Located near Katemcy Creek off U.S. Hwy. 87 about halfway between Brady and Mason, the community of Katemcy (and the creek) was named after a Comanche chief named Ketemoczy who signed a treaty with John O. Meusebach in 1847 near the town’s current location. Meusebach was the founder of Fredericksburg and notable for his success in making peace with the Comanches.
Lured by cheap land and plentiful water, settlers arrived and built a community along the creek. By the early 1800s, the town was well established and included a sawmill, gristmill, and cotton gin built by brothers John, Elias, and Alfred Cowan, the latter of whom ran the general store and served as the town’s first postmaster. The church pictured above was either the Friendship Baptist Church or the Methodist Church (confirmation needed). At its peak in the early 1920s, Katemcy was an active community on the San Antonio-San Angelo highway. Its population of nearly 150 was supported by two blacksmith shops, two general stores, two doctors, three churches, and a school with three teachers.
Largely an agricultural community, Katemcy began to decline in 1925 due in part to two economic impacts. The increased use of tractors on Central Texas farms enabled the farming of larger tracts of land and resulted in higher yields per acre. This led to decreased reliance on small-acreage tenant farmers. Additionally, as consolidated school districts were created, small-town schools became less necessary and were ultimately closed.