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FLOWER MOUND, TX

FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS. Flower Mound, south of Denton and northwest of Dallas in south central Denton County, is a residential suburban community of 20,000 acres on the shore of Grapevine Lake. It was established soon after Sam Houston settled a tribal dispute in 1844 and Indian raids in the area ceased. Permanent settlers moved in, attracted by the quality of the soil, which was suitable for raising cotton, corn, and wheat. The Peters colony named the town for a fifty-foot-high mound covered with Indian paintbrush; the mound was once used by Indians as a holy place. Unlike many pioneer settlements in Denton County that were bypassed by the railroads in the late nineteenth century or unable to survive the Great Depression, Flower Mound maintained a steady population throughout the first four decades of the twentieth century and became a substantial farming and cattle-raising community.

In the mid-1950s the town began to grow. The increase in the number of residents was a result of the construction by the United States Corps of Engineers of Grapevine Lake, which was completed on July 2, 1953. The lake stimulated the economy of the community and attracted workers who preferred to live outside the central Dallas area. Flower Mound was incorporated on February 27, 1961. The town had an estimated population of 275 in 1966 and 664 in 1968.

Flower Mound was chosen one of thirteen communities to be affected by the 1968 New Communities Act (Housing and Urban Development Title IV) as the site of a new planned community that would offer model social and environmental conditions to residents. The act, amended in 1970, provided $18 million of a total $294 million in federal loan guarantees for new towns, for developers Raymond D. Nasher, former UN General Assembly delegate, and Edward S. Marcus, chairman of Neiman-Marcus, to set up four village centers or neighborhoods, each with schools, parks, and shopping and recreational facilities, on 6,156 acres on the north shore of Grapevine Lake. Flower Mound New Town, designed as a satellite town to limit the growing urban sprawl of Dallas and Fort Worth, was expected to house some 60,000 to 70,000 persons comprising a mixture of racial and income groups, and to provide such services as cable television, rapid transit to the new Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and environmental protection for the area. Residents of the original town of Flower Mound, however, fought tax increases proposed to accommodate the new development. The dispute resulted in replacement of the city's five aldermen with two city commissioners.

The population of Flower Mound was 1,685 in 1970. Construction began on the new town in 1972, but federal red tape, the 1973–75 economic recession, slow land sales, changing federal policy, and the relative isolation of the site brought failure of the project, despite an additional HUD grant of $170,000. In the spring of 1974 Nasher sold out to Marcus, who in turn sold his half interest to Tinnie Mercantile Company, owned by Robert Anderson, chairman of Atlantic-Richfield. By September 1976, with other new towns failing and Flower Mound experiencing financial difficulty, HUD foreclosed on its model Texas experiment in public-private cooperation. The development, which by then numbered 300 persons and 100 homes, subsequently attracted builders and was renamed Timber Creek Community. In 1980 the town's population was 4,402. In 1990 Flower Mound reported a population of 15,527, and by 2000 the population had risen to 50,702.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
C. A. Bridges, History of Denton, Texas, from Its Beginning to 1960 (Waco: Texian Press, 1978). Denton Record-Chronicle, February 28, 1961. Scott W. Mellon, "The Only New Town That Worked," Muse Air Monthly, June 1985. Rodney J. Walter, The Economic History of Denton County, Texas, 1900–1950 (M.A. thesis, North Texas State University, 1969).
David Minor

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Handbook of Texas Online, David Minor, "Flower Mound, TX," accessed May 26, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hgf04.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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