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Dallas County, Central
32° 50' 58" N, 96° 47' 31" W (32.849444, -96.791944)
Population: 24,905 Est. (2016) 23,068 (2010)
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Located in the central part of Dallas
County, University Park is bordered on the west, north, and east
by the city of Dallas with
Highland Park situated on the southern side. The city got its name
from its proximity to Southern Methodist University. The school opened
in 1915 and the houses which surrounded the campus originally provided
quarters for professors and other staff members. An artesian well
and storage tank provided SMU with water while Dallas
allowed the campus to connect the sewage pipes to those owned by the
city. In order to enjoy these same services, residents had to pay
the university a fee.
When the year of 1924 arrived, there were more than 380 homes in the
area. SMU came to the conclusion that it could no longer provide services
because the population's size would make it too expensive to maintain.
The residents asked Highland Park if the land could be incorporated,
then turned to Dallas after
being rejected. Like the other dismissal, the reason was the lack
of afford ability when it came to supplying public services in addition
to the water and sewage maintenance.
With nowhere to go, the 1,200 inhabitants voted to incorporate the
area as a city on April 24, 1924. University Park would have one mayor
and five aldermen. However, an election two years later determined
that a group of commissioners would rule the government.
University Park's efforts paid off. From 1930 to 1940, the population
skyrocketed from 4,200 residents to 14,458. By 1945, the city boasted
120 businesses. The Dallas government, which had snubbed it earlier,
now showed interest in annexing the land. The prospect appealed to
many people and an election was held. On that fateful day, the city
witnessed one of the largest voter turnouts in its history. The results
were tallied, giving the proposal a narrow defeat of 53 percent against
and 47 percent in favor. After the election, Dallas
started annexing the surrounding area and made it impossible for University
Park to expand.
In 1947, the city built its own water and sewage facilities, ending
its reliance on Dallas for
those services. The year of 1950 brought the construction of a reservoir,
pressure tank, and water purification center. Six years later in 1956,
the city had eleven churches, seven parks, and a population of 23,823.
An election took place in 1989 which established a new form of government.
This time around, there would be a mayor and a five-member council.
In 2010, the census recorded a population of 24,905.
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