Lewisville is a city in Denton County, Texas, United States. It is a suburb within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The 2000 United States Census placed the city’s population at 77,737 and the 2010 Census placed it at 95,290, making it one of the fastest-growing city populations in the United States and the 33rd most populous in Texas. It occupies 36.4 square miles (94 km2) of land and includes 6.07 square miles (15.7 km2) of Lewisville Lake.
Originally called Holford’s Prairie, Lewisville dates back to the early 1840s. The arrival of the town’s first railroad in 1881 engendered its initial growth, and the expansion of the area’s transportation infrastructure spurred further development in the early part of the 20th century. Lewisville incorporated in 1925, and when construction of Lewisville Lake was completed in the 1950s, the city began to expand rapidly.
Lewisville’s proximity to Lewisville Lake have made it a recreational hub of the Dallas?Fort Worth metroplex. The city’s municipal government, led by a nonpartisan city council, focuses its recreational and cultural investments on facilities such as Toyota of Lewisville Park and the MCL Grand Theater. The area’s transportation infrastructure has evolved around the I-35 Corridor along Interstate 35E. The diversity of its population and industry has created a stable economic climate. Lewisville Independent School District provides most of the area’s public education programs.
In 1841, the Republic of Texas chartered the Peters Colony Land Grant Company (named for William Smalling Peters, publisher of the song “Oh! Susanna”) to settle the North Texas area. In 1844, John W. King and his wife settled on the east side of the prairie, where the city now lies. Baptist settlers from Platte County, Missouri, settled on the west side; among them were John and James Holford, who named the area Holford’s Prairie. Further south, Presbyterians established a church and called it Flower Mound. In the confusion over land ownership after the Hedgcoxe War, Basdeal Lewis purchased Holford’s Prairie in 1853 and renamed it after himself.
In 1845, the Fox family, which owned about a dozen slaves, buried a slave child called Melinda on the family farm, which eventually became the town’s cemetery for black residents. Named Fox?Hembry Cemetery, the plot still exists today. After it had fallen into disrepair, local residents and businesses gathered to restore it in 2011. Though Abraham Lincoln was not on the ballot in the area for the 1860 Presidential election, residents of Lewisville (listed as “Hollforts” on election results) still gave John C. Breckinridge only a 44?31 majority over an electoral fusion option.
During Reconstruction, Lewisville became home to Denton County’s first cotton gin. Built in 1867, it could produce up to three bales per day. The Thirteenth Texas Legislature chartered the Dallas and Wichita Railroad (later the Missouri?Kansas?Texas) on terms requiring 20 miles of track to be in running order by July 1, 1875. Lewisville paid the company $15,000 to come to the city, with a promise of another $5,000 on completion. The company fulfilled the deal by completing the railroad tracks to a point just south of Lewisville on the morning of the deadline, and the line began running full-time in 1881. Republicans in the Fourteenth Texas Legislature passed a law on April 30, 1874, prohibiting alcohol within two miles of the town. Many residents ignored the law, however, and the city retained as many as 17 saloons at one point. The population of the unincorporated town was 500 in 1888.