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UNION BOWER, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Dallas County, Central Texas North

2 Miles West of Dallas
inside Irving City Limits
Population: Absorbed into that of Irving

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History in a Pecan Shell

The Union in the name didn’t proclaim loyalty to the North, although the community began in the 1860s. It came from the establishment of a “union” (Sunday) school, where different religious denominations could share a common building. The second part of the name comes from the school teacher’s surname of Bowers.

The community may have also been known as Hawks Chapel according to the Handbook of Texas. Union Bower was its own school district (annexed by Dallas in 1952) and the population of twenty residents was absorbed into Irving with an annexation in the 1960s.

Forum

  • "Union Bower is a "Ghost Town" that has been absorbed (annexed) into Irving.

    Many of the buildings (homes) remain, as does the cemetery. The cemetery is called the "Smith Cemetery". The first headstone is for a John Smith.

    Many of the names on the headstones are also the names of the area streets. The numbering system of the homes in the area reflect the old town numbers and not the hundred blocks of Irving.

    In some places the houses are numbered 102, because they are from the original town, but the other side of the same street has homes build after annexation, and have four digit numbers. For example, 2705.

    The street, Union Bower is just south of the Loop 12 / Hwy 183 intersection. This means that the old Texas Stadium was likely in the Union Bower area.

    It was annexed by Irving in 1956." - Mica Calfee, October 10, 2019


  • "Union Bower, TX was another city but now it's a road in Irving." - David Cole, October 09, 2011

  • Historical Marker (Location: 2500 E. Grauwyler, Irving, TX)

    Union Bower Community

    Attracted to the fertile land along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, settlers first came to this area in the mid-19th century. William and Virginia Smith, of Pennsylvania, arrived in 1879. Soon thereafter, Charles and Lucy (Santerre) Voirin bought land north of the Smith's property. The families worked together to establish what became known as the Union Bower Community. Residents cut wood from the riverbank thickets and hauled the wood and their farm products, including cotton, corn, vegetables, and fruit, to market in Dallas. In 1885, area families organized a non-denominational Sunday school. Later, the Methodist Church sent the Rev. W.E. Hawks to establish a church, which was dedicated in 1907. Originally called Hawks Chapel and later named Union Bower Methodist Church, it continues today as Oak Haven United Methodist Church. After the death of their daughter in 1886, the Smiths established the cemetery for community use.

    As early as 1890, Mark Callister Lively founded the Lively School at today's Britain and Union Bower Roads. Area Catholic and Church of Christ families held services in the school building. The Union Bower School, established on land donated by the Smiths, opened in 1891 and served the community until the 1960s. When Irving was established along he Rock Island rail line in 1903, the area's rural communities, including Union Bower, declined in population. After the Elm Fork channel was rerouted, various industries developed in the area. By the time Irving annexed Union Bower in 1956, little remained of the agricultural roots of the community. Decades after the Union Bower School closed, alumni continue to meet and share their memories of the once close-knit farming settlement.
    (2005)

    Union Bower, Texas Area Towns:
    Dallas | Irving
    See Dallas County | Central Texas North

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