KATY (Covering Katy News) – Katy Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved the name of the District’s newest high school. It will be called Jordan High School, after the Jordan family. Katy ISD’s ninth high school is currently being built in the southwest quadrant of the District in the Cross Creek Ranch subdivision. As one of the first pioneering families in the community, the Jordan family set out to create a better future and a secure farming homestead in Katy.
In 1913, Henry Elmer “Hank” Jordan and his wife, Olga, left Kansas and moved their growing family to Katy, Texas, to begin farming their homestead, just north of what is now known as the City of Katy.
Five generations of Jordan family members have made contributions to Katy ISD and the community over the past century. Hank Jordan served as a school board trustee from 1932-1939. During his tenure, he was instrumental in obtaining the Katy Future Farmers of America (FFA) charter in 1932, building the first gym and securing two new buses in 1934, and beginning the first music program for students in 1935. In addition to his role as a farmer, rancher and bank manager, he also helped to establish telecommunication for the rural residents and farmers of the Katy prairie by working with the Fort Bend Telephone Company in the early 1950s.
Mr. Jordan’s oldest son, Chester, extended the family farming business southwest of town near the site of the new high school and junior high. He and his wife, Bess, started their life in Fulshear in 1936. Life on their ranch included barn dances, supporting the local FFA chapter and building bridges and roads that brought people together. Chester followed in his father’s footsteps by serving in Brookshire ISD as a trustee in 1946.
Chester’s brother, Melvin, was born on the north homestead (across from the Young Agricultural Sciences Center) in 1926. He is believed to be the oldest living male of an original farming family, as well as one of the last living students from the original Katy school. He has lived his entire life in the Katy community. Like his brothers, Leonard and Chester, Melvin was very active in FFA. His great grandson, Kaleb Dautrich is a third generation Katy FFA student, who went on to become a vice president of the Texas FFA in 2015. At 93 years of age, Melvin still resides near the original homestead and continues to raise cattle.
Melvin’s daughters went into education, teaching special education and speech. The sisters inspired several of Mr. Jordan’s great grandchildren to pursue teaching careers and serve the students of Katy ISD. Five of them were even honored as Teachers of the Year within the last decade. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, Katy ISD will have 11 Jordan family members teaching in the District.