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> 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. 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> “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> 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> 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. 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. 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>
             
 

"Feed the Birds" family fun

Sunday, Dec. 1

1 p.m.

Bicentennial Park

at the Southlake Log House

(under the water tower)

The Southlake Historical Society invites everyone to its "Feed the Birds" event. Learn ways to encourage and feed wintering birds in your backyard. Children will make a bird "treat" to take home.

We'll meet at the Southlake Log House, a replica the represents a house built int he 1850s by a well-off family. The structure, built by log restoration expert, Bill Marquis of Denton County in 2008, is made from three log structures that stood within now-Southlake in the 1850s and 1860s. It sits on a historically significant spot. Behind it is Bunker Hill, once considered the highest point in the area. Travelers, settlers and perhaps Indian used Bunker Hill as a lookout point.

This event is free, but please register here.

Questions? Call Connie Cooley at 817-223-9606.

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Thank you for gathering together for our

 6th annual 

GHOSTS OF SOUTHLAKE PAST CEMETERY TOUR 

This year in nearby historical Medlin Cemetery in Trophy Club.

     

 

Local re-enactors brought to life the stories of folks who came before us: 

Southlake City Councilman Ronell Smith portrayed Bob Jones, who went from slavery to success

Mrs. Rachel Smith portrayed Almeady Chisum Jones, who taught her ten children the value of education

Miss Ali Smith portrayed their daughter Eugie Jones Thomas, who stood her ground and refused to give up the Jones homeplace

Mr. Paul Porter portrayed Joseph Loving, who at 52 joined the Confederate army with his son

Miss Emma Close portrayed Mitty Medlin Harris, who died in childbirth and is the first person buried in historical Medlin Cemetery

Trophy Club Mayor Nick Sanders portrayed early Roanoke merchant William Prewitt

and Miss Miranda Wallace portrayed his accomplished and hard-working wife, Willie Prewitt. 

The Southlake Historical Society is proud to have partnered with Medlin Cemetery Association President Mary Knowles and her board members.  The connection between Southlake and Trophy Club runs deep. Medlin family members were Missouri Colonists, a group from near present-day Kansas City that made the dangerous trip to Texas in the 1840s with their "families, dogs, guns and religion." They helped settle what's now Southlake, Roanoke and Trophy Club.

Other Jones family members buried in Medlin Cemetery include Bob's mother, Elizabeth, in 1877 and his grandson Dr. Bobby Jones in 2019. Dr. Bobby was key to the society's quest to establish the history of the Jones family in Southlake. 

Read more about the Missouri Colonists and Bob Jones by clicking on History of Southlake, above. 

If you missed this year's tour, circle your calendar for next year's tour on the second Saturday in November. 

Images: (top) Councilman Ronell Smith (standing with the crowd), Mrs. Rachel Smith (far right) and Miss Ali Smith portray Bob Jones, his wife Almeady Chisum Jones and one of their six daughters, Mrs. Eugie Jones Thomas.

Miss Emma Close (second row, left) tells the story of Mitty Ann Medlin..

Trophy Club Mayor Nick Sanders and Miss Miranda Wallace (second row, right) re-enact Roanoke settlers, William and Willie Prewitt;

Mr. Paul Porter (third row) tells the story of Joseph Loving.

Visitors listen to cemetery tour guide and SHS board member Mrs. Claire Johnson, bottom row. 

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Click here to read Southlake Style magazine's article on City Councilman Ronell Smith's role as Bob Jones in this year's cemetery tour. 

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Students: think volunteering is boring? Click here for Southlake Style magazine's interview with Carroll grad and UNT student Paul Porter on how he volunteers his time.

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The 1919 Carroll School Exhibit

was a great success!

Thanks to all who attended and to Carroll ISD for its support.

 

 The 1919 Carroll School, known for years as Carroll Hill School, still stands at 1055 N. Carroll Ave., next to what's now Southlake Baptist Church. Learn more about the school and see a drawing of it in 1919 under Buildings & Markers, above. 

The school you see today includes additions made in 1945 and 1951. Windows were bricked in in the 1990s and the building was painted. 

The school is not open to the public. But you can walk around it and imagine simpler days at a building that is "an example of the early pioneer spirit of this area. In this throwaway society it is important to have an anchor to the past." Those words were spoken by Mary Ann King, granddaughter of the school's namesake,  B. Carroll. 

The original Dragon football field is behind the school, to the right. 

      If you have reminiscences or photographs of the school, we would love to talk to you! Email us at southlakehistory@gmail.com. 

 

         Thank you to our exhibit advisory committee

Mr. David Barnes

Mrs. Dorothy Chasteen Brand, Carroll Hill School student

Mr. Glen Burgess, Carroll Hill School student

Mrs. Linda Cate Carter, longtime Carroll ISD teacher

Mrs. Sheila Croy

Dr. David Faltys, Carroll ISD Superintendent

Commissioner Gary Fickes, Tarrant County Commissioners Court

Mrs. Lou Ann Heath, former Southlake Historical Society president

Mayor Laura Hill

Mrs. Mary Hays Koenig, Carroll Hill School student

Mrs. Merrill Stacy, Carroll Hill School student

Mrs. Julie Thannum, Carroll ISD Asst. Superintendent for Board and Community Relations

Mr. Chauncey Willingham, former longtime Carroll ISD teacher and administrator 

Dr. Dawn Youngblood, Tarrant County Archivist

            

Help bring history alive!

Your donation to the Southlake Historical Society, a 501(c)3, will help us bring history to Southlake residents and visitors.

Click the DONATE button, above right.

Or consider becoming a sponsor for our 2020 exhibit:

Bob and Almeady Jones: An American Story    

Our Director of Development, Rebecca Utley, would love to talk to you.

Email her at southlakehistory@gmail.com

 

"If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten."

                                                                                                                 -- Rudyard Kipling

 


did you
KNOW
  • Bonnie and Clyde
    Walnut Grove, Carroll ISD's newest elementary school, was named after the school Bob Jones, born a slave, built in about 1920 for his grandchildren because they could not attend all-white schools. It sat on what's now Bob Jones Road. A descendant of Bob Jones praised the new school as "a redemptive moment in public education."
  • Lonesome Dove
    The captivating name Lonesome Dove originated nearly 150 years before Larry McMurtry wrote his book. It’s said the lonesome call of a dove reminded founders of Lonesome Dove Baptist Church of their own feelings of isolation.
  • Blossom
    Hi, I'm Bonnet, and I live at Southlake's log house. I’m on lots of the colorful signs out there, helping kids learn about pioneer life. I also chase rabbits and fetch sticks. Come see me. I'll be watchin' for you!
  • Jones Cafe
    What is thought to be the first integrated café in Texas was run by Eula Jones and Elnora Jones at their husbands' livestock sales barn from 1949 into the ‘70s. Black truckers and white ranchers and farmers sat side-by-side in the tiny cafe to eat chili, stew and red beans. The site is near White Chapel Boulevard and Texas 114.
  • Dragons Football
    The thrilling history of Dragon football as told by Todd Dodge and Bob Ledbetter, with an assist from Dragon Council members Gene Stanford and Phil Barber, is on DVD at the Southlake Library. Included is footage of early Dragons in action.
  • Southlake Original Map
    Suzanne Eubanks liked to pick quirky names for pets, so her dad the mayor jokingly asked her what she would name the new town. How about a “geography name,” she said, like Westvine, Easler, Northeul, Southton or Southlake. Southlake was chosen over suggestions that included Blossom Prairie.
  • Southlake Water Tower
    The water tower at Dove Road and White’s Chapel in Southlake, constructed in 1986, was the first of its kind built in the U.S. The style, a steel tank supported by a concrete pedestal, became the prototype for about 80 percent of the large water-storage tanks built in the U.S.
  • Carroll Basketball
    In 1919, District No. 99 was given the name Carroll after B. Carroll, the county school superintendent. No. 98 had been named a year or two before for the previous superintendent, G.T. Bludworth. The Southlake Bludworth Dragons? We came close.
  • jack Cook
    Malinda Frost Dwight (later Hill) was at Parker’s Fort in 1836 when Cynthia Ann Parker was taken by Comanches. Malinda, 16, her husband, baby daughter, mother and others escaped; her father and brother were killed. Malinda died in 1870 and is buried at Lonesome Dove Cemetery. Jack Cook, her great-great grandson, is pictured next to her tombstone.

Whether you're an old-timer or a newcomer, thank you for visiting our award-winning "virtual museum."  The Southlake Historical Society is dedicated to archiving historical materials, gathering oral history interviews, presenting exhibits that showcase the events and lives of folks who came before us and working as the community advocacy group to preserve and protect Southlake's history.

You are always welcome to  join us at our society business meetings held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in 3rd floor meeting room A in Town Hall. 

 

Email us at

southlakehistory@

gmail.com or you can reach us by snail mail at

P.O. Box 92825, Southlake, TX  76092

  

2019 Board Members

Connie Cooley, President

Claire Johnson,     Secretary

Terri McAndrew, Treasurer

Emily Galpin, Director of Membership

Rebecca Utley, Director of Development

Anita Robeson, Historian

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