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>
             

        WHO WAS BOB JONES?

His name is on Southlake's largest park and its nature center. So who was he? Learn the fascinating story of Bob Jones and his wife, Meady Chisum Jones, at our summer exhibit. They lived their lives against the backdrop of slavery (both were born into slavery), the era of cattle drives and cattle barons, Jim Crow, and more. Grit, neighborliness and luck helped get them through. 

Exhibit July 10-Sept. 4 during library hours, Town Hall lobby and Southlake Library

                               Free reception open to all (no RSVP needed)                            5-6:30 p.m., Sunday, July 26  

     For photos and more, click on History of Southlake tab above, then Bob Jones,

                                                                                                                 *****

Join in the Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by the National Audubon Society.

Feb. 14 - 17

                                   *****

              MAKING HISTORY IN 2019 

Families flocked to 'Feed the Birds'

On Dec. 1, families learned what to feed the birds over the winter, and kids made bird "treats" to take home. Everyone got a look inside the log house. 

 

'Ghosts of Southlake Past' appeared 

   

 

At historical Medlin Cemetery in now-Trophy Club on Nov. 2, local re-enactors brought to life the stories of the courageous Bob and Meady Jones and their daughter Eugie Jones Thomas; Confederate soldier Joseph Loving, age 52; Mitty Medlin Harris, who died in childbirth and was the first person buried in the cemetery; and Roanoke merchant William Prewitt and his clever, hard-working wife, Willie Prewitt. 

Photos: (top) Southlake Councilman Ronell Smith (standing with the crowd), Rachel Smith (far right) and Ali Smith portray Bob Jones, his wife Meady Chisum Jones and one of their six daughters, Eugie Jones Thomas.
Emma Close (second row, left) tells the story of Mitty Ann Medlin.
Trophy Club Mayor Nick Sanders and Miranda Wallace (second row, right) re-enact Roanoke settlers William and Willie Prewitt.
Paul Porter (third row) tells the story of Joseph Loving.
Visitors listen to cemetery tour guide and SHS board member Claire Johnson (bottom row). 

 

1919 Carroll School exhibit earned an A

 "The 1919 Carroll School: Where it all began," our exhibit July 12-Sept. 6 in the lobby of Southlake Town Hall, told the story of the plain country school where Carroll ISD AND the city of Southlake began.

Learn more about the school and see a drawing of it in 1919 under Buildings & Markers, above.  

The school you see today, 1055 N. Carroll Ave., includes additions made in 1945 and 1951. Windows were bricked in in the 1990s and the building was painted. 

The school is not open to the public. But you can walk around it and imagine simpler days at a building that is "an example of the early pioneer spirit of this area. In this throwaway society it is important to have an anchor to the past." Those words were spoken at a Carroll ISD trustee meeting by Mary Ann King, granddaughter of the school's namesake,  B. Carroll. 

      If you have reminiscences or photographs of the school, we would love to talk to you! Email us at southlakehistory@gmail.com. 

 

  

HELP US BRING HISTORY ALIVE

Your donation to the Southlake Historical Society, a 501(c)3, will help us bring history to Southlake residents and visitors.

Click the DONATE button, above right.

 

Or become a sponsor for our summer 2020 exhibit:

Bob and Almeady Jones: A true story of survival, endurance and triumph     

Our Director of Development, Rebecca Utley, would love to talk to you.

Email her at southlakehistory@gmail.com

 

"If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten."

                                                                                                                 -- Rudyard Kipling

 


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."
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

Whether you're an old-timer or a newcomer, thank you for visiting our award-winning "virtual museum."  The Southlake Historical Society is dedicated to archiving historical materials, gathering oral history interviews, presenting exhibits that showcase the events and lives of folks who came before us and working as the community advocacy group to preserve and protect Southlake's history.

You are always welcome to  join us at our society business meetings held at 3 p.m. p.m. on the second Monday of each month in 3rd floor meeting room A in Town Hall. 

 

Email us at

southlakehistory@

gmail.com or you can reach us by snail mail at

P.O. Box 92825, Southlake, TX  76092

  

2019 Board Members

Connie Cooley, President

Claire Johnson,     Secretary

Terri McAndrew, Treasurer

Emily Galpin, Director of Membership

Rebecca Utley, Director of Development

Anita Robeson, Historian

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