The Town

South of Denton and northwest of Dallas in south central Denton County, Flower Mound is a residential suburban community of 20,000 acres on the shore of Grapevine Lake. It was established soon after Sam Houston settled a tribal dispute in 1844 and Indian raids in the area ceased. Permanent settlers moved in, attracted by the quality of the soil, which was suitable for raising cotton, corn, and wheat. This area was part of the great American Black Land Prairie that ran from Canada to the Rio Grande and from the Rockies to the Mississippi. Only 1,000 acres remain of the original 20 million acres known as the Tall Grass Prairie. The Peters Colony named the town for a fifty-foot-high mound covered with Indian paintbrush. Shiloh, which is now part of Flower Mound, was originally part of the Chinn's Chapel settlement. The settlement consisted of three small communities established in 1853 by Elisha Chinn: Bartonville; Waketon; and Shiloh, though the area had been settled in 1845. Shiloh existed just under 100 years. Unlike many pioneer settlements in Denton County that were bypassed by the railroads in the late nineteenth century or unable to survive the Great Depression, Flower Mound maintained a steady population throughout the first four decades of the twentieth century and became a substantial farming and cattle-raising community.

The original name of the immediate area of the present Flower Mound Presbyterian Church was Long Prairie. Geographically it included a rather narrow, but lengthy (approximately four miles), stretch of east-west open country immediately south of Hallford Prairie. Apparently it was called Long Prairie before anyone had settled on it. John L. Lovejoy, a participant in the Village Creek fight, in which John B. Denton was killed, said in after years that the first sermon preached in Denton County was on Long Prairie, preached by John B. Denton to the company of rangers then chasing the Indians, on a Sunday morning in May, 1841. For several years the name continued to be used. One such occasion was a report in 1850 that "Sam Hazelton's widow married a doctor down on Long Prairie." (This is believed to have actually been Edy Wizwell, widow of John R. Wizwell, who married Dr. Burnett Doen.) A report on an Indian raid in 1862 says, "Jack Foster, of Long Prairie, lost a boy." Even as late as 1879, in the deed given by Matthew Donald to Flower Mound Presbyterian Church, the location is described as "on Long Prairie." The church and the activity it generated seem to have caused "Long Prairie" to fall into disuse in favor of "Flower Mound in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

The Chisholm Trail is the most famous cattle drive in the country. It crosses through Flower Mound for about half a mile along the 35W corridor. Six million cattle were herded out of the state during the 20 year period following the civil war along such routes. When Texas joined the union in 1845, the land which would later become Flower mound was located in Fannin County. It was not until 1846 that Denton County came into existence. In 1857, after having met previously at people's homes, the Presbyterian congregation constructed a log building at what is now 1501 Flower Mound Road. The original facility was replaced with the current structure in 1901.

Unlike many pioneer settlements in Denton County that were bypassed by the railroads in the late nineteenth century or unable to survive the Great Depression, Flower Mound maintained a steady population throughout the first four decades of the twentieth century and became a substantial farming and cattle-raising community. In the mid-1950s the town began to grow. The increase in the number of residents was a result of the construction by the United States Corps of Engineers of Grapevine Lake, which was completed on July 2, 1953.  Due to an extended drought, it took 5 years for the lake to completely fill. The lake stimulated the economy of the community and attracted workers who preferred to live outside the central Dallas area. Flower Mound was incorporated on February 27, 1961.In 1953 FM 407, Flower Mound's northern border, and FM 1171, a major east/west corridor, are completed and work begins on I-35 E. FM3040 remained a gravel road. The town had an estimated population of 275 in 1966 and 664 in 1968.

In 1961, Judge Claude Williams ruled against the City of Irving in an annexation attempt that would have included portions of Flower Mound, Lewisville, and what is now DFW Airport. The annexation attempt prompted town leaders to begin petitions requesting that Flower Mound be incorporated. Seven days after the ruling, their goal was achieved. With a vote of 105 to 1, Flower Mound was incorporated with a mayor-commission form of government at the Presbyterian Church on FM 3040. The Denton County Commissioner's Court approved the incorporation two days later after a judge certified the election results. In addition to the annual Town Council elections, Flower Mound Voters went to the polls seven times during this period on secession-related issues, earning the sobriquet of “the Voting Capital of Texas.”

Flower Mound was chosen one of thirteen communities to be affected by the 1968 New Communities Act (Housing and Urban Development Title IV) as the site of a new planned community that would offer model social and environmental conditions to residents. The act, amended in 1970, provided $18 million of a total $294 million in federal loan guarantees for new towns, for developers Raymond D. Nasher, former UN General Assembly delegate, and Edward S. Marcus, chairman of Neiman-Marcus, to set up four village centers or neighborhoods, each with schools, parks, and shopping and recreational facilities, on 6,156 acres on the north shore of Grapevine Lake. Flower Mound New Town, designed as a satellite town to limit the growing urban sprawl of Dallas and Fort Worth, was expected to house some 60,000 to 70,000 persons comprising a mixture of racial and income groups, and to provide such services as cable television, rapid transit to the new Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and environmental protection for the area. Residents of the original town of Flower Mound, however, fought tax increases proposed to accommodate the new development. The dispute resulted in replacement of the city's five aldermen with two city commissioners.

The population of Flower Mound was 1,685 in 1970. Construction began on the new town in 1972, but federal red tape, the 1973-75 economic recession, slow land sales, changing federal policy, and the relative isolation of the site brought failure of the project, despite an additional HUD grant of $170,000. In the spring of 1974 Nasher sold out to Marcus, who in turn sold his half interest to Tinnie Mercantile Company, owned by Robert Anderson, chairman of Atlantic-Richfield. By September 1976, with other new towns failing and Flower Mound experiencing financial difficulty, HUD foreclosed on its model Texas experiment in public-private cooperation. The development, which by then numbered 300 persons and 100 homes, subsequently attracted builders and was renamed Timber Creek Community. In 1980 the town's population was 4,402. In 1990 Flower Mound reported a population of 15,527.

Source: Handbook of Texas Online Brief History of Flower Mound Discover Flower Mound


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