Richardson, TX History
Establishment and Settlement of Richardson, TX
Richardson, an affluent suburb of the city of Dallas, was initially settled between the 1840's and 1850's by the Peters colony. Grass and springs made the area popular with settlers, though they originally settled in the nearby area of Breckinridge. During the 1870's, when the Houston and Central Texas Railroad construction was ongoing, the town of Breckinridge was bypassed and the settlers moved to Richardson.
In 1873, some local men named William Wheeler and Bernard Reilly donated a significant amount of land and rights to the railroad to pass through, causing the town to flourish into a true community. The origin of the town’s name is unclear in history, though it is highly likely that it came from an employee of the railroad company, and Wheeler and Reilly did not want the town named after themselves.
The Early 20th Century in Richardson
Richardson, TX experienced significant population growth in the early 1900's, particularly for such a small town. While the population in 1904 was less than 150, by 1925 it was near 400. With a growing population came a growing community culture. The town’s first newspaper appeared in 1901. The town had a decently large brick schoolhouse by 1914. Though a portion of the town left to fight during World War I, the area again flourished during the 1920’s post-war era.
One of the only major negative incidents in their early history occurred in 1924, when a tornado swept through the small Texas town. One man was killed, thirteen injured, and numerous buildings were destroyed in the disaster. The same year, with the improvements of transportation that spawned from competing railways, the town’s first major road was completed, the Red Brick Road. They adopted a commission form of government and elected their first mayor, T.F. McKamy. By the beginning of the Second World War, the population was around 720.
After the Second World War
The town did not truly expand beyond a small agricultural area until post World War II, when the population rose to around 1,288 and the town held as many as thirty-five businesses. After the second Great War, areas near Richardson were annexed and incorporated as part of the city. The 1950's also saw the formation of a police department, and the area called Terrace Park. US Highway 75 also extended to the city now, and thus the area became a suburb of the Dallas area. By 1961, the town had over 16,000 residents.
The Second Half of the 20th Century
The little Texas city found itself extremely popular among college-educated professionals. In 1964, the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies opened there; the center became the University of Texas at Dallas only five years later. Education was incredibly important to the community in the 60's.
Later, Richardson Community College was built, giving the area two centers for advanced studies alongside their numerous elementary schools, middle, and high schools. In the 80's, Richardson was known as the Telecom Corridor, due to a sizable influx of telecommunication firms in the area. Education and business continue to be the cornerstones of Richardson, TX, following the examples of their rich history.
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