Pattison is near the junction of Farm roads 1458 and 359, thirty miles west of Houston in southern Waller County. It was named for James Tarrant Pattison, who purchased a large tract of William Heady's Mexican land grant in 1839 and built his plantation house on a hill. Pattison's plantation was a stage stop at the intersection of the Atascosito Road and the San Felipe Trail and included a gin, a gristmill, a sawmill, and a race track for the local gentry's favorite sport. According to Pattison family lore, the name of the town was the result of a horse race: Pattison and a rival plantation owner matched their favorite horses for the winner's privilege of naming the proposed town after himself. The George Parker Church, established in 1854 and named for its first minister, was also located in the vicinity of the present town. The town was organized in 1877, when three of Pattison's children granted the Texas Western Narrow Gauge Railroad a right-of-way through their property and donated additional land for a turntable and townsite. The preexisting community of Pine Grove, centered around Edwin Waller's general store and post office and already a supply point for the surrounding rich agricultural area by 1873, soon moved to the railroad terminus on the Pattison plantation. The new post office was first called Patterson's Station (1879), then Patterson (1883). The name of the railway stop, however, was always Pattison, and the post office finally took that name in 1916. The railroad, which primarily shipped cotton to Houston, opened for traffic in August 1878, and the town flourished. German, Jewish, and Armenian entrepreneurs contributed to the town's development. By 1883 a population of 250 made Pattison the second largest community in Waller County. Thirteen years later the town had five cotton gins, a steam gristmill, seven general stores, two doctors, and a population of 500. Germans, the predominant immigrant group, founded the German Methodist Church in 1875 and Christ Lutheran Church in 1890. Anglo-Americans organized Pattison Methodist Church in the early 1880s. Itinerant black ministers held frequent camp meetings at Pattison, where Mount Calvary Baptist Church was founded in 1889. The town's first public school opened in 1881, and by 1892 Pattison was headquarters for a school district that included Pattison Negro School.
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