MOODY, TEXAS. Moody is an incorporated community at the intersection of State Highway 317 and Farm Road 107, ten miles from McGregor in McLennan County. It was established in 1881, when the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway built the section of track between Temple and Fort Worth; the community was named in honor of William Lewis Moodyqv, a director of the railroad company. The Moody community grew rapidly, drawing many of its early residents and business interests from nearby Perry, which had been bypassed by the railroad. The Moody post office was established in November 1881 with J. H. Morrison as postmaster. The first newspaper in the community, the weekly Monitor, began publication in 1883. By 1884 Moody had four churches, four cotton gins, two steam gristmills, a school, and 250 residents. It became the focus of an independent school district in 1889. By the early 1890s its population had increased to 800, and it had a variety of businesses, including a private bank (established in 1893). Residents of Moody voted to incorporate in 1901, choosing a mayor-council form of city government. The community population was reported at 848 in 1900 and at 943 in 1910; estimates were as high as 1,800 by the late 1920s. The number of residents began to decline during the Great Depression and had fallen to 931 by the 1940s. In the 1950s the population began slowly to increase. Topographic maps of the area dating from the 1970s showed a community with a substantial business district, seven churches, two schools, and several residential areas. Moody had a population of 1,385 in the 1980s and 1,329 in 1990. By 2000 the population was 1,400.
Dayton Kelley, ed., The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972). William Robert Poage, McLennan County Before 1980 (Waco: Texian, 1981). Vertical File, Texas Collection, Baylor University.