Lewisville ( LOO-iss-vil) is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, predominantly within Denton County with a small part lying within Dallas County. As a suburban community within the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the 2020 census tabulated a population of 111,822.
Originally called Holford’s Prairie, Lewisville dates back to the early 1840s. The arrival of the town’s first railroad in 1881 engendered its initial growth, and the expansion of the area’s transportation infrastructure spurred further development in the early part of the 20th century. Lewisville incorporated in 1925, and when construction of Lewisville Lake was completed in the 1950s, the city began to expand rapidly.
Lewisville’s proximity to Lewisville Lake has made it a recreational hub of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The area’s transportation infrastructure has evolved around the I-35 Corridor along Interstate 35E. The diversity of its population and industry has created a stable economic climate. Lewisville Independent School District provides most of the area’s public education programs.
In 1841, the Republic of Texas chartered the Peters Colony Land Grant Company (named for William Smalling Peters, publisher of the song “Oh! Susanna”) to settle the North Texas area. In 1844, John W. King and his wife settled on the east side of the prairie, where the city now lies. Baptist settlers from Platte County, Missouri, settled on the west side; among them were John and James Holford, who named the area Holford’s Prairie. Further south, Presbyterians established a church and called it Flower Mound. In the confusion over land ownership after the Hedgcoxe War, Basdeal Lewis purchased Holford’s Prairie in 1853 and renamed it after himself.
In 1845, the Fox family, which owned about a dozen slaves, buried a slave child called Melinda on the family farm, which eventually became the town’s cemetery for black residents. Named Fox–Hembry Cemetery, the plot still exists today. After it had fallen into disrepair, local residents and businesses gathered to restore it in 2011. Though Abraham Lincoln was not on the ballot in the area for the 1860 Presidential election, residents of Lewisville (listed as “Hollforts” on election results) still gave John C. Breckinridge only a 44–31 majority over an electoral fusion option.
During Reconstruction, Lewisville became home to Denton County’s first cotton gin. Built in 1867, it could produce up to three bales per day. The Thirteenth Texas Legislature chartered the Dallas and Wichita Railroad (later the Missouri–Kansas–Texas) on terms requiring 20 miles of track to be in running order by July 1, 1875. Lewisville paid the company $15,000 to come to the city, with a promise of another $5,000 on completion. The company fulfilled the deal by completing the railroad tracks to a point just south of Lewisville on the morning of the deadline, and the line began running full-time in 1881. Republicans in the Fourteenth Texas Legislature passed a law on April 30, 1874, prohibiting alcohol within two miles of the town. Many residents ignored the law, however, and the city retained as many as 17 saloons at one point. The population of the unincorporated town was 500 in 1888.
On January 15, 1925, residents voted by a margin of 17 votes to incorporate Lewisville, which established its official boundaries as a city. By 1930, Lewisville’s population had increased to 853, making it the fourth-most populous municipality in Denton County (behind Denton, Sanger, and Pilot Point).
Because the city’s economy had become diversified before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Lewisville was relatively well insulated from the Great Depression. Many residents, including business leaders, nevertheless supported the New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt. By 1936, the Works Progress Administration operated a cannery in the city to provide temporary jobs for unemployed residents. As an extension of the Good Roads Movement, which had been prominent in Denton County since the early 1910s, residents formed the Good Roads Committee of Lewisville to lobby state and federal officials for funding to create better streets. Lewisville celebrated the paving of the U.S. Route 77 between Denton and Dallas in 1931 with a “Coming Out of the Mud” ceremony. The new pavement closed the “Lewisville Gap” between the two cities, a stretch of dirt road through the city that often became too muddy for travel.
The new road also led indirectly to the downfall of the area’s public transportation system. Between 1925 and 1932, the Texas Interurban Railway, an electric commuter rail service that ran from Dallas to Denton, operated a station in Lewisville. Business leaders in the Lewisville Chamber of Commerce welcomed the service at the time, proudly citing the city’s progressive citizenship. The area’s low population density could not sustain the venture, however, and in 1932, the line went out of business and immediately halted service.
On April 25, 1934, Raymond Hamilton of the Barrow gang robbed the First National Bank of Lewisville. Residents chased him to Howe, Texas, where he was captured at a roadblock and transferred to Dallas County Jail.
Lewisville’s rapid growth began when construction of the Garza–Little Elm Dam finished in 1954, expanding the Garza–Little Elm Reservoir into what is now Lewisville Lake. The city adopted a home-rule charter for a council–manager style of municipal government in 1963, becoming one of only a few home-rule cities in Texas with a population less than 5,000. In September 1969, 13 days after Woodstock, the city hosted the Texas International Pop Festival, which drew over 150,000 spectators and featured performances by Janis Joplin, B.B. King, and Led Zeppelin. In 2011, the Texas Historical Commission dedicated a historical event marker at the Hebron A-train station in Lewisville to commemorate the event.
When Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport opened to the south of the city in 1974 and Vista Ridge Mall opened at the intersection of Interstate 35E and Round Grove Road in 1989, Lewisville began to undergo rapid suburban growth. Its population increased from 24,273 in 1980 to 46,521 in 1990, making it the 40th-most populous city in Texas. In the early 1990s, the Lewisville Chamber of Commerce marketed the city with the slogan “City of Expanding Horizons”. Its population reached 77,737 in 2000 and 95,290 in 2010.
Lewisville is at 33°2′18″N 97°0′22″W / 33.03833°N 97.00611°W (33.038316, −97.006232) at an elevation of about 550 feet (170 m). It has a total area of 42.5 square miles (110 km2), of which 6.1 sq mi (16 km) is covered by water. It lies at the southern end of Denton County and the northern end of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, in the eastern part of the Cross Timbers region of Texas between the Texas Blackland Prairies and the Grand Prairie. Vista Ridge, a small plateau, is in the southeast corner of Lewisville, and the lowest part of Denton County, at 484 feet (148 m), is found in the city. Lewisville sits above the Barnett Shale, a geological formation containing a large quantity of natural shale gas.
Water constitutes about 14% of the city’s total area, including Lewisville Lake, the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, and two local tributaries of the Elm Fork – Prairie Creek and Timber Creek. A riparian zone encompasses a portion of the city in the southeast. The intersection of the Elm Fork and Lake Lewisville has given rise to a delta at the southern end of the lake, extending 6.9 miles (11.1 km) south. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has labeled much of the area surrounding the delta as “Zone AE”, meaning the area is subject to 100-year flood precautions.
Lewisville’s climate is classified as humid subtropical. Its Köppen climate classification is Cfa, which means it has a temperate climate, does not have a dry season, and has a hot summer. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Lewisville is in a hardiness zone of 8a. The city is seldom affected by extreme weather, but Hurricane Carla in 1961 brought 86-mile-per-hour (138 km/h) winds and caused 6-foot (1.8 m) swells on Lewisville Lake. During heavy rains, Timber Creek can overflow its banks, and on rare occasions, flood some of the surrounding homes. The National Weather Service defines no official borders for Tornado Alley, but Lewisville is considered to be in it.
The 2010 United States census recorded a population of 95,290 in Lewisville, up from the 77,737 recorded for the 2000 U.S. census, making it one of the 25 fastest-growing city populations in the United States. The 2010 population was made up of 37,496 households and 23,417 families. At the 2018-2019 American Community Survey estimates, the city of Lewisville had a population of 108,562 and 109,212. Of its estimated population, 46.1% were male and 53.9% were female. There was an average of 85.5 males per 100 females. As of the 2020 United States census, 111,822 people, 39,664 households, and 24,536 families were residing in the city.
Its racial makeup in 2010 was 65.3% White, 11.2% African American, 0.7% Native American, 7.8% Asian (including a growing diaspora from Myanmar), 11.3% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. At 2010’s census, 29.2% of the population was considered to be of Hispanic or Latino origin. Children under 18 lived in 35.5% of the households. The average household size was 2.53 persons and the average family size was 3.21 persons. The median age was 30.9 years. Between 2007 and 2011, the median income for a Lewisville household was $56,811, and per capita income was $28,144. About 9.6% of the population was below the poverty line, as compared to 17% for Texas as a whole.
Lewisville’s racial and ethnic makeup at the 2018 census estimates were 45.6% non-Hispanic White, 12.4% Black or African American, 10.9% Asian, 0.7% some other race, 1.6% two or more races, and 28.3% Hispanic or Latino American of any race. The median age in Lewisville was 34.9. In 2018, Mexican Americans made up the largest Hispanic or Latino group within the city limit (22.9%). Puerto Ricans (1.2%) were the second-largest single Latin group followed by Cubans (0.1%) and other Hispanics or Latinos (4.2%). By the 2020 census, its racial and ethnic makeup was 36.37% non-Hispanic White, 15.45% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 11.21% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.46% some other race, 4.07% multiracial, and 32.06% Hispanic or Latino American of any race.
The 41,101 households in 2019 had an average household size of 2.63. The average family size was 3.44. About 76.6% of Lewisville’s residents were native-born and 21.6% were foreign-born. Of the immigrant population, 39.7% were naturalized U.S. citizens. The majority of its immigrant population had lived in the city before 2010. Roughly 40% entered after 2010. At home, 34.6% spoke another language other than English. From 2014-2019, the median household income increased to $65,836. Resident households had a mean income of $79,211.
The city has a diverse commercial tax base. Its top employers include JPMorgan Chase, Lewisville Independent School District, and Nationstar Mortgage. Automobile dealerships have flourished there, including Huffines Auto Dealerships and Village Auto Group, which was ranked as one of the top “Powerhouses of the New Economy” by Black Enterprise magazine in 2000.
Lewisville’s lake and the city’s location in the DFW metroplex have contributed to the largest boat-sales market in the state by volume in a state second in the nation in overall boat sales. Because of the city’s proximity to Dallas and Fort Worth, a number of food distribution companies have branches in Lewisville, including Sysco and Meadowbrook Meat Company (MBM). Fleming Companies, one of the United States’ largest food distribution companies, relocated to Lewisville in 2000, but it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2003 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the company had been hiding massive losses. Responsive Education Solutions, which operates chartered schools nationwide, is also headquartered in Lewisville. Adeptus Health, a health-care provider, and the utility company Texas—New Mexico Power are also headquartered in the city.
The Lewisville Grand Theater, known informally as The Grand, is on the east side of Interstate 35E in Lewisville’s Old Town. It is a hub for the arts in Lewisville, able to show films, host meetings, and provide a venue for various kinds of artistic performances. The project began in 2004 and aimed to fulfill a long-term goal of building an arts center to coincide with the 2011 opening of the Old Town Station. The facility opened in January 2011 with a series of performances, children’s shows, concerts, and exhibits, and the Greater Lewisville Arts Alliance presented the theater with a $25,000 contribution to begin their fundraiser to place a Steinway piano in the theater. In 2011 and 2012, The Flower Mound Connection newspaper named the MCL Grand the best events venue in Denton County.
The facility originally was called Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater as part of a 10-year naming-rights agreement with the local hospital. It later changed name to Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater when the hospital was rebranded. The naming rights agreement with Medical City Lewisville ended in December 2020 and the facility was renamed Lewisville Grand Theater.
The city government created the Lewisville Public Library in 1968, naming Cindy Bennett as its first director. A 5,000 sq ft (460 m) structure was built where the city hall now stands. A new library facility was built in 1986 as part of the municipal building on Main Street. In 2001, Lewisville voters approved a 4B tax package, part of which was dedicated to building a new library facility, the children’s wing of which was dedicated to Bennett. The $11 million renovation opened in 2006, and it received the Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Award in that year and again in 2009. Lewisville was also the temporary home of the George W. Bush Presidential Library until 2013.
Lewisville is served mainly by media from the Dallas area, but a number of niche publications focus on local news. The Lewisville Enterprise merged with The Lewisville Leader in 1962. The paper’s publisher and editor at the time, U.O. Clements, was a staunch conservative, but vociferously supported the racial integration of Lewisville Independent School District, for which he received many anonymous threats from members of the Ku Klux Klan. Clements sold the paper to Harte-Hanks Community Newspapers in 1971. Star Newspapers, which owned the Leader, was purchased by 1013 Communications in 2012. The newspaper is based in Plano, Texas. In 2011, the Lewisville City Council designated the Lewisville portion of Neighborsgo, a weekly section of The Dallas Morning News, as the city’s official newspaper of record.
The city of Lewisville operates public recreation facilities, including parks, two recreation centers, and approximately 14 miles (23 km) of trails. The $20 million Railroad Park was built in 2009 using the revenue from a quarter-cent sales tax increase; it was the largest capital project in the city’s history at the time. It was renamed Toyota of Lewisville Railroad Park in 2010 in a deal worth $1.5 million. The park has a baseball/softball complex, a football complex, eight lighted soccer fields, two concession buildings, a perimeter walking/jogging trail, three man-made lakes, a dog park and the Scion Skate Park. Since 2010, the skate park has hosted the Scion Regional Amateur Tour, part an annual series of six skateboarding competitions held across the country. In 2012, the venue hosted its first annual triathlon event benefiting the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Denton County.
Lewisville Lake Park comprises 662 acres (268 ha), which the city leases from the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The park includes various amenities, including athletic fields and designated campgrounds. The Lewisville Fishing Barge, an indoor–outdoor fishing facility that opened in 1958, is on the lake. The park also hosts the Rick Neill Memorial, a cross-country running meet the Lewisville High School track and field team organizes each year. In February 2013, the city began to review a development proposal to build a resort hotel and convention center on a 60-acre (0.24 km2) parcel of land next to the lake.
Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) is a 2,600 acres (1,100 ha) nature preserve managed by the city in partnership with Lewisville ISD and UNT. It has over 7 miles of hiking trails as well as opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. LLELA serves as the centerpiece for the city’s Green Centerpiece Master Strategy, which aims to preserve the natural spaces around Lake Lewisville and establish the city as a major recreation destination within the DFW metro area.
Lewisville is also a major hub of the Northern Golf Corridor of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Golf facilities in the city include the Hank Haney Golf Ranch at Vista Ridge and Timbercreek Golf Center. Located on the city’s southeast edge, the Lakes at Castle Hills is a Jay Morrish-designed course which opened in the late 1990s; critics have rated the course highly, praising its amenities and difficulty level. Lake Park Golf Course, near Lewisville Lake, is noted for its beginner-friendly design. The nine-hole, 1,724-yard (1,576 m) Lake Park Executive course opened in 1994. Lewisville is also home to professional golfer Chad Campbell, winner of the 2003 Tour Championship.
In 2011, the Lewisville Park Board proposed a new master plan for the city’s parks and recreation facilities. It specifies a major overhaul of the city’s trail system, including 51 miles (82 km) of off-street trails, 50 miles (80 km) of enhanced sidewalks, 50 miles (80 km) of bicycle routes, a 7.4-mile (11.9 km) paddling trail down the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, and 31 major and minor trailheads throughout the area, many of which would connect to other trail networks. The plan includes numerous crossings of Interstate 35E for pedestrian and bicyclist safety. In March 2012, the Park Board began reviewing a new master plan to address the next ten years of park development in the city.