DeSoto is twelve miles south of Dallas on Interstate highways 35 and 20, U.S. Highway 67, and Ten Mile Creek in southern Dallas County. It is bordered by Lancaster to the east, Glenn Heights to the south, Cedar Hill to the west, and the junction of the city limits of Duncanville and Dallas to the north. The community is located on the original land grants of W. Caldwell, Z. Heath, T. Rhodes, and C. Parks. It was founded in the 1840s by the Parks, Cheshier, Ramsey, and Johnson families. Parks is thought to be the first, and his land grant is the location around which the community developed. The Ramseys' daughter Mary, who was born in 1846, was reportedly the first white child born west of the Trinity. She eventually married another settler named F. M. Hamilton and lived in the area until she was ninety-four years old. In 1848 T. J. Johnson built the first general store in DeSoto at the junction of what became Belt Line and Hampton roads, and the place became known as the Store. In 1850 Otway B. Nance built a farm in DeSoto that eventually became a Texas historic landmark.

By the 1870s a community developed around Johnson's store. S. E. Judah built a harness shop in the 1870s, and his son built a general store in 1898. In 1884 a post office was established and named DeSoto, either after Hernando De Soto (see MOSCOSO EXPEDITION) or a local resident, Dr. Thomas Hernando DeSoto Stewart. By 1885 the community had a population of 120, a general store, and a cotton gin. By 1890 only the general store remained, and the population had decreased to forty-one. The post office remained in service until 1906.


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