The History of Southlake
by Aidan Rickelman
The First Settlers 1840-1860
The first settlers of Southlake came from Missouri in the mid 1840s. The came to settle at Peters Colony in the Republic of Texas. The settlers started farms, built log cabins, and built the first church in Tarrant County called the Lonesome Dove Baptist Church. Some of them brought slaves. Some settlers decided to head west to California, but 12 families stayed in Peters Colony and the colony grew.
Four Communities 1860-1900
There were four communities settled in the Southlake area from 1860-1900. They had churches and school, but most people were poor farmers. They farmed cotton, peanuts, corn, and potatoes. The first community was the Dove Community settled by the Missouri families. It's near today's Dove Road. The second was White's Chapel community that was settled by 14 families from Georgia. It's near today's 1709. The third was Old Union community named for the Old Union Primitive Baptist Church. It's near present day Continental Blvd and Brumlow Ave. The last community was Jellico Community built mostly by the Wilson family. It was near today's 1709 and Davis Blvd. It is where the store and post office were.
Growing Communties 1900-1920
The communities kept growing and families kept farming. The grown kids stayed and farmed too. Several young men went to WWI to fight in France. Several people died of the Spanish flu. The closest doctors were in Grapevine and had to ride on horses to get to the colonies. There were only dirt roads. In the early 1900's White's Chapel Community got telephone service. Grapevine got the Cotton Belt Railroad and that helped Southlake farmers sell their cotton.
Schools in Southlake 1920-1935
Three schools were built for the four communities. They were White's Chapel School, Sam School, and Dove School. The three schools then combined to make one big school called Carroll School. It had 97 students with one principal and two teachers. Only white students were allowed to go there. Black students went to Walnut Grove School that is near my house today. The famous bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde shot two highway patrolman on Dove Road near my house too.
Growing Southlake 1935-Present
Southlake was still out in the country but it continued to grow. Highway 114 was built in the 1930's. Lake Grapevine was built by the Army Corps of Engineers and completed in 1952. Many people in Southlake did not like the lake being built because they lost there land. Southlake became an official city in 1956. DFW Airport was built and completed in 1974 and that brought many people to the area. People moved to Southlake and neighborhood grew. In the 1990s many giant expensive homes were built and lots of shopping centers. Southlake Town Square was built to give people a traditional hometown feeling. Even today, many neighborhoods and stores are still being built.