Past Exhibits



1919 Carroll School: Where It All Began

“This is where it all began,” longtime Carroll ISD Supt. Jack D. Johnson said with emotion in 2009 as he stood in the 1919 Carroll School’s entryway before giving a tour to a Southlake Historical Society member.  

From its start in 1919 until the 1960s, when new schools went up, the school was the centerpiece of the community. It’s where both Carroll ISD and the city of Southlake got their start (in 1956, residents came to the school to vote on whether to incorporate as a township). 

The society’s 2019 exhibit celebrated the centennial of the school nicknamed Carroll Hill School.

The Yanks Are Coming: How Texans Helped Win the Great War

Trench warfare. Cowboys turned doughboys. An “ace” aviator shot down by Spanish influenza. Poppies. Armistice Day.

Remind me what war that was…

It was World War I — a war that changed the world.

The society’s 2018 exhibit commemorated the centennial of “the war to end all wars.”

Shared Stories: Denton County, Southlake and the Wild West, 1840-1878

In 2017, the Southlake Historical Society partnered with the Denton County Historical Commission to tell the history of Denton County and Southlake through the eyes of the larger-than-life characters and everyday people who lived it.

Taking Flight: How Aviation Changed North Texas and Southlake

For more than 100 years, aviation has placed a significant role in shaping North Texas. From the 1950s, 10 or more landing strips, most of them grass, allowed pilots young and old to take to the skies over then-rural Southlake.

The society’s 2016 exhibit showcased these.

A Walk Through Time: Historical Photographs of Southlake

In 2015, partnering with the Southlake Arts Council and Apex Arts League, the historical society presented an exhibit celebrating the history of our community through historical photographs.

Lonesome Dove Baptist Church, circa 1890s. Courtesy of the Tarrant County College District Archives, Fort Worth.
In 1844 and 1845, several groups of white settlers traveled here from Missouri with “their families, their dogs, guns and religion,” one historian wrote. In February 1846, as Texas’s statehood was being formalized, the 12 charter members of a newly organized church stacked their guns against a large oak tree at the edge of the Cross Timbers, sat on the ground and heard the Rev. John Allen Freeman deliver a sermon. Afterward, they discussed what name to give their new church. According to Pearl Foster O’Donnell, a descendant of those early settlers, “a dove perched high in the tree above them” and began to coo. “It sounded so lonely,” she wrote in Trek to Texas, “the perfect name for their church: a lonely outpost for proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord on this vast frontier.” So they chose the name Lonesome Dove. The first church, built of logs, was said to have been “built on the rocks where Indian blood was spilled.” According to church records, another church was built in 1857 and torn down in 1869. A third building burned in 1930. Today’s church is on the original site. 
1870 tombstone of survivor of Parker’s Fort massacre. Southlake Historical Society Archives.
Every Texas schoolgirl and boy knows the story of Cynthia Ann Parker. In 1836, her family’s settlement, Parker’s Fort (near Waco), was raided by Comanches. Several family members were killed and some escaped, but Cynthia Ann, age 11, and four others were taken. Cynthia Ann was adopted by the tribe and later married a warrior. One of their sons, Quanah Parker, became a famous chief. Though recaptured 25 years later, she never readjusted to white society and never saw her Comanche family again. A part of her story is ever present in Southlake and involves a young mother who was at the fort that day in 1836. Malinda Frost Dwight was only 16 when she, her husband George, their baby and 15 other members of the related Dwight, Frost and Parker families fled the raid through what Malinda’s descendant James Dwight described as a “trackless and uninhabitable country.” After the death of her husband, Malinda Dwight married again. In 1870, at age 49, she died and was buried in Dove Cemetery. Her tombstone, pictured here, was carved by one of her sons. A century later, another descendant, Jack Cook (“She was grandmother’s grandmother”), repaired it. 
Cates family reunion in the Dove community, date unknown. Courtesy of the Tarrant County College District Archives, Fort Worth.
The once-thriving Dove community was home to members of the Cates family. According to a 2008 Texas Historical Commission marker, “In 1849, the state legislature created Tarrant County, with Birdville as the county seat, and the U.S. Army established Fort Worth as a frontier fort. The small village of Dove developed by the 1870s. A general store and post office operated at the intersection of Dove and Lonesome Dove roads, and the community became a farming center for cotton, melon and dairy production. Included as part of the community were Lonesome Dove Cemetery just north of the church site, the Dove Branch swimming hole, used for recreation as well as baptisms, and Dove School, which was closed in 1919 when Carroll School was built in the newly named Carroll Common School District.”
Veterans of Company G, 18th Texas Cavalry, CSA (Confederate States of America), 1902. Courtesy of the Denton Public Library.
In 1861, as word spread to Texas that the anticipated war with the North had begun, area men signed up to fight for the Confederacy. These men – pictured at a reunion in Dallas nearly 40 years later – had eagerly joined Company G of the 18th Texas Calvary. Most lived in Denton County. Seated, from left, are Capt. R.H. Hopkins, Lt. W.B. Brown, Pvt. A. Williams, and Pvt. Spencer Graham; standing are Pvt. John Marlin, Pvt. William O. Medlin, and Pvt. Boone Daugherty. Descendants of Pvt. Graham, who is buried at Hood Cemetery in now-Southlake, still live in town.  
White’s Chapel School, circa 1890s. Courtesy of the Shivers family.
In 1851, 14 wagons led by Stephen Blevins Austin arrived from Georgia and camped on a hill just east of where White’s Chapel church and cemetery are today.  Traveling with the Austins were the Lowes, Wilkinsons and Blevinses. A church and school were established, and by the 1890s White’s Chapel School had a log room and a frame room. According to Grapevine Area History, there was no well at the school and the students relied on a ground water tank west of the church. “Often the cows had to be driven away. Not a great deal of thought was given to germs at the time,” one resident recalled. 
Old Union community farmer, circa 1910. Courtesy of R.E. Smith.
The Old Union settlement was established in the early 1900s and got its name from the Old Union Primitive Baptist Church. The community was located near the intersection of what’s now Continental Boulevard and Brumlow Road. Along with the church, it included a school and an Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge.  This farmer, a member of the Willey, Webb and Blevins families, owned 80 acres near present-day Carlisle Road and Continental Boulevard. Close by, at the south end of Brumlow Road near what’s now Highway 26, was a local gathering place named Lope-Up-n-Hitch, where folks met for picnics and open-air church services.
Burial of World War I soldier James Eli Torian, 1921. Southlake Historical Society Archives. 
James Eli Torian, whose family lived in the Dove community, was killed in 1918 in France. He was buried in France, but his mother was given the choice of having his remains brought home. A military color guard and photographer accompanied his casket to Lonesome Dove Cemetery. In 1917, when Eli Torian registered for the draft, he was living in Dallas and working as a motorman (you can see his draft card online). On Sept. 26, 1918, during the battle of Saint-Mihiel, he was reported missing; a fellow soldier said he had been shot by a German sniper. His cousin James Weldon Torian also fought in the trenches. On Nov. 6, 1918, their cousin Walter Torian, 30, who hadn’t been chosen for service so was “not in danger,” died of Spanish influenza. World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives; the influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918-19 killed between 50 million and 100 million, including 675,000 Americans. Walter is buried in White’s Chapel Cemetery. 
Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones and their 10 children, circa 1900. Courtesy of the Jones family. 
Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones, both born into slavery, established a prosperous farm and ranch along the Denton-Tarrant county line and raised their 10 children. Today, many of the thousands of acres they owned “free and clear” are under Lake Grapevine. At the end of the Civil War, Bob Jones signed on with cattle drives heading to railheads in Kansas and with the money he earned, began buying land. In 1875, he married Almeady Chisum, who had been raised on cattle baron John Chisum’s ranch near Bolivar in Denton County. They began married life in a log cabin. As the family grew, so did the house that’s pictured here; it eventually included a main room with a large fireplace, four or five bedrooms, a dining room, kitchen and several porches. The Joneses valued education and made sure each of their children received an eighth-grade education. Teachers often were hired to teach at the ranch. In 1918, Bob Jones donated land for an eight-grade “colored” school for his grandchildren and other Black children in the area. Its name was Walnut Grove. The school closed in 1951 when its students headed to Fort Worth for junior and senior high. Many of Walnut Grove’s students went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees and even Ph.Ds. 
Carroll Hill School, 1923. Courtesy of the Shivers family.
Carroll Hill School is the oldest public building in Southlake — and until the 1960s, the only public building. The school represents the commitment that residents in the poor, unincorporated area of now-Southlake had to education. In 1918, with property values in the new school district totaling $207,400, the men (women couldn’t vote) voted to raise their taxes for the purchase of $7,500 in bonds to pay for a school. For years, Carroll School was the centerpiece of the community. It was the first school in what would become Carroll ISD and the place where residents came to vote on whether to become Southlake. From where the school sat high on a hill (hence its nickname Carroll Hill), students could watch as nearby Texas 114, completed in 1932 along a roadbed purchased from a bankrupt railroad, was built by men using mules and graders. During the WWII years, students watched as trucks carrying troops and equipment went past.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, circa 1930s. Courtesy of the Dallas Public Library’s Dennis Hays Collection.
Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were known to hang around the area west of Grapevine.  On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, state troopers H.D. Murphy, Edward Wheeler and Polk Ivy were riding motorcycles on Texas 114 in now-Southlake. Ivy was riding ahead when Murphy and Wheeler saw what appeared to be a motorist in trouble and turned up Dove Road to help. When Ivy realized the others weren’t behind him, he retraced the route and found them both lying dead in Dove Road – pistols still holstered and their murderers gone.  A farmer living nearby who had been sitting on his porch was a witness to the shootings and said Bonnie and Clyde were alone; gang member Henry Methvin later said he had participated. According to longtime Southlake resident Jack Cook, the killers then drove to a house between now-Southlake and Roanoke owned by some of Parker’s kin, who “put the children in the cellar” and made the outlaws a sandwich before the killers fled. When Barrow was a boy, his family may have lived for a time near what’s now Texas 114 and Kimball. If so, he likely attended Carroll Hill School. 
Baptisms in the Dove branch, 1948. Courtesy of the Joyce family.
The branch pictured here runs north and south across Dove Road at Lonesome Dove Road. Brother William Day (in suspenders) served as pastor of Lonesome Dove Church for 25 years. He was called to preaching, his daughter Lizzie Day Higgins remembered, but was hesitant to answer the call. Instead, he moved to Texas, she said, “but answered the call after he got here.” 
Grapevine Auction Barn, circa 1980s. Courtesy of the Jones family.
The Grapevine Auction Barn and Jones Bros. Cafe were located at the southeast corner of Highway 114 and White’s Chapel, in now-Southlake. The two youngest Jones sons, Jinks and Emory, partnered up in 1948 and opened the auction barn after much of their land was taken for Lake Grapevine. “We had handled cattle all our lives, so we got to thinking we could open up a place to handle them,” Jinks said. Cattle auctions were on Tuesday and horse auctions on Wednesday evenings. “Horsemen from far and wide would start arriving sometimes the night before,” said longtime Southlake resident Zena Rucker. “The place would be packed to the top of the bleachers.” The brothers’ wives, Lula and Elnora, ran a cafe inside the auction barn, offering chili, stew, red beans and homemade pies. Many historians believe it was the first integrated cafe in Texas. “The way it started, was that black truck drivers would stop on the road and they would come in the back door and ask if they could have a soda or a sandwich,” Betty Jones Foreman, daughter of Jinks and Lula, told columnist Dave Lieber in 2003. “My mother told them, ‘I’ll serve you if you come in the front door. This is a family business. I’ll serve who I want.’ ” Standing in the doorway of the auction barn is Jinks Jones. Outside is Emory’s son Bill Jones, daughter Megan and wife Susan Jones. 
Carroll Dragon football team, 1960. Courtesy of the Carroll Independent School District.
Dragon football began in 1959 when the new CISD superintendent, Jack Johnson, created a school sports program. Johnson hired the school’s first football coach, H.G. Griffin Jr. (standing behind his players in this 1960 team picture).The 1959 team had no uniforms or much equipment and was made up of 7th- and 8th-grade boys (Carroll only offered grades 1-8). In 1960, the district was accredited for 9th grade. The players in this picture are 8th- and 9th-graders. The first Dragon stadium was known as “sticker stadium.” Superintendent Johnson recalled: “We had little bit of land … [and we] worked that ground and the dust flew like flour. By the time [we] finished, [we] were covered in dirt, sand and burrs, but we came up with 80 yards. The first football field was an 80-yard field here at Southlake Carroll.”
Bailey Feed Store, circa 1950s. Courtesy of the Lafavers family.
Ever since 1949, the property at 530 S. White Chapel has been a business. The first was Earl Bailey’s feed store. At one time, the Bailey family owned land that stretched from White Chapel Boulevard to Peytonville Road. In the late 1960s, Ralph Evans (later a longtime Southlake councilman) and his family moved to Southlake and frequented the feed store. “The first year we were here, I was over at Mr. Bailey’s store and he asked me if I needed to break up the ground for a garden,” Evans recalled in a 2005 oral history. “He said I could borrow his mule and plow. I took the plow and his red mule over to my property. It wasn’t far, about three-quarters of a mile. I plowed the yard and rode the mule back. I might be the last resident here in Southlake who knows how to plow with a mule.”  

Feedstore BBQ, 2015. Courtesy of the Lafavers family. 
The Feedstore BBQ sits where Earl Bailey’s feed store once stood. Bailey sold his store in the early 1970s to the Millers, who sold groceries and gas. A few years later, Dee Hutchins bought the place and renamed it Dee’s Hitchin’ Post. The Lemieux family bought it in the mid-1980s and renamed it Southlake Feed and Tack. Phyllis and Bill Lafavers bought the store in 1997 and continued it as a feed and tack store until 2001, when they turned it into a restaurant. “We ran the store for a while,” son Mike Lafavers recalled, “until we figured out that all the animals were moving out of town and all these people kept moving in. We just figured we better start feeding all these hungry folks instead.”