Cedar Hill is on U.S. Highway 67 and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, two miles north of the Ellis county line in the rolling hills of southwestern Dallas County. It was founded in the 1850s. A branch of the Chisholm Trail once passed through the area, connecting with the main trail near Fort Worth. A post office was opened at Cedar Hill in 1852. In 1897 the name was changed to Cedarhill, but by 1900 residents had reverted to the old spelling. In 1856 a tornado hit the tiny community, destroying most of its buildings and homes and claiming the lives of nine people. In 1890 the population had grown to 500. By 1915 Cedar Hill had three churches, two banks, and a number other businesses and professional services. In the 1980s the population grew dramatically, especially after 1989 when Joe Pool Lake opened nearby. Northwood Institute, founded in Michigan, moved to Cedar Hill in 1966. In 1990 Cedar Hill had a population of 19,988, and in 2000 the city had 32,093 inhabitants and 786 business establishments.