contentsGrand Prairieads

Grand Prairie History

Incorporated as "Grand Prairie" in 1909, the community was first recognized as Dechman in 1863.

sail boat

From his home in Birdville, Texas, Alexander McRae Dechman learned he could trade his oxen and wagons for land in Dallas County. So in 1861, he bought 239 1/2 acres on the east side of the Trinity River and 100 acres of timberland on the west side of the river - all for a broken down wagon, oxen team and $200 in Confederate money. He tried to establish a home on the property, but ran into difficulties, so he returned his family to Birdville before joining the Civil War in 1861. In 1863 he filed a town plat consisting of 50 acres with Dallas County.

After the war, he returned to Birdville for two years before selling that farm in 1867 and moving to Houston, where Yellow Fever broke out, causing the family to settle in Bryan.

Back in Dechman, the post office was opened in 1874 under the name "Deckman" rather than "Dechman" because the U.S. Post Office couldn’t read the writing on the form completed to open the post office.

In 1877, Dechman traded half his "prairie" property to T&P Railroad to ensure the railroad came through the town. The railroad named the depot "Dechman," prompting its namesake to relocate his home from Bryan to Dechman. His son Alexander had been living in Dechman and operating a trading post and farm.


The name of the town changed to Grand Prairie later in 1877. Dechman sold the remainder of his Grand Prairie land in 1890 and apparently moved to Waxahachie.

Grand Prairie incorporated as a city in 1909.

Grand Prairie's McFalls Park (formerly Cottonwood Park) features the 150 year-old Goodwin log cabin, a hideout of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

Today, Grand Prairie is 80-square miles and is ideally located between Dallas and Fort Worth. An estimated 134,450 people call Grand Prairie home. The average age of residents is 32 and the average price of a new home is $142,297.

Grand Prairie features Joe Pool Lake, Traders Village, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, the GPX Skate Park, the Palace of Wax, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, NextStage performance theater, the internationally regarded Greenhouse spa, and Tangle Ridge Golf Course.

With 35 percent of Grand Prairie available for development and its prime location in the Metroplex, Grand Prairie has become a hotbed of economic development. Recent efforts have attracted more than 3,000 jobs and $150 million in investments.

Known for its hometown atmosphere, Grand Prairie boasts a prosperous economy, growing community, a network of caring citizens, and one of the lowest crime rates in the Metroplex.

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