Timothy Nolan Smith

CROSBY, TEXAS. Crosby is on Farm Road 2100 near the Southern Pacific tracks two miles north of State Highway 90 and just outside the Houston city limits in eastern Harris County. The town was named for G. J. Crosby, a railroad construction engineer. Charlie Karcher opened the first store there in 1865, and the town quickly became a retail and shipping center for lumber and agricultural products from between the San Jacinto River and Cedar Bayou. A post office opened at the community in 1877, and in 1884 Crosby reported a population of fifty, a school, a Baptist church, and a general store. By 1891 it still had fifty inhabitants, as well as a Methodist church, two livestock stables, and a general store. Local legend reports that the community had received the nickname Lick Skillet by 1898. In 1905 it had one school with four teachers and 122 students. There were 300 people in Crosby in 1925 and 600 in 1929, when it became a banking center. Its population fell to 300 during the Great Depression but grew to 750 during World War II and then rose to 900, where it remained for most of the next twenty-five years. Crosby reported fifty businesses and a population of 2,500 in 1976. In the early 1990s Crosby reported 238 businesses and a population estimated at 1,888, though considerably more people lived in the area at that time. In 2000 the population was 1,714 with 455 businesses.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Timothy Nolan Smith, "CROSBY, TX," accessed July 23, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on!

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox