The area was first settled by Jared Ford in 1842 by William and Mary Larner on a site within the Peters Colony grant. In 1844, the A. W. Perry family claimed land in the area around Trinity Mills, where, in partnership with Wade H. Witt, a mill was established.
The English colony, a group of families in the northeastern area of settlement which crossed into Denton County, was home to large landowners including the Furneaux, Jackson, Morgan, and Rowe families. It is most likely that Carrollton was named for Carrollton, Illinois, the original home of many of these settlers.
Early on, Carrollton's livelihood was exclusively agricultural, but following the construction of the Dallas-Wichita Railroad through Trinity Mills in 1878, the community began to grow in its industrial significance. Carrollton's significance was further strengthened when the railroad was extended to Denton in 1880 by Jay Gould, who sold the line to the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad (the Katy) in 1881. By 1885, Carrollton had flour mills, cotton gins, two churches, a school, and a population of 150. The St. Louis Southwestern Railway (the "Cotton Belt") crossed the Katy in 1888, and the town became a shipping center for livestock, cotton, cottonseed, and grain, helping the town surpass Trinity Mills to the north.
In 1913 Carrollton was officially incorporated, and W.F. Vinson was elected mayor. A gravel industry that began in Carrollton in 1912 transformed the city, by the late 1940s, to a "grain and gravel" town. The city also supported a brick plant and a dairy industry, and National Metal Products established itself in the city in 1946.
After World War II the city grew rapidly. In 1950 its population stood at 1,610, and it grew to 4,242 in 1960 and 13,855 in 1970. At this point, significant suburban growth began spilling out of north Dallas, and the city grew tremendously between 1970 and 1980, with a documented growth of 193% to 40,595 inhabitants. By 1983, the population was 52,000, by 1990, it had reached 82,169, and by 2010 the population had grown to 119,097.
It is a suburb of Dallas and in 2006 was named to America's "Top 100 Places to Live" by Relocate America.Also in 2006, it was selected as the 19th best place to live in the United States by Money magazine.In 2008 it was named by Money magazine the 15th best place to live among small cities.
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Updated: 5th December, 2023 5:10 PM (UTC).