Permanent settlement in what is now New Caney began in the 1860s. The area was first called Presswood for the pioneer family of Austin and Sarah (Waters) Presswood. The Presswoods came to Texas in 1862, purchased land in the area, and raised cattle on the open ranges. The family of John Wesley Robinson (1819-1903) also settled here in the 1860s and began farming, cattle raising, and cotton ginning operations.
When the Houston, East and West Texas Railway line was laid through Montgomery County in the 1870s, the community became a shipping point for livestock. It then was known for many years as Caney Station, named for the dense cane brakes growing along nearby creeks. In 1882, when a post office was established, the name New Caney was adopted.
Early industries in New Caney were confined chiefly to those that were necessary to carry on farming and cattle raising. As the timber industry began to flourish, however, mining props, used to support the earth along the side and roof of mining tunnels, were shipped out of New Caney.
The settlement and early history of New Caney are important reminders of the rich heritage of this part of East Texas and Montgomery County.