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Cedar Springs, TX (Dallas County)

Matthew Hayes Nall General Entry

Cedar Springs was on Cedar Springs Branch in the area of Oak Lawn in north central Dallas. It was on the original land grant of C. Grigsby. The site was first settled by troops working on the Military Road project under the command of Col. William G. Cooke, who ordered Capt. William Houghton to construct a temporary fort on Cedar Springs Branch in February 1841. Though the installation was abandoned a month later, the local spring formed an attractive watering spot that pioneer travelers believed had medicinal properties.

Two years later Dr. John Cole, a Peters colony settler, came to Texas to claim the 640-acre headright promised him by the Republic of Texas. The land Cole wanted was already owned by John Grigsby, a veteran of the Texas Revolution, but Grigsby eventually agreed to sell Cole 160 acres at one dollar an acre along Cedar Springs Branch. Cole immediately constructed a general store, stocked it with merchandise he had brought with him, and established his medical practice, reportedly the first in Dallas County. During the 1840s the area around Cole's store became a community and trade center that eventually included a gristmill, a blacksmith, and a Gold and Donaldson distillery. The community also had a school called Cedar Springs Institute.

In 1846 residents of the area elected John Neely Bryan to go to Austin and lobby the legislature to establish Dallas County. Later that year John Cole was elected the first probate judge of the county. Four years later Cedar Springs was involved in a county seat election in competition with Dallas and Hord's Ridge. Cedar Springs came in last. In 1929 the community was annexed by the city of Dallas.

Dallas Times Herald, August 28, 1949, April 9, 1991.


  • Communities
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Matthew Hayes Nall, “Cedar Springs, TX (Dallas County),” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 27, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: