It is said that Carrollton was named after a town in Illinois where many of the settlers had previously lived. Carrollton’s settlers purchased their land from The Peters Colony and like other settlers to the area endured unforgiving conditions to arrive to an untamed wild area. Here again, the American Spirit is clearly in evidence. They not only survived but flourished and worked the soil, planted the seeds and grew livestock.
Legend goes that a scout sent ahead to evaluate conditions in Carrollton, was so pleased that he packed up some of the rich soil to show others in the colony. While farming was the first occupation for early settlers; growth necessitated a more diversified array of other professions such as teachers and physicians. Many traveled to Carrollton to provide services to a growing town. It was also not unusual for farmers to have secondary business in order to supplement their income.
Life was difficult at best in the early years. It was typical for very large families to live in a room smaller than many bedrooms. Imagine a typical family of mom, dad and 7 children in a 12 x 14 foot home where cooking is done and at times housing farm animals. Impossible to imagine! In the mid 1800’s, Carrollton had a productive mill providing high quality flour and meal from corn and wheat. The mill drew many from other towns seeking to have their grain milled.
As was true for other towns in the North Dallas area, Indians occupied the villages along the various rivers intersecting the area. These folks were essential to helping settlers along. Though they were, short and stocky with extensive face and body tattoos, were adept at hunting and farming. They kept livestock and were excellent horsemen. Men and women in these tribes also shared equally in leading the tribe.
Once the railroad and post office were in place, Carrollton, a farming community, morphed into a bustling city with business and commerce leading the way. Given this growth, three different rail lines were established to move goods and products especially cattle. But in time, Carrollton had arrived. By the early 1900, settlers were enjoying treats like pecans, ham, duck, hen, peaches, plums and so much more. Most settlers were illiterate but wished for their children to have a good education. Carrollton’s forefathers valued education and provided for educational opportunities and committed time, resources and money to bring teachers and real schools to the area.
There were many other distinguishing advances. For example, manufacture and delivery of ice to the townspeople afforded them the opportunity to keep food fresh. Prior to this development, families were forced to store their food in creeks to keep it cool. People canned and preserved most of their food. If a water body was unavailable, people were forced to wrap their food in wet cloth. Needless to say, the availability of ice shot the North Dallas area forward into a great future.
Today Carrollton offers a strong business community and thriving neighborhoods. The city of Carrollton offers its residents and visitors a clean, safe and a great quality of life by providing parks, schools, entertainment and services.
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