Balch Springs is on Interstate highways 635 and 20 and U.S. Highway 175 ten miles southeast of Dallas in Dallas County. It was founded around 1870, when the family of John Balch settled in the area and found three springs, one of which was never dry. The perennial spring was kept cleaned and bricked up and became a gathering place for families in the area to fill their buckets and talk. In 1900 the area had only a cemetery and scattered farms. Several years later a school was built and named after the springs.
Balch Springs received electricity from Texas Power and Light in 1939. Gas service by Lone Star Gas and telephone service began shortly after World War II. On June 13, 1953, Balch Springs was incorporated, with a mayor-council form of government, in order to avoid annexation by Dallas. The site encompassed sections of Rylie, Kleberg, Five Points, Zipp City, Jonesville, Balch Springs, and Triangle. By 1956 Balch Springs had a population of 3,500. The population grew rapidly in the next several decades, and by 1976 it was 13,050. In 1958 the community had a modern fire department with three fire trucks, and a post office opened in Balch Springs in September 1964. Children attended school in either the Dallas or Mesquite school districts. In 1965 the town began levying its first taxes, and in 1966 a vote to disincorporate failed.
Because of proximity to Dallas, land values in Balch Springs began to rise in the early 1970s. The town became more important as a residential community when Interstate Highway 635 went through and made commuting to Dallas more rapid. By the late 1970s 95 percent of the residents commuted to work in Dallas or Garland. In 1970 Balch Springs had three manufacturers, two printers, and a foundry; by 1991 the community had seventeen manufacturers, including manufacturers of shipping pallets and machine parts. In 1988 Balch Springs voted to combine with the city of Mesquite, but the vote was ruled invalid and Balch Springs remained an independent community. In 1991 the town had two banks, a weekly newspaper, a library, and a number of churches. The population in 1990 was 17,406. By 2000 the population grew to 19,375.