The first tracks to touch Williamson County were in the eastern edge on the International and Great Northern lines which were to extend from Rockdale west to Austin. A station called Everett, located near the present Thorndale City Cemetary, was at the eastern border of Williamson County and this was the first section of the county reached by the rails. Convict labor under the direction of Thomas Cronin, then of Palestine, but later the owner of the railroad headquartered at Barlett, is said to have put down the tracks in record time. They reached five miles west of the eatern county line in the spring of 1876, where Seaborn and Rebecca Fincher Stiles and their family had settled in 1849. Jim E. and Frank N. Stiles in about 1870 purchased ten thousand acres of land in the area on which they developed extensive cattle and farming interests. The railroad built a spur to the StilesBrothers stock pens and a station stop known as Stiles Switch. At the turn of the century, when a post office was contemplated for the village, the name was changed to Thrall. This was at the suggestion of the Stiles family who were great admirers of Homer S. Thrall, a well-known Methodist minister-circuit rider-historian of Texas. Although its shipping facilities were in demand, the town itself remained a small rural community until well into the twentieth century, when the discovery of oil in the area led to Thrall’s spectacular growth.