History of Southlake

<p>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></p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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></p>
<p>“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></p>
<p>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></p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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></p>