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Southlake TX History – A Brief History

Flanked by fertile prairie and good water supply from Denton Creek, the lush forest and surrounding lands attracted settlers from far and wide. Arriving in wagons and on horseback, they came from Tennessee, Missouri and many Southern states to make their homes from the sturdy timber. In the 1840s, the Lonesome Dove Baptist Church was built, followed by White’s Chapel Methodist Church in the early 1870s.

Prior to 1956, Southlake was known simply as the area west of Grapevine, defined by four small communities: Dove, Jellico, Union Church and Whites Chapel. Each shares the fabled history of the region, with the lives and times of the residents documented in 10 historical markers — perfect destinations for curious-minded history buffs.

The unique character of the churches, cemeteries and schools are documented in the markers and monuments spanning a timeline starting in the late 1800s. Included are White’s Chapel Cemetery, White’s Chapel Methodist Church, Lonesome Dove Baptist Church and Cemetery, Absalom H. Chivers Cemetery, Thomas Easter Cemetery and the Jellico Community. The Carroll School marker tells the stories of one-room school houses throughout the area, including the Dove School, founded in 1847.

Texas history sparkles with tales of legendary leaders – and outlaws. The infamous Bonnie Parker and Clyde Darrow had family ties to Southlake. On Easter Sunday in 1934, at the intersection of Texas 114 and Dove Road, the couple, or a member of their gang, shot and killed two highway patrol officers. One of the officers was about to be married; his bride-to-be wore her wedding outfit to his funeral. An historical monument marks the spot today.

With an abundance of timber in its earliest days, it’s no surprise that history stands tall in Southlake’s Log House. The one-room cabin was made from two existing structures built in the 1850s and 1860s. The home is situated behind the historically significant Bunker Hill, once considered the highest point in the city, and a likely lookout point for travelers, settlers and perhaps Native Americans.

Preserving and encouraging an appreciation of history, the Southlake Historical Society is a treasure-trove for visitors and anyone studying the heritage of the region. The society regularly sponsors educational exhibits and exciting events like the annual cemetery tour, where history springs to life in reenactments. The society has earned numerous kudos for its outstanding work, including the National Historic Preservation Award from the Captain Molly Corbin Chapter of the DAR, Grapevine.