The History of Carrollton, Texas

Early Settlement Period (1840s-1880s)

The area that would later become Carrollton was originally inhabited by Native American tribes like the Kichai, Lenape, and Kickapoo peoples. The firstEuropean settlers arrived in the early 1840s when the Peters Colony land grant opened up North Texas to American homesteaders.

Some of the earliest homesteads and communities founded in the 1840s-1860s include:

  • Elm Fork Settlement
  • Trinity Mills
  • Frankford

The early economy was based around agriculture with a focus on cotton and cereal crops. Ranching also developed as an important early industry.

Transportation infrastructure slowly developed with roads like the Shawnee Trail (for cattle drives) and the Preston Road, linking the area with markets to the north and east.

Founding of Carrollton & Early Development (1845-1885)

On January 6, 1845, the town of Carrollton was officially founded by J.M. and Melissa Truett. The Truetts donated 120 acres and named the town after Carrollton, Illinois, their former home.

Some key events and developments in Carrollton’s early days:

  • 1857 – First church established (Baptist church)
  • 1859 – Post office opens
  • 1872 – Railroad comes to town
  • 1874 – First public schoolhouse built
  • 1882 – Town gets telephones

The railroad connection helped establish Carrollton as a regional shipping hub for cash crops like cotton, hay, and grain. This fueled population and economic growth through the late 1800s.

List of Mayors (1845-1899)

  • J.M Truett (1845-1852)
  • William Flowers (1852-1858)
  • Jasper K. Smith (1858-1861)
  • John S. Biggerstaff (1861-1866)
  • James Oliver (1866-1882)
  • Bennett Bain (1882-1899)

Infrastructure Expansion Period (1900-1949)

In the early 20th century, Carrollton saw improvements in infrastructure like electricity, waterworks, and paved roads. New Deal programs during the Great Depression helped fund projects like the historic Carrollton courthouse.

Transportation & Roads

As Carrollton grew in the early 1900s, improving transportation infrastructure became a priority:

  • 1913 – Interurban electric railway reaches Carrollton
  • 1921 – First paved roads built through town
  • 1930s – WPA funds construction of over 50 miles of paved roads in area

These projects made it easier for farmers and businesses to transport goods to market and for the population to travel to Dallas and other regional hubs.

Public Works

Investments were made to improve public infrastructure and amenities:

  • 1914 – Electric lights installed
  • 1915 – Waterworks funded
  • 1930 – Sewer system constructed
  • 1937 – WPA builds historic courthouse

Population Growth

Carrollton’s population boomed through the first half of the 20th century:


New subdivisions like Dudley Heights, Furneaux Junction, and Carrollton Heights were constructed to house all of the new residents.

Suburbanization Period (1950-1990)

After World War II, Carrollton transformed from a small agricultural town into a fast-growing suburb of Dallas. Residential and commercial development accelerated as the population skyrocketed.


New highways and infrastructure fueled rapid suburban growth:

  • 1952 – North Central Expressway opens
  • 1956 – Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike complete
  • 1968 – DFW Airport begins operations

These made Carrollton easily accessible from Dallas and the region.

Suburban Development

With convenient highway access, Carrollton became a magnet for suburban development projects catering to Dallas commuters:

  • Mid-1950s – First housing subdivision for Dallas residents
  • 1960s – Apartment complexes built along North Central Expressway
  • 1970s – Shopping centers, retail stores, and malls constructed

Older downtown areas declined as commercial activity decentralized along highways.

Demographic Changes

The population exploded from 13,855 in 1960 to over 70,000 by 1990. Many were middle-class white Dallas residents.

But Carrollton also saw an influx of international residents like:

  • 1970s – Waves of Vietnamese and Laotian refugees settle in Carrollton after the Vietnam War
  • 1980s – Latino and South Asian populations grow significantly

Maturation as a Suburb (1990-present)

Over the past three decades, Carrollton has matured into a large and demographically diverse middle-class suburb. The population has continued growing while the economy has diversified.

Ongoing Population Growth

Fueled by a strong economy and diverse community, Carrollton’s population growth has outpaced most suburbs:

  • 1990: 83,170
  • 2000: 115,576
  • 2010: 119,097
  • Current 2024 estimate: 150,000+

Much of the growth has come from existing immigrant communities and domestic relocations.

Commercial Development

As the tax base, population, and spending power have expanded, Carrollton has attracted major commercial projects:

Major Retail/Dining

  • 2001 – Grapevine Mills Mall
  • 2007 – Vista Ridge Mall
  • 2012 – Indian grocery stores & restaurants open in “Little India” district

Major Employers

  • 1999 – MetroPCS headquarters relocates
  • 2001 – CARROLLTON TX DISTRIBUTION CTR distribution center opens
  • 2008 – GameStop headquarters moves to Carrollton

Major retailers like Walmart, Target, Kohls, and Home Depot have also opened large stores.

Cultural Diversity

Today, over 45% of residents are foreign-born. The largest groups are immigrants from:

  • Vietnam
  • India
  • Mexico
  • China/Taiwan
  • El Salvador

The diversity has enriched the city’s culture through ethnic restaurants, grocery stores, places of worship, festivals, and more.


Over its 180-year history, Carrollton has transformed from a tiny frontier settlement into one of the most prominent suburbs in North Texas. It has a bright future ahead as the population and economy continue expanding.

Check Our Blogs

No posts

Contact Us.

Get Solutions For All Fencing Services

Every day from

9:00 — 5:00

Call to ask any question

+1 (469) 378-9167


  • Take the highway 75 North from Dallas toward Oklahoma. After about 10 miles, take exit 29A toward Belt Line Road. Merge onto Belt Line Road and continue for 3 miles. Turn left onto Old Denton Road and continue for half a mile. Turn right onto Verlaine Drive. 2002 Verlaine Dr will be on your right. The total drive is about 15 miles.
  • From Dallas, head west on Interstate 635 W. Take exit 17 from I-635 W to merge onto TX-121 N/Sam Rayburn Tollway toward DFW Airport/Lewisville. Continue on TX-121 N for about 10 miles then use the 2 right lanes to take exit 28A for TX-114 W toward Southlake. Continue onto TX-114 W for about 6 miles then use the left 2 lanes to take exit 43 for TX-121 N toward Grapevine/DFW Int’l Airport. Take that road for 2.5 miles then use the right 3 lanes to take exit 23A to merge onto TX-121 N/TX-26 W. In 1 mile, use the 2nd from the right lane to take exit 26A toward E Belt Line Rd/FM-2499. Stay straight to go onto William D Tate Ave then turn left onto Old Denton Rd. After half a mile, turn right onto Verlaine Dr. 2002 Verlaine Dr is on the right just after Rembrandt Dr. Total drive is around 25 miles.
  • Start out going northwest on Live Oak St toward Pacific Ave for 0.3 miles. Use the left lane to turn left onto north Pacific Ave. Continue on Pacific Ave to US-75 N. Merge onto US-75 N toward Sherman. Take exit 29 for Belt Line Rd. Turn right onto Belt Line Rd. Turn left onto Old Denton Rd and continue for half a mile. Turn right onto Verlaine Dr. 2002 Verlaine Dr is on your right. The total drive is just over 15 miles.