Tomball is a city in Harris County and is part of the Houston metropolitan area. It was named after Thomas Henry Ball, who helped in routing the railroad for the community in the early 19th century when Tomball became an agricultural trade center for area farmers and ranchers. The city became popularly known as “Oil Town U.S.A.” when oil was struck west of town in 1933. The town was then incorporated and a couple of years later, an oil and refining company, now known as Exxon Company, U.S.A., made a contract with the city. The negotiation gave Tomball ninety years of free water and natural gas in exchange for drilling rights. The town was even featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not as being the only city with free gas and water without a cemetery. As expected, the number of residents instantly tripled. As of 2010, it has a population of 10,753.