The History of the HEB Area (Hurst Euless Bedford)
The Hurst Euless Bedford community is accessible to the Dallas-Fort Worth area by only a twenty-minute drive. People recognize HEB for its high-performing schools, its family-centric ideals, and plenty of activities– especially of a historical nature.
Curious about the history of HEB? Keep reading for our detailed and entertaining guide to Hurst-Euless-Bedford history– great for weekend enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
The HEB – Hurst Euless Bedford Area
Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Texas is a trio of cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Due to its location along a major Texas highway system, and its proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, HEB is a major transportation hub for many Texans. Considered a part of the “Mid-Cities” region, HEB shares a school and hospital district while maintaining separate governments.
As of the 2020 census, census workers estimated the population to be approximately 40,000. Citizens recognize Hurst for its remarkably stable economy and a family-friendly environment.
In 1903, the Rock Island Line came to town, building through the ranch land and small communities that had cropped up after the Civil War. William Letchford Hurst, a Tennessee farmer who had settled in the area, donated land to the cause.
The town was virtually nonexistent until industrial projects began in the 1920s. Prohibition (1920-1933) created a small window of opportunity for those making and selling whiskey along the river.
Hurst built its first school in 1940, which helped the town to grow to about 100 occupants. It wasn’t until the construction of a 1951 production plant that the population grew considerably larger.
Named for the county in Tennessee where most of the original settlers originated, citizens established as a community in the late 1840s. In contrast to Hurst, Bedford was a booming town by the 1880s. This was due to the impressive number of businesses, as well as the college founded in 1882.
The highway system was devastating to Bedford, diverting much of its previous traffic to larger metropolitan areas. The population shrunk in size, and the remaining residents lived a quiet life of dairy farming.
After voting to incorporate in 1953, Bedford remained a suburban presence of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There are now over 1,200 businesses and a population of about 50,000.
In 1845, Isham Crowley and his fellow group of settlers decided to make a home on the banks of Big Bear and Little Bear Creek. The settlers built a post office, school, cotton gin, and general store by 1857, though the town of Euless would see a tumultuous decade of closures and population changes as citizens moved away to better opportunities.
Southern Jim Crow Laws demanded racial segregation until the mid-sixties. In a surprisingly progressive move, a district judge determined that Black students had the right to attend school in their own districts and that those districts needed to be funded equally. This case made headlines, as it was rare for a city to challenge such laws. Unfortunately, these attempts were unsuccessful until 1968, as the superintendent decided in favor of separate schools.
The History of HEB
Many landmarks in Hurst-Bedford-Euless have met the criteria to receive historical markers. A building must be at least fifty years old and have associations with an event or prison of great historical context. It might need to contain certain architectural aspects that are specific to HEB, and depict social qualities that are specific to how people used to live.
Got a free weekend? If you’re looking to build an itinerary of historical places, grab a Hurst-Euless-Bedford map and cross some of these locations off of your list!
Hurst Train Depot
The Hurst Train Depot was once a transportation and shipping hub for the infamous Rock Island Line. The Rock Island Line named the depot for William Letchworth Hurst and constructed the building on land that he donated to the railroad.
Hurst Train Depot marked the beginning of Hurst, the railroad town.
Isaac Parker’s Log Cabin
This historical log cabin sits quietly in Hurst, TX. It is the county’s oldest structure. Isaac Parker, the county’s namesake, came to Texas after fighting in the War of 1812 and the Creek Indian War of 1813-1814. Eager to participate in the fight for Texas independence, Parker met and fought beside Sam Houston.
Come peacetime, Isaac Parker acted as a representative and senator in what citizens considered the legislature of the Republic of Texas. It was during this time that members established Parker County, Isaac Parker’s namesake.
Since it was originally constructed, the Parker log cabin has been restored and moved to a centralized location in Fort Worth. You can visit Log Cabin Village to learn more about the history of Isaac Parker, and other historical figures originally from the HEB area.
Old Bedford School
Once a one-room log cabin, the Old Bedford School has seen a lot of change since the early 1860s.
Used until 1969 for schooling purposes, the Bedford School went through many structural updates since its creation in 1915. Two 19th-century buildings had existed prior to the most recent construction; however, both schoolhouses burned down a few years after construction.
In 1993, restoration started to bring authenticity back to the original 1915 structure. All designs and structures were restored back to the authentic period look and the building re-opened to the public in 1996. It is now used for meetings, weddings, and community events.
Mosier Valley is located in Euless, TX, and was founded upon the ending of the Civil War. It was a historically Black community and is documented as the first of its kind in the state of Texas. It was a church and school-oriented community that was deeply impacted by the district’s segregated school system, and inequities in the workforce.
There are two official historic markers in Mosier Valley:
- Mosier Valley School Site
- Saint John Missionary Baptist Church
Both of these sites are available to interested visitors and provide a brief overview of the experiences and values of the former residents.
Old Iron Bridge
Old Iron Bridge is a classic truss bridge located in South Euless Park. It was originally built in 1889 to cross the Trinity River in Arlington, Texas. Amazingly, citizens moved the bridge in the 1930s to do its job spanning Little Bear Creek on Euless – Grapevine Highway.
Though originally intended to be demolished and rebuilt in 1975, citizens of Euless noted that the bridge should be preserved. It can now be found near South Euless Elementary School.
The McCormick barn was built in 1919 from the wood of Camp Bowie, a WWII military training facility. Camp Bowie allowed citizens to use the lumbar of the torn-down camp if they were willing to transport it themselves.
The barn originally functioned as storage until the 1930s. From then on, tenants used the structure for the growing dairy industry that was becoming popular in the Dallas-Forth Worth area.
In 2005, family members donated the barn to the City of Euless. It is now available for viewing at Heritage Park and restored with authentic materials back to the original state.
Himes Log House
The Himes Log House is one of the oldest structures in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Built in the 1850s, it is actually the oldest structure available to visit in Euless. Descendents of the Himes family donated the structure to the city at the end of the 20th-century.
Though known as the “Himes” house, historians have determined that the structure likely had a previous owner. Interestingly, a man by the name of Adam Euless lived in the house for a period of time– the very Euless who would become the city’s namesake.
Experts restored the Himes Log House and moved it to Heritage Park in 2000. Visitors can attend a free tour every second Saturday of the month.
Compared to the 19th-century log homes that mark much of a historic tour, the citizens recognize Fuller House as the first brick home in Euless, TX.
With stylish 1930’s and 1940’s decor, the home is a great place to spend an afternoon while looking through Euless artifacts.
Because it is a museum, visitors can tour the home, experience interactive displays, and read historic documents that have been carefully preserved and cataloged. For those who want the full experience, the Fuller House gives free tours on the second Saturday of every month.
Start Making History
There’s something deeply comforting about knowing the history of where you live. Hurst Euless Bedford is an area rich in stories of settlers, new families, and young industries on the cusp of success. Many of HEB’s most popular landmarks are still available to visit, making this North Texas destination a fun and educational experience for those moving into the area.
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