The Background of DeSoto, TX
Desoto, TX has a rich background. This Northern Texas settlement is one of the oldest in the massive state. Settlers began arriving around 1847, just a short eleven years after Texas gained independence from Mexico. Families began to build homes there after journeying to the newly freed lands from northern areas like Indiana. The first general store appeared by 1848, at a small crossroads that led all the way to Dallas. The roads still exist today, currently known as the intersection of Hampton road and the Belt Line.
The small settlement’s growth continued at a rapid pace for the time. An official post office was established in DeSoto by 1881. The small town was named after its beloved doctor, Thomas Hernando DeSoto, and the little Texas community thrived as an agricultural town until the World Wars.
The town remained an intimate, friendly place even in population. In the late 1800's, the settlement had approximately 120 people. Near the turn of the century, this dropped to below even 50. By 1930, the settlement was still just shy of a population of 100. The farming community was close, and with agriculture as the main source of income and prosperity, not many chose to settle in this area.
Mid-Century Population Boom in DeSoto, TX
After the Second World War, the population of the nearby city of Dallas began to rapidly increase, and the state of Texas began to incorporate cities into Dallas County in order to keep track of its population. Thus, the little settlement officially became the City of DeSoto, a member of Dallas County in Texas. Despite its new incorporation, in 1949, the city was barely more than one square mile.
Due to its proximity to Dallas, though, the population in 1950 had jumped to nearly 300, and new improvements to the city included a number of new businesses aside from the general store and the post office. DeSoto annexed a close town by the name of Woodland Hills in the 1970s, and the city’s population again experienced a massive increase. By 1980, the population sat near 15,000, and a short four years later, there were approximately 360 businesses in the city.
Modernizing the Town of DeSoto, TX
Only a short ten years later, the population had doubled, and the rapid urbanization and city infrastructure of DeSoto, TX began. The city gained a brand new Town Center, which even today houses the city hall, the public library, and a recreation center, as well as an auditorium for events. The city also finally had proper roads and parks, as well as a functioning water and sewage system. The police department, the fire department, and multiple public schools also emerged in the latter half of the 1900's, firmly putting DeSoto on the map as more than just a suburb of the giant Dallas.
With improvements to the city came population increase, and with population increase came new lands for the town. Though it initially started as a square mile wide, today the city spans just over 21 square miles. The city truly came into its own in the 1970's, and only continues to grow and improve.