Way back in the 1800s, settlements cropped up in the Texas region which would later become what is now known as Ellis County. The history of Midlothian, TX is rich with facts that depict a lively story of growth and development.
In the early days, Sam Houston, representing the republic of Texas arrived at a conclusion for colonization. He formed a peace treaty with the Indian Inhabitants of the region.
Colonization was happening at a slow pace until the early settlers of the colonized region arrived. Some of them came with their cattle and slaves whom they took care of.
Who were the first settlers?
Tonkawa Indians were the first settlers of the Midlothian region. Other Indian tribes such as Wacos, Bidias, Kickapoos, and Anadarkos also hunted in this region.
In 1848, the settlements grew with the moving in of Larkin Newton and his family. Larkin Newton lived there with his wife and eight children.
Three more children were brought up by Newton and the colony changed in to a county. During those times, Newton’s occupation included working as a gristmill operator, a postmaster, and a land surveyor.
Another inhabitant, Williams Hawkins settled at Hawkins’ Spring around the same time. He later took the responsibility of managing the Ellis County as the county’s first Chief of Justice.
What's in its name?
The name “Midlothian” has an interesting story behind it. The name was used by local inhabitants in 1883. Legends say that a Scottish train engineer remembered his homeland i.e. Scotland, when he saw the local countryside.
Also, the location of the region was like a midpoint between Cleburne and Dallas. It was a midpoint between Fort Worth and Ennis as well. So, when the rail road finally arrived, Midlothian was populated. The incorporation of Midlothian took place in April 1888.
What is the story of Midlothian?
Let’s go through the history of Midlothian by highlighting some of the most significant milestones.
Between 1870 and 1880, the population increased by three times. The reason for this sudden increase was due to the connectivity offered by the railroads. Cattle-raising and farming were two main occupations that also led to the growth of the region.
The rail road increased the possibilities of trading and made it easier to acquire new equipment for implementing advanced farming techniques. With these new developments, Ellis County gained prominence as the leading producer of cotton.
Around 25 businesses blossomed at that time in Midlothian.
The first school
In 1850, Midlothian got its first school. It was just a log cabin with earthen flooring. The people of the county used it to conduct meeting. The place also served as a church for the people.
Inception of educational institutions
In 1883, Midlothian got its first Polytechnic Institute in Kimmel Park. William Wesley Works founded the institute and ran it as a private coeducational boarding school. Primary and high education with full curriculum was offered at the institute.
The school was later merged with Midlothian public schools in 1903 and came to be known as Midlothian College. Kimmel Park still has a marker to remind visitors about the first school’s history.
Progress arrived with the railroads
Railroads were a turning point in the history of Midlothian, TX. July 4, 1883 marked the arrival of the first locomotive at Santa Fe Depot, Cleburne. In 1886, more trains connected Midlothian to New Orleans and Fort Worth.
Later, two highways were built passing Midlothian. The location of Midlothian was advantageous to new businesses and industries that needed good connectivity. Midlothian was a central region for access to many cities.
While the industrial growth took this region to greater heights, the fertile soil also paved ways for agricultural growth in early 1990’s.
Post World War II
In mid 1900s, the limestone rich reserves caught the attention of businessmen such as Texas Industries, Inc., Holcim, Ash Grove Texas and other built their cement plants in the region.
Steel and Power industries also gained momentum. A town that housed 25 people once upon time, now has Gerdau Ameristeel, that employs more than thousands in their steel plant. Midlothian’s Gerdau Ameristeel is the second largest producer of structural steel in North America.
The Auto Park and Rail Port, these two industrial parks took the industrial development to the next level in Midlothian. Towards the 1980’s, the 600-acre Auto Park started automobile processing and distribution to leading automobile companies such as Toyota, Kia, Mazda, and others.
The history of Midlothian, TX represents a century of progress that turned a small unknown region to a flourishing city, flocked by people enjoying the benefits of modernization. The railroads and industrial growth has led to educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the current generation. Midlothian Texas is home of The Balanced Canine DFW.