Lewisville is nine miles northeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in southeastern Denton County, ringed by Dallas, Fort Worth, and Denton. The site was part of the Peters colony. In 1840 the Texas Immigration and Land Company was given an empresario grant by the Republic of Texas to encourage settlement in the area. In 1844 the families of John King and his son Augustus G., originally from Missouri, moved from Bonham, Texas, to become the first settlers in the area that became known as Holford Prairie, for John and James Holford, who also arrived that year. Competition for land among increasing numbers of settlers intensified in the 1850s. The Texas Immigration and Land Company employed Henry Hedgcoxe to administer property filings, plats, and titles. Hedgcoxe's strict adherence to company rules and the law made him unpopular. During the Hedgcoxe War, disgruntled residents ran him out of town and destroyed his home and records. In 1853 Willis Stewart went to Austin to sort out the land claims. Stewart was able to settle the claims, aided by the General Land Office and, in the process, developed the earliest comprehensive homestead law. In 1853 Basdeal W. Lewis bought the Holford properties and established Lewisville. That year the Lewisville post office was established. Rawlins, Kealy, and Herod built a gristmill in Lewisville in 1862. Several stores were built, and by 1867 T. M. Clayton and George Craft built the first cotton gin in Denton County there. In 1868–69 the first church was built at Lewisville, and the first Masonic lodge of the county was housed there.
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