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Tomball, Texas

Coordinates: 30°5′56″N 95°37′8″W / 30.09889°N 95.61889°W / 30.09889; -95.61889
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Tomball, Texas
Official seal of Tomball, Texas
"Tomball. Texan for Fun!"[1]
Location in Harris County and the state of Texas
Location in Harris County and the state of Texas
Coordinates: 30°5′56″N 95°37′8″W / 30.09889°N 95.61889°W / 30.09889; -95.61889
Country United States
State Texas
City EstablishedDecember 2, 1907
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorLori Klein Quinn
 • City ManagerDavid Esquivel
 • Total13.09 sq mi (33.91 km2)
 • Land13.01 sq mi (33.69 km2)
 • Water0.08 sq mi (0.22 km2)
Elevation187 ft (57 m)
 • Total12,341
 • Estimate 
 • Density905.51/sq mi (349.62/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
77375, 77377
Area code(s)281, 346, 713, 832
FIPS code48-73316[4]
GNIS feature ID1348633[3]
State highways

Tomball (/ˈtɒmbɔːl/ 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 12,341 at the 2020 U.S. census.[5][6] 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.[7]


Tomball Train Depot

European settlement began in the Tomball area in the early 19th century, where newcomers 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.[8][9]

In 1913, Baptist minister J.H. Gambrell, president of the Anti-Saloon League, urged his fellow prohibitionists to unite behind a Democratic candidate for governor. Ball was their man.

His opponent in 1914 was the wily James E. Ferguson, the candidate of anti-prohibitionist "Constructive Democrats." Ferguson's platform was short and to the point: "Whereas, I, James Ferguson, am as well qualified to be Governor of Texas as any damn man in it; and Whereas, I am against prohibition and always will be; and Whereas, I am in favor of a square deal for tenant farmers: Therefore, be it resolved, that I will be elected."

Ball, the teetotaling man of rectitude, might have won, but Ferguson's men visited Tomball and found to their delight that the rough and ready railroad town was no "saloon-less world." They brought back photos of Tomballians staggering out of at least four saloons ("shot of whiskey 10 cents, schooner of beer a nickel") and also discovered houses of ill repute doing a "brisk business" near the depot. The Ferguson campaign plastered the state with photos of a town named for a prohibitionist, where little, it seemed, was prohibited.

Ferguson also wondered why, if Ball was a teetotaler, he was a member of the Houston Club. As Texas historian James Haley tells the story, the man whose campaign slogan was "Play Ball," played right into Ferguson's hands by responding, lamely, that he enjoyed the club's literary pursuits, whereupon Ferguson happily produced records showing that the club had recently spent $112 on reading materials and $10,483.15 for liquor. Tomball resigned from the race as a result and later stated "If they had not named that town after me I would have been the next governor of Texas"

Geophysical prospecting predicted the discovery of the Tomball Oil Field before the discovery well was drilled on 27 May 1933. Production was from the Cockfield Formation at a depth of about 5,000 feet (1,500 m). The discovery produced an oil boom with many oil companies subsequently showing interest in the area. By 1935, 2,750,000 barrels of oil had been produced from 200 wells. Humble Oil Company, struck a deal with the town through which they would provide water and natural gas free of charge to the residents in exchange for rights to drill on the land. This agreement lasted until 1988.[10][11][12]

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



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).[14]

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.[15]


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.[16]

Climate data for David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport near Tomball, 1981–2010 normals,[a] extremes 1888–present[b]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 84
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 61.5
Daily mean °F (°C) 51.5
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 41.4
Record low °F (°C) 5
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.55
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9 8 9 7 8 10 10 8 8 8 8 10 101
Source: NOAA (precipitation days 2000–2017 at Bush International)[18][19]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[20]
Tomball city limit sign located at the Harris County line on SH 249, showing the city's population in 2000
Tomball racial composition as of 2020[21]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[c]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 8,328 67.21%
Black or African American (NH) 833 7.13%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 27 0.22%
Asian (NH) 177 1.43%
Pacific Islander (NH) 12 0.1%
Some Other Race (NH) 50 0.4%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 430 3.47%
Hispanic or Latino 2,484 20.05%
Total 12,341

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 12,341 people, 4,516 households, and 2,678 families residing in the city.

At the 2019 American Community Survey, Tomball had a population of 11,778.[6] 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,[4] there were 9,089 people living in the city. The population density was 895.4 inhabitants 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.


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

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).[24] The schools also include a bilingual program.[25] 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.[26]

Private schools[edit]

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.[27] That year Joseph Noonan became the principal.[28]

Other private schools in the greater Tomball area include Step by Step Christian School established in 1982 https://www.stepbystepchristianschool.org/, 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.[29] 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.[30]

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.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Harris County operates a tax office at 101 South Walnut Street in Tomball.[32]

The North Harris County Regional Water Authority form by State legislation as a taxing entity, which is located in Voting District No. 2.[33] 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.[34] It taxes the cities water customers, however it does not provide water services to Tomball, as Tomball has its own water supply.

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[35] grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, together with city funds,[36] costing much less than a helicopter to buy ($75,000) and operate ($50/hour).[37][38] Although it is able to land in 40-knot (74 km/h; 46 mph) crosswinds,[39] a minor accident happened due to a wind gust.[40]

Harris County Housing Authority (HCHA) operates The Retreat at Westlock, a public housing complex for seniors, in an unincorporated area away from the Tomball city limits, along Texas State Highway 249.[41] and near Farm to Market Road 1960. It has 166,762 square feet (15,492.7 m2) of space, and has 140 units. Residents may be aged 65 or older. The complex began taking occupants in May 2017, and completion was scheduled by fall 2017. Prior to the development of the complex, residents of area subdivisions expressed opposition to the addition of low income housing in their areas. The HCHA set a ban on visitors under age 62 from being present at The Retreat at Westlock for periods longer than three days each, due to the opposition from the surrounding areas; it is, as of 2017, the only HCHA property with this rule.[42]

The Harris Health System (formerly Harris County Hospital District) designated the Acres Homes Health Center for the ZIP code 77375. The designated public hospital is Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in northeast Houston.[43]

City government[edit]

Position Official Notes
Mayor Lori Klien Quinn Elected May 2022, Serving 1st Term
Mayor Gretchen Fagan Elected May 2007, Serving 4th Term (Councilwoman from 2004–2007)
Councilman, Position 1 John Ford Elected May 2017, Mayor Pro-Tem, Serving 1st Term
Councilman, Position 2 Mark Stoll Elected June 2009, Serving 4th Term
Councilman, Position 3 Chad Degges Elected January 2014, Serving 2nd Term
Councilman, Position 4 Derek Townsend Elected May 2009,[44] Serving 4th Term
Councilman, Position 5 Lori Klein Quinn Elected May 2014, Serving 2nd Term
City Manager Vacant since 13 March 2021
Assistant City Manager David Esquivel, PE April 2018
City Attorney Loren Smith
City Secretary Doris Speer
Fire Chief Randy Parr
Police Chief Jeffrey Bert June 29, 2020
Director of Public Works Beth Jones, PE June 2018
Director of Community Development Craig Meyers, PE

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 undocumented immigrants from owning and/or renting property and operating and/or owning businesses.[45]

Postal service[edit]

Tomball Post Office

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


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. Tomball Regional Medical Care is owned by HCA Healthcare Inc.


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.[46]

Notable people[edit]

Sister city[edit]

Tomball's sister city is Telgte, Germany. The two cities participate in foreign exchange student programs.[47] The high school also receives exchange students from other areas, such as Armenia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. ^ Official records for the entire Houston area were kept at the Weather Bureau in downtown Houston from July 1888 to May 1969, and at George Bush Intercontinental Airport since June 1969.[17]
  3. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[22][23]


  1. ^ "http://www.tomballtoday.com/newsarchives/archivedetails.cfm?id=667 Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine "City launches social media sites to reach out to tourists - Jul 21, 2011"
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Tomball, Texas
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Tomball city, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Tomball city, Texas". www.census.gov. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  7. ^ "Thomas H. Ball - Tomball, TX". Archived from the original on June 17, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012. (biography)
  8. ^ "History of City of Tomball". Archived from the original on May 28, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  9. ^ Hudnall, Ken; Hudnall, Sharon (August 15, 2005). Spirits of the Border V: The History And Mystery of the Lone Star State. Vol. 5. Omega Press. p. 454. ISBN 9780962608797. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  10. ^ Hlavaty, Craig (2017). "The quirky story behind the discovery of oil in Tomball in the 1930s". chron.com. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  11. ^ Olien, Diana; Olien, Roger (2002). Oil in Texas, The Gusher Age, 1895-1945. Austin: University of Texas Press. p. 213. ISBN 0292760566.
  12. ^ Eby, J. (1949). Nettleton, L.L. (ed.). The Geophysics of the Tomball Oil Field, Harris County, Texas, in Geophysical Case Histories, Volume 1=1948. Society of Exploration Geophysicists. pp. 95–104.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Tomball city, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  16. ^ Climate Summary for Tomball, Texas
  17. ^ ThreadEx
  18. ^ "Data Tools: 1981-2010 Normals for Hooks Memorial Airport". National Centers for Environmental Information. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  19. ^ "NOWData: Monthly Summarized Data for Bush Intercontinental Airport". National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  22. ^ https://www.census.gov/ [not specific enough to verify]
  23. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  24. ^ "Elementary Zones 2008-2009[permanent dead link]." Tomball Independent School District. Accessed September 13, 2008.
  25. ^ "Bilingual Zones 2008-2009[permanent dead link]." Tomball Independent School District. Accessed September 13, 2008.
  26. ^ TOMBALL ISD Texas Education Agency. Accessed April 27, 2021.
  27. ^ Peyton, Lindsay (January 16, 2015). "St. Anne Catholic School plans for 30th anniversary". Houston Chronicle. The Spring Observer. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  28. ^ "St. Anne Catholic School welcomes new principal, 335 students". Houston Chronicle. The Potpourri. August 24, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  29. ^ "About - Cypress Christian School". www.cypresschristian.org. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  30. ^ "Texas private school arming administrators with guns". Fox News. February 28, 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  31. ^ "History." North Harris Montgomery Community College District. December 22, 2002. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  32. ^ "Branch Office Locations Archived 2008-04-04 at the Wayback Machine." Harris County Tax Office. Accessed October 13, 2008.
  33. ^ "Voting District No. 2 Archived 2007-08-12 at the Wayback Machine." North Harris County Regional Water Authority. Retrieved on April 25, 2009.
  34. ^ Home page. North Harris County Regional Water Authority. Retrieved on April 25, 2009.
  35. ^ Supgul, Alexander. Tomball Police Equipped with Gyroplane 22 March 2011. Accessed 13 September 2011.
  36. ^ Hauck, Robert S. Broadening horizons[permanent dead link] AirBeat Magazine July/August 2011. Accessed September 13, 2011.
  37. ^ ALEA 2011: Autogyro debuts in the sky over Texas 22 July 2011. Accessed September 13, 2011.
  38. ^ Hardigree, Matt. Flying the Police Aircraft of the Future, Wired (magazine) Video September 13, 2011. Accessed September 13, 2011.
  39. ^ Desmon Butts Houston Chronicle
  40. ^ "CEN14TA116" "Probable Cause" NTSB, April 23, 2014. Accessed: May 16, 2014.
  41. ^ "Our Properties." Harris County Housing Authority. Retrieved on January 1, 2019. "The Retreat at Westlock Address: 24055 SH 249, Tomball TX 77377"
  42. ^ Hill, Glynn A. (June 27, 2017). "Harris County Housing Authority set to open senior facility in Tomball". The Potpourri (Tomball Edition) at the Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  43. ^ "Clinic/Emergency/Registration Center Directory By ZIP Code". Harris County Hospital District. November 19, 2001. Archived from the original on November 19, 2001. Retrieved April 8, 2021. - See ZIP code 77375. See this map for relevant ZIP code.
  44. ^ "http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2009/05/09/tomball_magnolia_potpourri/news/po_as_elections_5_13.txt "Townsend wins" Tomball Potpourri
  45. ^ O'Hare, Peggy. "Tomball votes down housing ban on illegal immigrants." Houston Chronicle. September 7, 2010. Retrieved on September 8, 2010.
  46. ^ "Tomball gets OK to annex airport / Legislation clears one hurdle in city's quest to buy Hooks." Houston Chronicle. July 5, 2007.
  47. ^ Tomball Sister City Organization

External links[edit]