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
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.
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
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
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.
I’d love to know who all were members of the Woodmen of the World
in Wilmer back in those early days of the 1900’s. If anyone can
share more of Wilmer's history, I would be most appreciative. -
Jane Little McEndree, September 05, 2006
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