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Highland Park, Texas Celebrates it's Centennial!

Written by Posted On Sunday, 27 October 2013 16:37

Through The Years In Highland Park! Celebrating the Centennial!


Highland Park is a unique township…. retaining a sense of place, and people. The town occupies land, originally four land grants, dating from the Republic of Texas. The founders of Highland Park were entrepreneurs, leaders not just in development, but in the quality of life for the larger community including Dallas. That tradition of citizen participation endures. One hundred years of leading and learning shows Centennial theme!


This timeline is history-at-a-glance for the Town of Highland Park. Each date will include brief details about the year and many will have links to relevant material. Please take a quick look back over the past 100 years of the wonderful town of Highland Park.



Warren Ferris surveyed a townsite to be called Warwick at the three forks of the Trinity.


John Neely Bryan came from Arkansas to the three forks of the Trinity River. He followed a faint road that became part of the Shawnee Trail, later known as Preston's Trail, then Preston Road. Bryan may have come through Highland Park.


The Republic of Texas enters an agreement with a group headed by W.S. Peters to grant 640 acres to each family of settlers and 320 acres to single men over age 17.


Dr. John Cole and family from Arkansas settled at Cedar Springs and claimed his 640 acres straddling the Turtle Creek watercourse. He bought an additional 160 acres from the Grigsby family. 


Surveyor J.P. Dumas laid out the townsite bounded by Water Street (triple underpass), Young, Poydras and Calhoun (Munger) and Bryan named it Dallas. In 1846 DallasCounty was officially established.


William Caruth came from Kentucky followed by brother Walter in 1849, establishing a store on the banks of the Trinity river. They began buying land north of Bryan's village.


The Caruths bought 492 acres from the Cole family, land that would become the first installment of Highland Park.


Thomas L. Marsalis moved to Dallas from Mississippi and established a wholesale grocery business.


The first railroad came to Dallas, the Houston and Texas Central, a north-south route. Dallas becomes the first Texas city with a rail crossroads, adding the Texas and Pacific on an east-west route.



John S. Armstrong moved to Dallas from Kentucky and formed a wholesale grocery partnership with T. L. Marsalis.


Armstrong and Marsalis formed the Dallas Land and Loan Company, purchasing 2,000 acres south of the Trinity River for a development called Oak Cliff.


Virginia-born Henry Exall moved to Dallas from near Lampasas, Texas, and helped organize a bank.


The development partnership dissolved; Marsalis kept the Oak Cliff project and Armstrong bought a meat packing company.


Exall had acquired three tracts of land from the Cole heirs totaling 834 acres, north of Dallas, along Turtle Creek. He sold the land to a group of Pennsylvania investors who simultaneously bought another former Cole tract from Walter Caruth of 492 acres. The cost was $377 an acre for the 1326 acres to be developed as a residential community known as Philadelphia Place.


Exall dammed Turtle Creek to create Exall Lake, a recreational area and water supply. He added gravel roads Abbott, Lomo Alto and Beverly, also adding a wooden bridge over Turtle Creek at Beverly.


national financial panic had effect in Dallas: Marsalis declared bankruptcy, Exall lost his bank, development stopped for Philadelphia Place and Exall used the land for his Lomo Alto (HighLand) horse farm.


Munger Place, a 300 acre addition, opened as Dallas' first northern suburb, bounded by Fitzhugh, Live Oak, Henderson and Columbia streets.


John Armstrong bought the Philadelphia Place acreage for $276 an acre, the land comprising original land grants from the Republic of Texas. Armstrong formed a realty company with sons-in-law Hugh Prather and Edgar Flippen. That fall, they went to California and hired a planner named Wilbur David Cook who had just laid out a community named Beverly Hills. Cook completed a master plan in six months, using 20% of the land for parks and green space. The new residential development was named Highland Park.



The first ad for lot sales appeared in the Dallas Morning News, offering 100 front foot lots in "the Residence Show Grounds of Texas." Lot prices ranged from $10-$30 per foot. The Flippen-Prather Company bought an additional 44 acres along Turtle Creek, south of renamed Highland Park Lake. Armstrong offered 100 acres west of Preston Road to the Texas Presbyterian University, an opportunity that would unfortunately never come to fruition.


 John Armstrong died and the development of Highland Park continued through its owners, the Flippen-Prather Realty Company. They began negotiations with the Dallas Golf and Country Club, then located on Welborn Street.


 The Dallas Country Club bought acreage along Turtle Creek. A plat for the First Installment was filed, 93 acres bounded by Abbott, Armstrong, Gillon and Hackberry Creek. New homes were to cost a minimum of $2,000.Streetcar tracks from downtown on Cole Avenue continued on Knox Street, crossed the MKT tracks and continued on Euclid Avenue almost to Highland Park LakeE.L. Flippen and Hugh Prather began building homes on Preston Road overlooking Highland Park Lake.


The Second Installment was filed, "Lakeside Addition," 108 acres south of the country club, bounded by Beverly, Lakeside, Armstrong and Hackberry Creek. A frame building on land near Abbott and Lexington served as a school. Alice Armstrong gave 100 acres of land north of Mockingbird for a new Methodist University.


Dallas won the vote for a new Methodist school. Southern Methodist University began building Dallas Hall. Parents bought a frame building on McKinney Avenue and moved it to 4900 Abbott where it served as the community's first school building.


The new Dallas Country Club opened and the Third Installment was filed, "Country Club Estates," 73 acres bounded by Mockinbird, Drexel, Beverly and Fairfield. Later that year the Fourth Installment, "University Hills," 238 acres from St. John's to Airline, and Gillon to Mockingbird. MorganSchool began building on Abbott at Euclid, to be known asHighland Park Academy.


Incorporation was voted to become the Town of Highland Park. Speed limits were set at 20 miles per hour. The Highland Park Common School District petitioned the county to become the Highland Park Independent School District.


A local school system was established. Armstrong School opened. The first chief of police was named.


A.T. Lloyd bought a six acre lot at Beverly Drive and Preston Road for $22,500, the highest lot price in Dallas history.Southern Methodist University opened.


Planner George Kessler extended Turtle Creek Parkway along Lakeside Drive to the new Armstrong Parkway, using land bought in 1907.


Average value of a home in Highland Park was $9,000.


Dallas voted to annex Highland Park.


The Town voted to pave its streets. Maplewood was the first street to be paved.


The Town annexed the Mt. Vernon Addition, bounded by Turtle Creek Boulevard, Mockingbird, Key Street and the alley between Shenandoah and Binkley. The MKT railroad built a station at Abbott and Euclid. Highland Park High School, located on Normandy, opened.


Highland Park West was announced, 306 acres with improvement costs at $3210 per acre.   No alleys were planned as they were in the prior development, but there were 10 foot utility reservations.  The First Installment filed that year featured 132 lots of 100 front feet on 90 acres bounded by Preston, Westway, Armstrong and Belclaire.  Cole Avenue was paved that year, still the direct route from downtown to Highland Park.


Flippen-Prather Realty established a sales office at 4800 Preston Road.  The Second Installment of Highland Park West composed of 206 lots on 56 acres, the "Country Club Section," bounded by Mockingbird, Beverly, Preston and Armstrong.  Two blocks were held back at the corner of Preston and Mockingbird. The first council meeting was held in the new Town Hall.


The Third Installment of Highland Park West was 28 acres of luxury lots bounded by Beverly, Belclaire, Preston and Armstrong.  Later that year the Fourth Installment included 178 lots from 50 to 80 front feet on 58 acres bounded by Armstrong to the Cotton Belt tracks, Mockingbird to Beverly.


John S. Bradfield School opened.


The Fifth Installment of Highland Park West was south of Beverly between Armstrong and the Cotton Belt tracks called the " Central Section ", with 30 to 90 front foot lots.  The Westpark Addition for duplexes and commercial, was from Rheims Place to Lemmon, Lomo Alto to the railroad.  University Park School opened.  Planning began for the Highland ParkVillage.


Zoning ordinances were established.


A sales office opened on the site of Highland Park Village.


Highland Park High School, located on Emerson, opened. The former high school became Highland Park Junior High School.


Robert S. Hyer School opened.


Armstrong School, expanded in 1933 and 1939, burned.


Armstrong School reopened. 


E.L. Flippen passed away.


Hugh Prather, Sr. passed away.


Highland ParkJunior High School became Highland Park Middle School - the 6th grade moved to middle school and the 9th grade to high school. The school was renamed for Arch McCulloch in 1974.


Highland Park Middle School, grades 7 and 8, and McCullochIntermediateSchool, grades 5 and 6, opened in a unique shared campus building complex. 



copyright:Town of Highland Park




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