Shady Grove is between State Highway 183 and Interstate Highway 30 west of Belt Line Road and about ten miles west of downtown Dallas in western Dallas County. In the early 1990s Shady Grove was on the boundary between Grand Prairie and Irving. It was named by early settlers for the local groves of oak trees. In 1933 the Shady Grove community had one business and a population of twenty. By 1947, the last year for which population figures are available, it reported two businesses and a population of fifty. In 1964 the Shady Grove school, located within the city limits of Grand Prairie, was the last common school in the county. The school offered instruction through the eighth grade to White students in the Bear Creek area. In 1964 the local school employed ten teachers and had an enrollment of 307. White secondary students attended school in Irving, and Black students from Shady Grove all attended school in Grand Prairie. Tuition for the Black students was paid by Irving. In 1964 several residents of Shady Grove tried unsuccessfully to have the common school district abolished and the school transferred to Irving. Shady Grove was annexed by Grand Prairie in 1968. In May 1969 Irving attempted to annex Shady Grove but was thwarted by the Dallas County school board, which refused to approve a change in the school boundaries. In 1972 fifty Shady Grove residents petitioned to have their community disannexed by Grand Prairie, on the grounds that Grand Prairie was not adequately addressing community needs. At the time, Grand Prairie had just begun construction on a four-lane street between the two communities and was preparing to build water and sewer lines in Shady Grove. Soon after receipt of the petition, the mayor announced that the city council would call for a bond election to finance the construction of a park in the community. In the mid-1980s residents were still complaining about inadequate provision of services. In addition, the fact that the boundary between Grand Prairie and Irving lay 200 feet west of Belt Line Road sometimes caused confusion over which city had jurisdiction when emergency situations developed. In 1985 Grand Prairie and Irving established a joint committee to discuss such issues as zoning and the provision of public services in the Shady Grove area.
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.
Lisa C. Maxwell | © Texas State Historical Association
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