Grand Prairie, TX


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Grand Prairie is a city in Dallas, Ellis, and Tarrant Counties in the U.S. state of Texas and is a part of the Mid-Cities region in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Grand Prairie is a suburb of both Dallas and Fort Worth and in 2006 had a population of 153,812.
The city of Grand Prairie was first established as “Dechman” by Alexander McRae Dechman in 1863. Dechman, who was from Birdville learned that he could trade his oxen and wagons for land in Dallas County. In 1863, Dechman bought 239 ½ acres of land on the eastern side of the Trinity River and 100 acres (.40 km2) of timber land on the west side of the river for a broken down wagon, oxen team and US$200 in Confederate money. He tried to establish a home on the property, but ran into difficulties, so he returned to his family in Birdville before joining in the Civil War. Then in 1867, he filed a town plat consisting of 50 acres (200,000 m2) 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. In 1876, 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 first church in the area was the Good Hope Cumberland Sabbath School established in 1870 by Rev. Andrew Hayter. The church was later renamed West Fork United Presbyterian Church and remains an active church.