Midlothian is on U.S. Highway 287 and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railways nine miles northwest of Waxahachie in northwest Ellis County. Settlers arrived in the area as early as 1800, but colonization did not occur until peace treaties between the Republic of Texas and the Indian inhabitants were finalized by Sam Houston in 1843. The William Alden Hawkins and Larkin Newton families were the first to obtain permanent land titles at the site, under the authority of the Peters colony in 1848. The locale became known as Hawkins' Springs after a spring on Hawkins's property. A log cabin with an earthen floor was the community's first school, church, and community hall. As better materials became available, more permanent buildings were constructed. A post office called Barker, probably after Charles Barker, was established in 1877. The name was changed to Midlothian in 1882 or 1883. Most accounts agree that the name was suggested by a Scottish train engineer after a location in his home country. The community was selected by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway to be a part of its proposed line. Tracks reached the area in 1883, and by 1884 Midlothian had two churches, a district school, and a newspaper, the Midlothian News. The population was 300. Midlothian was incorporated in April 1888.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Randell G. Tarín | © Texas State Historical Association
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