TX TOWN OF HEATH. Seven miles south of Rockwall, in southwestern Rockwall County, you’ll find Heath on Farm Road 740. It was named after John O. Heath, who arrived in the area in 1846. A post office, the first in what is now Rockwall County, opened there in 1849 under the original name of Black Hill (a reference to the dark soil in the area). The Rockwall location of the post office was chosen in 1854. The town was called Willow Springs from its founding until 1886, after a nearby creek of the same name. Heath was officially adopted as the town’s name in 1886, and the city reopened its post office (which closed in 1906).
The population of Heath expanded modestly throughout the 1880s and 1890s. Seventy-five people were living there in 1892, and 5 shops. By 1898, fifty-six children were being taught in a single classroom. The Heath Independent School District and four cotton gins opened for business that year. The population had increased to 225 by 1904. As a result of a fire in 1916, many structures in the neighborhood were wiped out. This started a long era of decline as people fled to larger cities searching for work during the Great Depression. In 1936, Heath had a population of approximately 150, and only five businesses remained open. By 1950, the local school system had combined with Rockwall’s, and the building was no longer used. There were fifty people in total. Don’t forget to learn about McLendon-Chisholm, Texas too.
Since 1950, Heath has expanded steadily, thanks in large part to the creation of Lake Ray Hubbard to the west of the neighborhood in 1969 and 1970 and the expansion of surrounding Rockwall and Dallas-area cities. In 1959, Heath became a legal entity unto itself. Rising from 175 in 1960 to 449 in 1970, the population grew. One thousand four hundred fifty-nine people lived there in 1980, an estimated 1,647 people. Heath had started to build a commercial and professional community again by the late 1980s, even though some grain and cotton farming continued in the region. When I first moved here in 1990, the population was 2,108, but by 2000, I counted 4,149.
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