Tomball in northwestern Harris County was platted in 1907 at a stop on the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway, built in two phases between 1902 and 1907 to link Galveston and Houston with Dallas and Fort Worth. The town was named for former U.S. congressman Thomas H. Ball, a Houston corporate lawyer and real estate investor. Tomball was the market town for area farm families, many of German descent. In 1933 the Humble Oil and Refining Company brought in the Tomball Field and Tomball was incorporated as a municipality. By the early twenty-first century, despite its twenty-eight-mile distance from downtown Houston, Tomball is part of metropolitan Houston.
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