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Lisa C. Maxwell

FRUITDALE, TEXAS. Fruitdale was three miles south of downtown Dallas in central Dallas County. The site is now bounded by Fordham Road on the north, the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas tracks to the east, Ledbetter Drive on the south, and Sunnyvale Street to the west. It was in the original land grants of J. K. Sloan and G. L. Haas. Although the first settlers in the area named it Christian Valley when they arrived in the 1850s, the real influx occurred after the Civil War. In 1886 the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railway was extended through Fruitdale. The settlement remained a quiet farming community into the twentieth century.

On April 17, 1937, Fruitdale incorporated to avoid annexation to Dallas. It had a population of 432 and was sometimes called Fruitdale Acres. The citizens imposed deed restrictions that allowed no businesses within the city limits. After World War II families moved to Fruitdale because of its large lots with space for gardens and yards for children to play in. Former farms were cut up into lots, and most houses were built on at least half an acre. Many families raised food for their own use in orchards or truck gardens. Every home had its own well and septic tank, but gas and electricity were available. The fire station had one full-time employee and twenty-five volunteer firemen, and the town had an elected city marshall for police protection, a stone community house, a church, and a five-acre city park.

By 1950 the population of Fruitdale was 876, but the community soon began to change. The shallow wells of the town went dry in droughts early in the decade, and the larger lots began to be broken into smaller pieces. Residents wanted more city services. Taxes rose. By the 1960s, with a population of 1,418, residents no longer saw a need to remain an "island city" surrounded by the city of Dallas. Large numbers of residents were moving in and out of the community, and there was a high turnover rate in city officials. In October of 1964 residents voted to disincorporate. Later that month Fruitdale was annexed by the city of Dallas.

Dallas Morning News, May 25, 1945. Dallas Times Herald, September 5, 1948, August 16, 1964.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Lisa C. Maxwell, "FRUITDALE, TX," accessed April 07, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvf54.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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