History of Burleson, Texas


What is Burleson and where it is located?

Burleson is a city in the state of Texas. This is not to be confused with Burleson County which is also located in Texas. Nor Burleson is not in Burleson County. Instead, the city of Burleson is located between the counties of Johnson on the north and Tarrant on the south. The city of Burleson is located fourteen miles south of Fort Worth, and the creeks of Shannon and Village run through the community.

Burleson in the 19th century

The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad runs through Burleson and the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe runs just to the west.

Burleson’s origins started in 1881 when the Missouri-Kansas-Texas proposed to build a railroad that would begin in Fort Worth and end in Hillsboro. MKT then established a depot on the town site.

A man by the name of Grenville M. Dodge represented the railroad. Dodge bought the land which was originally part of the J.W. Henderson survey, from Reverend Henry C. Renfro. This agreement also allowed Rev. Renfro to name the area Burleson, in honor of his teacher Dr. Rufus Columbus Burleson, who also became president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas (1851-1861, 1886-1897).

Burleson prospered as a stable agriculture-centered community. It also engaged in the business of livestock farming. It built its first school in 1879. By the early 1880s Burleson had its first post office, with John L. Dickey being the community’s first postmaster. In 1885 the area established its first institution of higher learning and named it the PreAlta Vista College, which eventually became Red Oak Academy. The school was run by the Presbyterians.

An earlier community called Brushy Mound was just a mile south of Burleson; today, Brushy Mound is now part of Burleson.

By the late 19th century Burleson continued to prosper and its population had been numbered to about 200. Grocers, druggists, a general store and several cotton gin-gristmills had been operating in Burleson. By this period the town had shipped 2,000 bales of cotton, 80 cars of harvested oats and wheats, and 30 cars of cottonseed.

Burleson in the 20th century

In 1900 Burleson launched its first newspaper the Burleson Banner. Utility services such as an artesian well and waterworks were installed to supply water to both residential and commercial areas.

Burleson’s population see-sawed from 368 in 1904 to 241 in the 1920s and then to 573 in the 1940s. The town also benefited from its first electricity in 1913. In early 1920s Burleson was also provided with gas service from Lone Star Gas.

In 1912 the North Texas Traction Company started its Interurban line service that occurred between Cleburne and Fort Worth, with the stop being in Burleson. This opened Burleson to more opportunities and access to the outside world. In the 1930s the town boasted about thirty business establishments.

The booming progress and population of the city

Burleson’s growth provided more land to allow the construction of more buildings. From its population of 573 in 1940, it rose to 795 in 1950. However, Burleson experienced a population boom in only a decade, from 795 in 1950 to 2,345 in 1960. During that decade, Burleson had about 60 businesses.

In 1980 the city’s popuation stood at 11,734, and 196 business establishments. From seven manufacturers in 1950, the city now supported 14 which constructed a wide range of materials that included glass, camper tops, mobile homes and metal storage heads. By the 1990s Burleson’s population rose to 16, 113, and had launched three more local newspapers. By the new millenium, Burleson’s population increased further at 20,976. In 2013 Burleson’s population was estimated at 40,000.

The pride of Burleson

Burleson also has a local library and a museum, which were located at the Victorian-styled home of the Clark and Refrom families. A golf course named Hidden Creek is also in Burleson, and has been named the “toughest public golf course” probably in the entire Dallas and Fort Worth. The city also has at least six hospitals that also include a trauma center and a pediatric hospital.

Burleson also prides in a variety of retail establishments, low unemployment rate, as well as a low cost of living compared to other US cities. In fact, in 2010 the city was adjudged as the winner of America’s Promise Alliance’s “100 Best Communities for Young People.” In addition to this, students in the city consistently bring in high scores in their SAT and ACT admission exams — and these scores are even higher than the overall state and national averages. Burleson has really come a long way indeed.

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