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  Texas : Towns A-Z / Central Texas North : Wilmer

WILMER, TEXAS

Dallas County, North Central Texas
Highway 45 / 75
14 miles SE of Dallas
Population: 3,393 (2000) 2,479 (1990)

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Wilmer, Texas  water tower








Wilmer water tower

Photo by John Troesser, May 2005
History in a Pecan Shell

Settlement in what was to become Wilmer dates to the arrival of Andrew K. Gray, which was sometime prior to 1850. When the railroad (the Houston and Texas Central) made a stop here - the community was going under the name Prairie Valley. Several dates are recorded for the founding of the town - the earliest being 1876. The post office was renamed in 1884 after A. J. Wilmer, a popular conductor on the railroad. The 1890 census showed 100 Wilmerites living here and the town had all the elements to insure a bright future. The population doubled to 200 about the time the U.S. entered World War I.

Fire burned most of downtown Wilmer in 1929 and firemen couldn't draw water fast enough to fight the blaze. Rebuilding was to the east - along the highway leading to Dallas. After WWII, Wilmer incorporated and the mayor was elected on the platform of installing a good water system. The year was 1945 and the population was 450. By the late 40s - Wilmer's water system was still unresolved. Insurance companies charged merchants and homeowners some of the highest rates in the country. Wilmer and Hutchins consolidated their schools - with the construction of a new building halfway between the two towns. A full eighty-five percent of Wilmer's workforce commuted to nearby Dallas. The population increased - but at a much slower rate than other Dallas County towns.

Wilmer, Texas Forum

  • Wilmer, Texas
    Dear Texas Escapes, I was looking on your page on Wilmer and was wondering if there is some way of finding out who the 100 people were that lived in Wilmer at that time? I believe my GG Grandparents, Greenville T. Little and his wife Elizabeth lived in Wilmer at that time. Greenville T. Little opened one of the first merchandise stores in Wilmer. My Great Grandparents, Judge Carson Little and Ella Anderson Little also lived in Wilmer all of their lives. Carson was born in Kentucky in 1869 and came to live in Texas when he was about seven years old with his parents mentioned above. Then my paternal grandparents also lived in Wilmer most of their lives and my grandfather, Reuben S. Little was born in Wilmer and was mayor of Wilmer at one time. I would love to find out more about [Wilmer's history] from 1880 through WWII and who all may have lived in Wilmer and who had businesses there. My great Aunt, Lucille Matthews also ran a drug store there many years ago and W.S. Little, my great uncle owned a store in Wilmer also, My grandparents, Reuben and Zona Little lived on Little Street that is named after them but I think it ran down the side of their house. Their house may have faced Belt Line Road, I think it is that runs through town. The old Little homestead that belonged to Greenville T. Little was on that property that my grandparents lived on. They used to live in his old house. Greenville T. Little died in Nov. of 1902 while on his way to a hunting trip in Wilmer when his horse that was pulling his buggy, was spooked by pigs that crossed the road in front of him and the buggy overturned killing Greenville T. Little. He is buried at the Edgewood Cemetery in Lancaster along with his wife Elizabeth Nickell Little. Elizabeth evidently belonged to a group of ladies who quilted there in Wilmer in those early days. They were charter members of the First Christian Church in Wilmer and so was their son, Carson Little and his wife, Ella. Ella was a member of the Woodmen of the World there in Wilmer also. Id love to know who all were members of the Woodmen of the World in Wilmer back in those early days of the 1900s. If anyone can share more of Wilmer's history, I would be most appreciative. - Jane Little McEndree, September 05, 2006

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    This page last modified: September 5, 2006