The tiny settlement of Cedar Hill was established about 1848. The town square became the hub of local government, business and social activities. In 1852 the first postmaster was chosen and by the 1850’s several businesses were located in and north of what is now the Downtown Cedar Hill Historic District. They called the area Cedar Hill due to the nearby cedar breaks in the Mountain Creek area. The land they chose was between 860-870 feet above sea level. The altitude blessed the settlers with cooler temperatures than some of the nearby communities. Cedar Hill is located on part of the White Rock Escarpment that runs from Austin to the Red River, which also lies near the old Chisholm Trail.
In the 1840’s Cedar Hill was appointed the Temporary County Seat of Dallas County until a somewhat controversial second election between the towns of Hords Ridge (Oak Cliff) and Dallas could be held to determine the permanent location of the County Seat. The outcome of the election named Dallas as the County Seat of Dallas County. The election was held before any court proceedings took place in the temporary County Seat. Thus, no county records exist in Cedar Hill.
April 29, 1856 the thriving hilltop settlement of Cedar Hill was all but swept away by a wrathful tornado. It claimed at least nine lives and according to reports demolished all but two buildings. The tornado was so powerful that many articles were found 20 to 30 miles away.
A link with the Chisholm Trail from Corsicana to Fort Worth wandered through Cedar Hill in the 1860’s on its way to connect with the main trail. This path led great herds to the cattle markets. Travelers and Indians, as well as freighters with great loaded wagons drawn by oxen, also used the trail. Cedar Hill also served as a commercial center for surrounding farmers, with direct rail access to Dallas and Houston. In the early 1900s, passenger trains stopped daily on their way between these two major Texas cities.
In May 1955 construction began on one of the most unique structures in Cedar Hill. It also contributed largely to Cedar Hill’s unique identity. Construction was completed in late October 1955 on a 1,521 foot tall Candelabra antenna system for transmission for WFAA-TV and KRLD-TV.
Thanks to the many that have gone before us Cedar Hill is now a progressive, vital city of almost 40,000 with many more exciting opportunities and more history to make.
Cedar Hill has grown from a small rural community of 6,850 in 1980 to a suburban city with a population of over 45,000 in 2010. Cedar Hill stands in the southern sector of Dallas County, just a 20 minute drive from downtown Dallas. It is known as a “Best Southwest” city, along with Duncanville, DeSoto and Lancaster.
Over the last decade residents have witnessed a flurry of commercial and residential building resulting in an updated Cedar Hill. Steady growth continues in the construction of new housing in Cedar Hill. The unique topography of the “hill country”, along with the views of Lake Joe Pool provides a great backdrop for custom home sales. Home values have increased over the past several years.
Cedar Hill has become the shopping and eating destination for an estimated 175,000 people in the southern Dallas area. Within the last four years, Cedar Hill’s retail sector has added over two million square feet of retail.