Southlake lies within the Eastern Cross Timbers, and it was the ecosystem’s dense forests and abundant game that drew Indians and Spanish explorers to this area. Despite modern-day suburban growth, remnants of the forest can still be found, including these oaks photographed in Bob Jones Park. <em>(Courtesy of Bob Koontz)</em> In 1841, a bankrupt Republic of Texas contracted with the Peters Colony to bring settlers to north-central Texas. Among them were a few dozen related families from Missouri. They founded Lonesome Dove Baptist Church in 1846 and built log houses like this one, re-created in Bicentennial Park. After the Civil War, many Southerners migrated to hardscrabble Texas looking for a fresh start. Bob Jones, born in 1850 to a white man and a slave, was brought here in the late 1850s as a child. Years later he and his wife, Almeady Chisum Jones, established a prosperous ranch and lived near present-day Bob Jones Park.  <em>(Courtesy of the Jones family)</em> “The area west of Grapevine” – now Southlake – included scattered farming communities, most with a church, a store and a school.  Although many families were poor, no one lacked for friendship.  Blacksmith John Graham, left, grew up in the Dove community.  The fiddler is unknown. <em>(Courtesy of the Shivers family)</em> The 1920s got off to a good start with the opening of Carroll School, but the Depression brought tough times. Bonnie and Clyde sometimes hung around; in 1934 they or a member of their gang killed two troopers on Texas 114.  Along Southlake Boulevard, folks frequented L.N. Bailey’s gas station. <em>(Courtesy of the Shivers family)</em> Well into the 1950s, some locals continued to make their living by growing and selling truck crops.  But changes, most notably the completion of Lake Grapevine in 1952, began an economic transformation that attracted newcomers.  Rumors of annexation by Hurst in 1956 rallied residents to incorporate as Southlake, population 200. With the completion of D/FW Airport in 1974, Southlake began to take off.  Families were attracted to the town’s rural life, excellent school district and competitive football team.  When a new high school was built at the corner of Dove Road and Carroll Avenue, it included a 3,500-seat stadium. The 1990s were a dynamic time for the growing city.  With city water and sewer in place, master-planned subdivisions, beginning with Timarron, changed the landscape.  Town Square, built to look like a turn-of-the-century downtown, opened in 1999.  Its centerpiece, Town Hall, was inspired by Texas’ historic courthouses. <em>(Courtesy of the City of Southlake)</em>

WHAT'S HAPPENING

DISCOVER OUR RICH PAST

Take A Walk Through Time: Historical Photographs of Southlake, a city art gallery event, from 6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, in the lobby of Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main Street.The Southlake Arts Council and Apex are hosting the  event. 

The evening will include barbecue sliders and other fare provided by Southlake's own Feedstore BBQ. Complimentary wine will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

A fiddler playing old tunes will add to the fun.

The  exhibit is being, underwritten by First Financial Bank of Southlake and individual sponsors. 

Priority Signs & Graphics, Southlake,  is enlarging and transfering the images to gallery-quality canvas.

The photographs will remain in Town Hall through October.

 

GHOSTS OF SOUTHLAKE PAST CEMETERY TOUR

7 p.m., Oct. 17

Watch here for details.

People who went on the tour last year are still talking about it!

 

THE HISTORY OF DRAGON FOOTBALL

Coming in November

Read about Dragon football history, the folks who made it all happen, the players, the coaches and the die-hard fans in Images of Sports: Southlake Carroll Dragon Football, written by SHS president Connie Cooley.  Email us at boardmember@ southlakehistory.com  and we will let you know as soon as the book is available.

76092 magazine's fall issue features the book. See new photos of coaches Ledbetter and Wasson and old football pictures. 76092 is online and available in  Southlake stores.

Welcome

The challenge of history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present.                                              – Historian David Thelen

 

Whether you are an old-timer or a newcomer, living in Southlake is a much richer experience when you know its history. 

Our website – filled with research into our area's past and lots of photographs – is our museum, as well as a way to keep you up-to-date on events.

Almost 60 years ago, on Sept. 25, 1956, people living here voted to turn an unincorporated area of Tarrant County into Southlake (population 200). Since then lots of folks have moved in and out, leaving their mark on the growth of the city.

There is much in Southlake to surprise you and your family, from the pioneering Lonesome Dove Baptist Church (Larry McMurtry says he got the title for his book after seeing the church van go by) to Dragon football tradition.  Pull up a chair and stay a while!

 Start your journey by watching the Photo Slideshow, above, and taking the Magical History Tour.  Explore the History of Southlake (under Area West of Grapevine, see a map that shows where stills, beer joints and a dog track were located) and the more than 300 photos in the Photo & Video Gallery

 In Buildings & Markers, learn about the 1919 Carroll School, where both Carroll ISD and the city of Southlake were born; Southlake’s log house, built of logs cut about the time Lincoln was president; and the 10 historical markers in town, including one that commemorates the two state troopers killed at Dove Road and Texas 114 by Bonnie and Clyde and/or a member of their gang (historians disagree on who actually did the shooting).

 And while you’re here – do you have a story to tell about your life, or your family’s, in Southlake? Click Tell Us Your Story and simply type in your remembrances. Also, let us know if you have photos of interest, We are always looking for photographs to add to our archives. Email us at boardmember@southlakehistory.com.

Speaking of photographs, please take a minute to read about the Sept. 10 event and mark your calendar. We'd love to see you there.

Thanks for stopping by. As the pioneers said when offering hospitality: The latchstring is always out.

Cordially,

Connie Cooley, president, Southlake Historical Society

P.S. I bet you know one or two of our board members. Next time you see one of them, tell them you visited our website. They'll be glad to hear it. Our board includes Lou Ann Heath, treasurer; Emily Galpin, vp membership; Tamara McMillan, vp programs; Rebecca Utley, secretary; and Anita Robeson, historian.


did you
KNOW
  • Bonnie and Clyde
    Walnut Grove, Carroll ISD's newest elementary school, was named after the school Bob Jones, born a slave, built in about 1920 for his grandchildren because they could not attend all-white schools. It sat on what's now Bob Jones Road. A descendant of Bob Jones praised the new school as "a redemptive moment in public education."
  • Bonnie and Clyde
    Bad guys Bonnie and Clyde or a member of their gang gunned down two state troopers on Easter Sunday 1934 at Dove Road and 114. One trooper was engaged; his fiancée wore her wedding outfit to his funeral.
  • Lonesome Dove
    The captivating name Lonesome Dove originated nearly 150 years before Larry McMurtry wrote his book. It’s said the lonesome call of a dove reminded founders of Lonesome Dove Baptist Church of their own feelings of isolation.
  • This Place Matters
    For being the first Carroll School and the place where the city of Southlake was born, "This Place Matters." In front of the 1919 Carroll School are Connie Cooley and Anita Robeson of the SHS. "This Place Matters" spotlights places of significance to a community; see preservationnation.org.
  • Blossom
    Hi, I'm Bonnet, and I live at Southlake's log house. I’m on lots of the colorful signs out there, helping kids learn about pioneer life. I also chase rabbits and fetch sticks. Come see me. I'll be watchin' for you!
  • Jones Cafe
    What is thought to be the first integrated café in Texas was run by Eula Jones and Elnora Jones at their husbands' livestock sales barn from 1949 into the ‘70s. Black truckers and white ranchers and farmers sat side-by-side in the tiny cafe to eat chili, stew and red beans. The site is near White's Chapel Boulevard and Texas 114.
  • Dragons Football
    The thrilling history of Dragon football as told by Todd Dodge and Bob Ledbetter, with an assist from Dragon Council members Gene Stanford and Phil Barber, is on DVD at the Southlake Library. Included is footage of early Dragons in action.
  • Southlake Original Map
    Suzanne Eubanks liked to pick quirky names for pets, so her dad the mayor jokingly asked her what she would name the new town. How about a “geography name,” she said, like Westvine, Easler, Northeul, Southton or Southlake. Southlake was chosen over suggestions that included Blossom Prairie.
  • Southlake Water Tower
    The water tower at Dove Road and White’s Chapel in Southlake, constructed in 1986, was the first of its kind built in the U.S. The style, a steel tank supported by a concrete pedestal, became the prototype for about 80 percent of the large water-storage tanks built in the U.S.
  • Carroll Basketball
    In 1919, District No. 99 was given the name Carroll after B. Carroll, the county school superintendent. No. 98 had been named a year or two before for the previous superintendent, G.T. Bludworth. The Southlake Bludworth Dragons? We came close.
  • jack Cook
    Malinda Frost Dwight (later Hill) was at Parker’s Fort in 1836 when Cynthia Ann Parker was taken by Comanches. Malinda, 16, her husband, baby daughter, mother and others escaped; her father and brother were killed. Malinda died in 1870 and is buried at Lonesome Dove Cemetery. Jack Cook, her great-great grandson, is pictured next to her tombstone.
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