In 1837, after a savage Indian battle, the remnants of a Texas Ranger scouting expedition camped in a lovely spot along “the creek with all the turtles.” These survivors were the first recorded Anglo-Americans in that area that is now known as Highland Park.
A year later, an old Caddo Indian trace was surveyed by the Republic of Texas to become part of a National Central Road to run north from Austin to the Red River. This road was also used as a segment of the old Shawnee Trail for cattle drives to Missouri. Today that road is known as Preston Road, the first paved street in Highland Park and one of the first major highways in this area.
In 1843, Dr. John Cole of Virginia acquired 420 acres as a headright from the Republic of Texas. This acreage includes the area of what was to become both Highland Park and University Park. In 1851, Dr. Cole’s son, Joseph Larkin Cole, inherited this land.
Between 1886 and 1889, Colonel Henry Exall, of Kentucky and Virginia, along with other investors, acquired the Cole property. Colonel Exall constructed a dam on Turtle Creek in 1890, creating Exall Lake, and began laying out the graveled streets. After a financial setback, Colonel Exall farmed and raised trotting horses in this area he called lomo alto (high land.)
In 1907, John S. Armstrong purchased the land and along with his two sons-in-law, Edgar L. Flippen and Hugh E. Prather, Sr., began development of a residential community to be called Highland Park, so named because of its higher elevation as compared to the surrounding area and because of a plan to reserve 20% of the developed land for parks. Wilbur David Cook, the planner who had laid out Beverly Hills, California, laid out the plans for development of the area. The first two lots were sold in 1909, in an area bounded by Armstrong, Abbott and Gillon Avenues and Hackberry Creek.
In 1913, the Town was incorporated by a vote of its residents and the evolvement of present day Highland Park began.
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Author:Jessica Boozer Phone: 214-934-5334 Dated: April 23rd 2013 Views: 2,858 About Jessica: Jessica Boozer stands for experience, market knowledge and diligence. If you are looking for a local...