LAKES AND TIMBER
Willis became a community when the Great Northern Railroad decided to run a track from Houston to Chicago, and the Willis brothers donated their land in 1870 to the railroad. Willis grew in population after the trains began to travel through the town. An early cash crop was tobacco. Other cash crops that were important to the economy of the emerging town were cotton, watermelons, and tomatoes. The timber industry, which still plays a role in Willis' economic growth, has been its most stable economic engine for over one hundred years.
One of Willis's present-day advantages is having easy access to Lake Conroe, the Sam Houston National Forest, Huntsville State Park, and golf courses.