The Stockdick Family
Adam Henry Stockdick received a Teacher’s First Class Certificate on August 28, 1886 in Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa. Three of his sons were among the nearly 20 students he taught in their small hometown. But Adam was also a farmer and found it difficult to support his family on just a teacher's salary. This struggle is what would eventually bring the family to Texas.
The establishment of Texas roots for the Stockdick family began in 1895. Adam arrived in the Cane Island area after traveling from Plano, Iowa to look for a better future for his wife and six children. He purchased affordable farmland in the Cane Island area and began selling real estate. Adam went on to become the land man, assisting to establish the railroad that was being built. While getting settled, his wife Ellmira Young Stockdick became ill and died and Adam suddenly found himself a widower and in need of building a home and a new life for himself and his six children.
When the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad selected Cane Island as a site for a depot, the name Katy was chosen and used for the post office application. The Katy area post office was approved by the State of Texas in January 1896. It was at that time that Adam brought his five sons, Edward C., Charles H., William Chester, Elmer G., and Roy who later died, to Katy in order to help their father and establish their lives on the Katy prairie. His daughter remained with relatives in Iowa.
Life in a developing town was very hard. But as an educator, Adam was well versed in writing advertisements and letters. He began an advertising campaign in newspapers around the country, and would provide families inquiring about the Katy area with a personal account of what a great place Katy was to live and farm. Soon, those who had the courage began to flock to Katy to find their American dream. Even then, the area was known for its diverse culture and rich heritage. As settlers started to arrive, Adam personally applied for and received approval to begin two of the original area schools. The first one was built in 1895 and the town school was built in 1898 on the site where Katy Elementary sits today.
The Stockdick School was built in 1914 at the corner of Stockdick and Peek Road. Each country school location was carefully chosen, the land acquired and the buildings were built for the education of all children. Country schools continued to operate for years after the Katy Independent School District was formed in 1919. The Stockdick School consolidated with Katy Independent School District in 1931, ending the era of unincorporated schools, but not the involvement of the Stockdick family in education.
From teaching, supporting and running some of the local schools, to several sons serving as trustees for the school board, education was, and continues to be, very important to the family. As of 2014, it is estimated that Stockdick family members have a combined total of 1,027 years of service in the field of education. Of those, 178 years were spent teaching in Katy ISD with 43 years in administration and 42 years on the Katy ISD School Board. Their commitment to and development of an area where families wanted to live, work and raise their own families helped to make Katy Independent School District the educational leader that it is today.
The Stockdick family has seen Katy grow from its early days as a new settlement to the sprawling and thriving city it is today. They have witnessed the building of the railroad, drought and hurricanes like the Great 1900 Storm that destroyed much of Galveston. They’ve seen tragedy in fever and disease, farm accidents, crop failures, and prairie fires.
They experienced the life changing inventions of electricity and telephones, to cars, farm machinery and technology. They lived in times when a community was completely dependent on its people to survive and they now reflect on the importance of us all working together after a tragedy to remain strong.
To this day, the Stockdick family continues to call Katy their home. There are fifth and sixth generation children attending Katy ISD schools, teaching in classrooms, volunteering in schools and in the community. The Stockdicks have been a part of the Katy legacy in every sense of the word.
After 122 years, Stockdick family members continue to love and nourish the community they call their own. Katy is full of promise and progress, and the historic stories and lessons about this family are ones of strength, will, focus, respect and faith in others that has lent itself to the foundation of the Katy ISD legacy.