Epps Island was a name given to a large grove of trees, mostly cottonwood, that grew in the vicinity of the junction of FM 249 (West Mount Houston Road) and the West Montgomery Road. Island was a term frequently used in early days to designate large groves of trees on the prairie, usually offering shade and water to travelers.
As early as the Civil War, there was an established campground, or resting place, in the area known, or to be known, as Epps Island. The road from Huntsville to Harrisburg passed through Montgomery and Epps Island. During this early era, a family lived in the eastern edge of the “island” and had a large peach orchard on the edge of the prairie. Many believe, though not historically verified, that this was the Epps family that gave the island its name. Old-time residents remember their fathers and grandfathers talking about the old house and orchard in Epps Island.
The West Montgomery Road, as it was known even before the age of the automobile, passed over Cypress Creek near the present crossing, and over Green’s Bayou near the generating plant of the Houston Lighting and Power Company. Green’s Bayou offered the last shade until the travelers reached Epps Island, some five or six miles south. The prairie was void of trees and was burned off each year to offer more grass. Many travelers of this area spoke of the tall trees standing in the Texas sun at Epps Island offering relief to those on their way to Houston.
Ancient transcripts at the Harris County Courthouse have no evidence or record of an Epps family owning the land, and it is believed that they may have “squatted” on it. This was a very common practice in early Texas history and was legal.
Epps Island was opened in August of 1973 with an enrollment of 399 students and 26 teachers. Today Epps serves approximately 800 students with a staff of about 93. The school mascot is a tiger and the school colors are red and white. School T-shirts are worn on Fridays.