Willow Park City
Willow Park City Hall is located at 516 Ranch House Road, Willow Park, TX 76087; phone: 817-441-7108.
In the late 1840s, pioneers began settling what is now Parker County. The Comanche and Kiowa Indian tribes controlled this 903.6 square mile area. Parker County was still very much part of the Texas frontier in 1855, when the county was established the Texas Legislature on December 12. In spite of its creation, Parker County was a harsh place to live and work with Indian raids and attacks a frequent occurrence through the early 1870s.
Willow Park was incorporated in 1963, when 32 voters petitioned its incorporation. However, its history predates its date of incorporation. As a portion of the territory that eventually became Parker County, Willow Park was officially regarded as part of the frontier and not "Proclaimed Free of Indians" by the Texas Governor until 1877.
The community of Willow Park finds its roots in the creation of the Elm Grove Church, which was established by Simeo Wright, Reverend B.A. Kemp, and Reverend J.W. Chalk in May 1854. The Elm Grove Church was later named Willow Springs due to the springs located east of the Willow Springs Cemetery. Eventually, the Willow Springs School was built a couple miles south of the cemetery.
As Parker County was secured from hostile Indian activity, it began to experience a significant period of prosperity that continues today. By the early 1900s, settlers had created a relatively substantial population and agricultural base. In the meantime, the City of Weatherford just to the west had been designated as the County Seat and had evolved as the County's economic and distribution center. The area to eventually become Willow Park was located ideally to the City of Weatherford and by 1925 it was sparsely populated by farms and ranches.
The advent of the automobile ushered in a period of dramatic change and the concept of community. In the 1950s, U.S. and State thoroughfares were constructed through Willow Park. Highways 80 and 180 were built in addition to a series of farm-to-market roads. The new road systems expanded the area's regional significance and enhanced the City of Weatherford's importance as a retail and shipping point for North Texas farmers and ranchers. Construction of Lake Weatherford began in 1956 and was completed in 1957. It provided a community water source to serve a growing regional residential and industrial population. It also provided a new source of regional recreational opportunities in addition to attractive residential sites, each of which helped to generate additional economic activity.