HORD'S RIDGE, TX
HORD'S RIDGE, TEXAS. Hord's Ridge was on Cedar Creek at the site of what is now Oak Cliff, three miles south of Dallas in central Dallas County. As early as 1837 William S. Beaty claimed land a half mile east of what was to be the settlement of Hord's Ridge. In 1841 the Leonard and the Coombes families settled to the west and northwest of the area. William Henry Hord arrived from Tennessee with his family and three slaves in 1845 to be part of the Peters colony. Hord had originally traveled to Texas in 1839 with a group of volunteers who served under Gen. Thomas J. Rusk in a campaign in East Texas against Cherokee Indians. By the end of 1845 the farming community had a population of eighty to ninety and a gristmill that had been constructed by Aaron Overton on Five Mile Creek. Overton's mill, the only one in the area, could process 100 bushels a day. The Hords operated a boardinghouse across the Trinity River from Dallas, and Mary Hord, William Hord's wife, offered English lessons to area children. Hord's Ridge continued to develop into the next decade. Residents attempted to make it the county seat of Dallas County in 1850 in an election against Cedar Springs and Dallas. The first election eliminated Cedar Springs, and Dallas won the second election, 244 to 216. In 1879 the Dallas, Cleburne and Rio Grande Railway finished laying track on the route from Dallas to Cleburne, which crossed the southeastern corner of Hord's Ridge. The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe built into the area in 1882, and in 1889 a station opened at Sparks, on the other side of Cedar Creek from Hord's Tavern. Hord's Ridge maintained its identity until 1887, when Thomas Marsalis and John S. Armstrong bought a large parcel of land on the southwest bank of the Trinity River, including the Hord homestead, and named the area Oak Cliff. In 1903 Oak Cliff was annexed by Dallas.
William L. McDonald, Dallas Rediscovered: A Photographic Chronicle of Urban Expansion, 1870–1925 (Dallas: Dallas County Historical Society, 1978). Bill Minutaglio and Holly Williams, The Hidden City: Oak Cliff, Texas (Dallas: Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, 1990). David S. Switzer, It's Our Dallas County (Dallas: Switzer, 1954).