Katyil is a rural locality away from the main road (Borung Highway) between Dimboola and Warracknabeal, in the Mallee region of north-west Victoria. It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word which referred to a waterhole.
The name was first given to the parish, which was surveyed for farm selections in about 1875. Most of the settlers came from the German Lutheran tradition, which had split into the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Victoria and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia. They established their respective Trinity and St Martin's churches at Katyil in 1882. The latter opened a school in about 1891. There had been an earlier Lutheran church (1874) at Kornheim, near Dimboola.
Many German farm settlers came from South Australia, and Hamilton and Portland, Victoria. Their main farm output was wheat. The Katyil hamlet at about the turn of the century had a blacksmith, a wine saloon, a post office, the two churches, the school and a water supply reserve (probably the site of the waterhole which inspired the place name). Despite the anti-German attitudes during World War I the churches and the school continued. The school was briefly run by the State education department during 1940-47, and reverted to Lutheran administration until 1958. Pupils then transferred to Dimboola's Lutheran school. A State-run school reopened in 1962, closing in the early 1980s. The churches finally amalgamated in 1965 as St Paul's, Katyil.
Katyil's census populations have been:
Anne Longmire, Nine creeks to Alacutya: a history of the Shire of Dimboola, 1985
Charles Meyer, Nurseries of the Church: Victoria's Lutheran schools, then and now, the author, 1996
R.T. Schuller, So this was Katyil, 1876-1982, the author?, 1982