Katemcy is on Katemcy Creek and Farm Road 1222 a mile east of Interstate Highway 87 in northern Mason County. According to some sources it was originally named Cootsville, after Andy Coots, an early settler. Its current name is taken from that of Comanche chief Ketemoczy, with whom John O. Meusebach is said to have signed a treaty near the town's current site in 1847. Legend has it that the first settler in the area was a man named Burnett, who had driven several hundred hogs there to feed on the plentiful acorns and pecans in the vicinity. Early settlers, most of them Anglo-Americans, began building south along the creek by 1874, and by 1880 the town was fairly well established. Among the earliest settlers was the Cowan family, whose farm at Devil Springs was near the site of a former Indian camp, as indicated by the numerous artifacts found in the area. William Flemon Cowan, a doctor, and his wife, Mary Ann, a midwife, provided medical service to the early community. Three brothers, John, Elias, and Alfred Cowan, built a sawmill, gristmill, and cotton gin on the east bank of the creek. Alfred Cowan also operated the first store and became the first postmaster when the post office was opened in 1884. He supposedly suggested Hammerville as a name for the town because of all the building going on at the time, but the post office responded that there were already too many towns ending in ville and asked that another name be chosen, so the town was named Katemcy.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Alice J. Rhoades | © Texas State Historical Association
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