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The Colony City

The Colony City Hall is located at 6800 Main Street, The Colony, TX 75056; phone: 972-625-1756.

Beginnings [1]

During the early years of the Republic of Texas, 1836 to 1841, various land grants were issued to pioneers, veterans and land colonization companies. Much of the early settlement of the Denton County area was granted to a Kentucky firm entitled the Peters Colony. The Peters group was under contract with the Texas government to bring emigrants from the east to settle in the region. The first settlers were primarily farmers and ranchers. Over a period of sixteen years, some eighteen small communities were established throughout the area comprising Denton County.

Lewisville Lake is on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River comprising of the western boundary of The Colony in southeastern Denton County and serves as a basic geographical identifier for the community and the residents of The Colony. Its purpose is to control potential flood waters originating within the Elm Fork drainage basin. In addition, the lake assists in soil conservation, serves as a recreational area and provides water for local municipalities.

Lewisville Lake is the second water-storage reservoir to impound the waters of the Elm Fork on this site. The first facility, Lake Dallas, served for thirty-one years as the principal source of municipal water for its owner, the City of Dallas. Construction of this lake, with its eighty-foot-high, 11,000 foot-long dam located near the village of Garza (renamed Lake Dallas, Texas, in 1929), began in February, 1928. It had a 194,000 acre-foot capacity at an elevation of 525 feet and covered over 10,000 acres. It was nine miles long and three miles wide and had a forty-three mile shoreline.

After Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836 Texas owned 180 million acres of unoccupied land. The Texas Republic recognized in order for Texas to survive, rapid settlement of the land would be necessary. In order for this to occur the Republic decided to offer free land as an enticement for settlers to move here. To do this the Fifth Texas Republic Congress passed and signed into law the "Land & Colonization Law." This legislation authorized the Republic to enter into a contract with William S. Peters and nineteen associates who were named in the legislation to establish a land company or colony to administer the free land promotion. From the beginning the contract became known as Peters Colony. Peters Colony had under its management 16,400 square miles of land that included all or parts of 26 counties in North Texas and all of Denton County.

Following the signing of the contract it became apparent Peters Colony was better at promotion than at managing a start-up company. The company tried to follow the contract however, so many settlers come to claim their free land the company could not keep up with the required surveys and documentation. This led to frequent amendments of the contract by the legislature and misunderstandings with the settlers. A great deal of animosity developed towards Peters Colony in general and its land agent Henry Hedgecoxe in particular.

In 1844 Willis Stewart moved the Peters Colony headquarters from Farmers Branch to Bridges Settlement that later became known as Stewartville. The boundaries of Bridges Settlement included all of the land in The Colony south of a line from Blue Sky Soccer Center and BB Owens Elementary School and south of the Town of Hebron. Stewartville was located in what is now the western part of the city with its approximate boundaries including Stewarts Peninsula and Ridgepoint neighborhoods and on the west a mile or so into what is now Lake Lewisville. Peters Colony office was located on Office Creek in the approximate location of what is now the Lewisville Independent School District (LISD) bus barn. It was there that the Hedgecoxe War occurred when a group of land speculators from Dallas attempted to steal the land documents and burned the Peters Colony office in 1852. Following the Hedgecoxe War the State of Texas and Denton County, which had been formed in 1846, issued land titles to the settlers which solved the settlers land title problems.

Later in 1852, after Bridges Settlement and Stewartville had ceased to exist a third community was established called Camey Spur. Camey Spur was located in the area which is now being developed as The Cascades. This community included a railroad switch stop that was used to transport locally produced cattle and cotton to market. It also contained two stores, a church, and a cotton gin. The first school opened here in 1876 and was named Stewarts Creek Community School. In 1884 the school became part of the Denton County School System and was consolidated into the Lewisville Independent School District in 1947. Camey Spur faded away in the late 1940's. In 1973, Fox and Jacobs, Inc. acquired approximately 3,000 contiguous acres of rural land. The few original residents moved away, and Fox and Jacobs prepared the land for new suburban single-family homes. The development, adjacent to Lake Lewisville, was named after Peters Colony.

Incorporated in 1977, The Colony is defined in its geographical location by natural and man-made features. Lake Lewisville and State Highway 121 are boundaries that will define growth for the community into the future. The north-south spine of The Colony is Main Street, or FM 423, which is a state-owned farm-to-market road. The form of The Colony is therefore defined by peninsulas of land that the city occupies as well as the edges that define the city and neighboring municipalities.

  1. Springbrook Planning Group, The Colony Comprehensive Plan, 2007, www.http://thecolonytx.gov, accessed March 2016.
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