The City Council adopted author Washington Irving as the city’s namesake in 1998. Local historians believe that Irving co-founders Otis Brown and J.O. Schulze decided in 1902 to name the city after Netta Barcus Brown’s favorite author. Schulze, a graduate engineer from the University of Iowa and member of the Washington Irving Literary Society, also was partial to the name Irving.
Irving progressed rapidly, and the Texas legislature created the Irving Independent School District in 1909 for a student population of about 190. Four years later, the district built its first brick building for the staggering sum of $15,000. The little town officially came of age in 1914, when its citizens voted 27 to 16 to incorporate. They elected a three-member City Commission, with Otis Brown as their first mayor. Irving was incorporated April 14, 1914.
Irving was a center for cotton growing, truck farming, dairy farming, and poultry production in this period. Farmers often sold their produce in Dallas, and if the Trinity River flooded while they were on the east side of it, they could not get home until the water receded.
By 1920, Irving’s population had grown to 357. During that decade, Irving obtained electric service, installed a water system, and organized a volunteer fire department. In 1925, the City Commission appointed Frank Pate the town’s first fire marshal. When there was a fire, Pate fired six shots with his pistol to call volunteers to the station.
Despite the depression of the 1930s, Irving continued to grow. Regular bus service replaced the privately run jitney service that had operated from Irving to Dallas since 1914. In 1939, Irving hired its first full-time employee, Town Secretary C.C. Anderson, who kept records, assessed and collected water revenues, and served as custodian of all the city buildings.
In 1940, Irving’s first paid patrolman joined the elected constable in keeping the peace. The opening of the first public library the next year brought new opportunities for learning to residents of Irving. By the mid-1940’s, the Irving School District had 42 teachers and 1,500 students.
At mid-century, Irving with a population of 2,615 stood on the threshold of unprecedented growth. City Commissioners annexed adjacent areas to reach the 5,000-inhabitant minimum required to hold a home rule charter election. On October 15, 1952, the proposed charter passed by a vote of 377 to 96. The charter added four commissioners, provided for a city manager, and gave Irving a greater degree of self-government.
During this decade, Irving welcomed the University of Dallas and hired its first paid fireman. Business continued to move to the city. When Plymouth Park Shopping Center opened in 1955, it was one of the largest shopping centers between Dallas and Fort Worth. Home-building grew apace, and by 1960, Irving’s population had skyrocketed to 45,895.
Irving Community Hospital opened its doors in 1964. That same year, the world’s largest trucking terminal was built in Irving. Late in that decade, city leaders met with the owner of the Dallas Cowboys football team, who was interested in moving the team to a stadium in Irving. The city financed the stadium with revenue bonds and opened the facility in 1971. The Cowboys held their last game in Texas Stadium in December 2008 before moving to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The Cowboys handed over the keys to the stadium to city officials on March 31, 2009. A demolition contract was awarded on August 24, 2009 with an implosion scheduled in the first quarter of 2010 to clear the 77-acre site for redevelopment in conjunction with the new DART Orange Light Rail line that will connect DFW Airport with downtown Dallas with light rail service. The former Texas Stadium site is poised to become the premier development location in the metroplex.
Things To Do
Flood Waters Receding; Cleanup and Repair Under Way
The City of Irving is providing an update on the recent flood impact, including repairs to the sanitary sewer system, the status of parks and trails, and Lake Carolyn’s water quality.
North Texas Lakes
The storage pools at Lakes Grapevine, Lewisville and Ray Roberts reserved for flood water are still full, and increased releases into the Elm Fork Trinity River are expected to continue for the next few months. These large releases result in above normal flows and higher river levels downstream, which affect Irving. In short, water levels along the Elm Fork in Irving are not expected to return to normal for several months.
Regulatory Public Notice Issued
The receding water levels are revealing additional damage. Yesterday, the city identified a discharge from its sanitary sewer system on the east side of Riverside’s 5500 block. This is another part of the city’s system near the Elm Fork that has been impacted by the continued flooding and surcharging of the pipes and manholes. This particular manhole – which previously was underwater – remains partially flooded, making repair access very difficult. However, repair work is expected to begin soon.
This event met the threshold for reporting to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the public and other designated public officials. In addition, a list of media that received the notice was provided to the TCEQ, as required, to ensure the city is in compliance with the agency’s requirement to notify the public.