional Medical Center, located at 605 Holderrieth Boulevard. It is a full-service 357-bed facility hospital providing special expertise in cardiovascular disease, cancer care, emergency services, digital diagnostic imaging, physical rehabilitation, sports medicine, and comprehensive wound and lymphedema care.

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Tomball ISD Administration Office building located at the corner Cherry Street and West Main Street (FM 2920)

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

The district contains eight elementary schools (Tomball, Decker Prairie, Lakewood, Timber Creek, Creekside, Canyon Pointe, Willow Creek and Rosehill Elementary Schools).[29] The schools also include a bilingual program.[30] There are also four intermediate schools (Northpointe, Tomball, Creekside, Timbercreek, Beckendorf-closed down in 2009), two junior high schools (Tomball and Willow Wood Junior High Schools), and two high schools (Tomball High School and Tomball Memorial High School) within Tomball ISD.

Private schools[edit]

Concordia Lutheran High School (9-12) is a private school in Tomball. There are several private schools in surrounding areas in northwest Harris County such as St. Anne Catholic School (PK-8), Salem Lutheran School, Rosehill Christian School, Northwoods Catholic School,Covenant Academy, St. Edwards Catholic School, Rosehill Christian School (K-12), Trinity Lutheran School, Cypress Christian School(K-12), and Northland Christian School.

Colleges and universities[edit]

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.[31] Tomball is served by Lone Star College - Tomball, a member of the Lone Star College System.

Public libraries[edit]

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

Postal service[edit]

Tomball Post Office

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

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "http://www.tomballtoday.com/newsarchives/archivedetails.cfm?id=667 "City launches social media sites to reach out to tourists - Jul 21, 2011"
  2. ^ "http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48/4873316.html "Tomball, Texas Quick Facts U.S. Census Bureau" Census Bureau
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Tomball city, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Thomas H. Ball - Tomball, TX". Retrieved 2012-12-19.  (biography)
  7. ^ "http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2009/05/09/tomball_magnolia_potpourri/news/po_as_elections_5_13.txt "Runoff for seat 2 set in June" Tomball Potpourri
  8. ^ "http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2009/05/09/tomball_magnolia_potpourri/news/po_as_elections_5_13.txt "Townsend wins" Tomball Potpourri
  9. ^ "http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/tomball/news/5756582.html Tomball council approves police chief selection ," Houston Chronicle
  10. ^ "http://tribunenews.com/index.php/k2/edition-categories/top-news/item/194-tomball-welcomes-guerra-as-new-city-planner Tomball Welcomes Guerra as New City Planner," The Tribune
  11. ^ O'Hare, Peggy. "Tomball votes down housing ban on illegal immigrants." Houston Chronicle. September 7, 2010. Retrieved on September 8, 2010.
  12. ^ "History of City of Tomball"
  13. ^ Hudnall, Ken; Hudnall, Sharon (August 15, 2005). Spirits of the Border V: The History And Mystery of the Lone Star State 5. Omega Press. p. 454. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  14. ^ Lee, Renée C. "Annexed Kingwood split on effects." Houston Chronicle. Sunday October 8, 2006. A21. Retrieved on July 6, 2011. "Some of the area communities that incorporated as cities and escaped annexation by Houston:" Print version exclusively has the information cited; the information is not included in the online edition.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  16. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Tomball city, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ Climate Summary for Tomball, Texas
  18. ^ Tomball Sister City Organization
  19. ^ "Branch Office Locations." Harris County Tax Office. Accessed October 13, 2008.
  20. ^ "Voting District No. 2." North Harris County Regional Water Authority. Retrieved on April 25, 2009.
  21. ^ Home page. North Harris County Regional Water Authority. Retrieved on April 25, 2009.
  22. ^ Supgul, Alexander. Tomball Police Equipped with Gyroplane 22 March 2011. Accessed 13 September 2011.
  23. ^ Hauck, Robert S. Broadening horizons AirBeat Magazine July/August 2011. Accessed September 13, 2011.
  24. ^ ALEA 2011: Autogyro debuts in the sky over Texas 22 July 2011. Accessed September 13, 2011.
  25. ^ Hardigree, Matt. Flying the Police Aircraft of the Future, Wired (magazine) Video September 13, 2011. Accessed September 13, 2011.
  26. ^ Desmon Butts Houston Chronicle
  27. ^ "CEN14TA116" "Probable Cause" NTSB, April 23, 2014. Accessed: May 16, 2014.
  28. ^ "Tomball gets OK to annex airport / Legislation clears one hurdle in city's quest to buy Hooks." Houston Chronicle. July 5, 2007.
  29. ^ "Elementary Zones 2008-2009." Tomball Independent School District. Accessed September 13, 2008.
  30. ^ "Bilingual Zones 2008-2009." Tomball Independent School District. Accessed September 13, 2008.
  31. ^ "History." North Harris Montgomery Community College District. December 22, 2002. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.

External links[edit]