There are many popular cities in the state of Texas, but few had as much of an influence on the growth of the state as Farmers Branch. It has a long history, starting in 1842 when it was first settled by Thomas Keenan. He came to the area with his wife Sarah and settled in what was then known as Mustang. The location was very near Peter’s Colony, which had been settled for some time.
The specific area that the Keenans had settled was renamed Farmers Branch. This was due to the extremely fertile soil that allowed for exceptional growth compared to other parts of the state. This reputation quickly spread around the United States and even Europe. The growth and popularity of the area was at its height from 1845 to 1850.
In 1845 development of the area began. The first building was the blacksmith shop and gritsmill which was established by Reverend Bowles. From there soon came a church, which also held the local school and many other businesses and establishments that naturally arise as a population grows.
One of the most popular historical attractions is the home of Dr. Samuel Gilbert. It was constructed of limestone and still stands on its original foundation to this day. It is the oldest building in the county and is located in what is now known as the Farmers Branch Historical Park.
Local elites saw the need for the railroad to come to the area so they sold rights to their land to the railroad company to ensure that they would be part of its route. In 1877 the Dallas and Witchita Railroad built a depot in the city so that locals could make use of this critical form of transportation, helping the area to grow. When the depot was rebuild to meet changing needs the old depot was relocated to join the Gilbert house in Farmers Branch Historical Park.
The area has continued to see growth and is believed to be a large influence to the creation of the city of Dallas, from which the county gets its name. If you visit the area you will find that there is a great love for the history of the city and many who love to share stories about what makes the region famous. Just a visit to a local cafe will almost ensure meeting someone that wants to share the oral history.