Founded in 1863 by Alexander MacRae Dechman, Grand Prairie began as a stagecoach stop between Dallas and Fort Worth.
A post office opened in October 1874 and two years later Dechman filed a town platte, giving every other lot to the Texas & Pacific Railroad in exchange for a depot in town.
The railroad finally began running through town on July 19, 1876. The railroad changed the town name from Dechman to Grand Prairie in 1877 because of its location on the eastern edge of the vast prairie that stretched into west Texas.
The need for local rules pushed residents to vote for incorporation in 1909.
Since then, Grand Prairie has grown from a hamlet of 1,107 in 1910 to the 15th largest city in Texas and 7th largest in DFW at 178,290 in 2013.
The fastest growth came with the arrival of North American Aviation in 1941 when workers built 20,000 planes for WWII. In ten years, the town grew from about 1,500 to 15,000.
Growth steadily continued, with a boom in the 2000s resulting in a new home being built every 4 hours and being named a fastest growing city in the nation in 2005. And, in 2008 and 2017 the city’s park system won “best in the nation” status from the National Recreation and Parks Association.
A city of promise, a city of growth, a city of location, Grand Prairie continues into the future on its path of success.