Tomball - Texas History

Tomball's Mahaffey Family

Amos Mahaffey, Sr. brought his family to the area near Willow Creek, just Southeast of modern-day Tomball, in 1865.

His son Charles James Albert Mahaffey married Winnie Hobson in 1909. He farmed in the area of modern-day FM 2920 near Steubner Airline Road. Charles later was a postal delivery worker for the Hufsmith Post Office, and then for the Tomball Post Office, once the main postal service moved from Hufsmith to Tomball. Charles was on the Tomball-area school board, and was on the board that helped establish and build the first Tomball Hospital on the east side of Tomball, Texas.

Their son Charles Bryan “Charlie” Mahaffey was born on February 25, 1913 in Tomball, Harris County, Texas to Charles James Albert Mahaffey and Winnie Hobson. Charlie lettered in football at Baylor University. Charlie married LaNell Ruth Matthews from Waco in 1936 and began working for Humble Oil and Refining. After working in various locations for 15 years, they returned to Charlie’s hometown of Tomball, Texas. Charlie opened his own oil and gas lease brokerage and well promotion office in Tomball, retiring in 1971. Charlie was a past master of the Masonic Lodge. He also was instrumental in taking care of the Willow Creek Cemetery for many years. He worked as educational director and Sunday School director of several area Baptist churches. He passed away on January 29, 1993 in Tomball, Harris County, Texas

The Mahaffey family operated a general store at Texas and Commerce streets in Tomball. The infant in the picture, Hazel Elizabeth Mahaffey, was the first child born in Tomball.  The Mahaffey family, like many European families in the mid-1800s, moved to Texas looking for land and opportunity in the new state. Descended from Scottish settlers in Ireland, the Mahaffeys traveled to the United States in 1765, moving to Texas from Louisiana when land grants became available.

Family members still live in the area, although the last name has not survived due to name changes in marriage, said Justin Elbert, a descendent of the Mahaffey family. Mahaffey Road in Tomball, which connects Hufsmith-Kohrville Road and FM 2920, marks the route the family used to sell its goods. It also marks the site of the new Mahaffey Elementary School in Klein ISD, which opened this fall.

Amos Mahaffey Sr. moved his family by wagon in 1866 to the now-extinct Willow community near Willow Creek. The family grew cotton, corn and other crops on a homestead in the area now occupied by Klein Memorial Park cemetery on FM 2920. Amos Mahaffey Jr., who was 16 when his father died, later became the head of a family of eight children with his wife, Emma Harrison.

“They were the linchpin of the whole Willow Creek area,” Elbert said. Elbert is the great-great-great grandson of Amos Mahaffey Jr. Amos Mahaffey Jr.’s son Robert Oran Mahaffey opened a general store in the late 1800s off of Texas and Commerce streets in Tomball. In addition to selling general merchandise and farm produce, the two-story wooden building housed a blacksmith.

One story that has passed down through generations of the family tells how Amos Mahaffey Jr. rode two or more days to Houston to vote in elections, said Elbert’s grandmother Anne Barnes, who heard the stories from her grandmother, Elizabeth Mahaffey.  Barnes said her grandmother also related how her mother Emma Mahaffey once braved the Galveston Hurricane in 1900 when it reached Tomball to help a neighbor deliver a baby.  “She saddled up a horse, put on a cloak and a lighted lantern and forded Willow Creek to help,” 

Barnes said, The family lived in a three-room house, hand-hewn from cypress trees along Willow Creek, at a site near Mahaffey Road and FM 2920. “It’s kind of neat to live in the same neighborhood that your ancestors grew up in and drive by the house and say [to my kids], ‘That’s where your great-great-great-great-grandfather lived’.” Elbert said.

Barnes said she believes her ancestors would be proud to see the family name on the new elementary school. “[My grandmother] would be so proud and elated,” Barnes said. “Education was important to people like Grandpa [Amos] and he wanted his kids to go to school.”

Judges appointed for that short-lived Judicial County called Spring Creek County

Submitted by Kyle Stallones

This was from p.151 of the Compiled Index to Elected and Appointed Officials of the Republic of Texas 1835-1846 in the Texas State Library Archives.  

Crofts Mills post office – 1846-1848

Submitted by: Kyle Stallones

In the late 1840s, there was a Post Office near present-day Tomball called Crofts Mills post office, later changed to Spring Creek post office. The following excerpts (from Jim Wheat’s POSTMASTERS & POST OFFICES OF TEXAS, 1846 – 1930 on Rootsweb) show the postmasters there.  The map (excerpt from the 1853 de Cordova map from the Library of Congress) shows where it was located (apparently just South of where the current SH 249 crosses Spring Creek).  I searched the red book (Lessie Upchurch’s Welcome to Tomball) and the orange book (Tomball Diamond Jubilee), and did not find any other information.   

1989’s Pioneer Heritage Day at the Tomball Museum

Pamplet Submitted by: Pamela Steiner

The Establishment of Spring Creek County