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City celebrates golden anniversary

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This year is Highland Village’s 50th anniversary and February is our anniversary month.  I’d like to share some of our early history here; for the rest you’ll have to attend our Anniversary Gala on February 16.

Highland Village was incorporated on February 14, 1963. I do believe the fact we were incorporated on Valentine’s Day has meant our residents have a strong bond with Highland Village. We are celebrating our 50th with an Anniversary Gala on Saturday, February 16, where we will share some of the stories that make up the city history. As we’ve conducted the video interviews, we’ve been entertained and learned a few things about our city:

How did Highland Village get its name?

The word “Highland” was suggested since a number of people from Highland Park had built their weekend getaways along the lakeshore and were beginning to move here permanently.  “Village” came from the feeling of closeness and cooperation, and it was the desire of our founding fathers for that to continue in the future.

When was Highland Village incorporated?

On February 14, 1963, with a count of 53 votes “For” and 7 votes “Opposed”, Highland Village became a newly incorporated municipality and was composed of Lakewood, Highland Lake, Holiday, and Clearwater subdivisions.

Who was Highland Village’s first mayor and where did they meet?

Robert DuVall was Highland Village’s first Mayor and he served a one-year term. City Hall was at the DuVall’s place, then in 1964 the Council began meeting at Doubletree Ranch.

As the city grew, how did they meet the need for fire protection?

In 1967 Highland Village reached an agreement with Lewisville Fire Department to answer calls in Highland Village for $20 a call. In 1971 the Council passed an ordinance creating the Volunteer Fire Department. A fire truck was purchased from the city of Highland Park at a cost of $2610. The truck carried 350 gallons of water and was housed in a horse stall at DuVall’s homestead. In 1975, the department needed more volunteers so the current volunteers drove around the streets with the sirens blaring and when people came out to see what was going on, they would grab them by the collar and ask them if they wanted to be a fireman.  They got about 20 volunteers. 

How was public safety administered in Highland Village?

Fred Chance, a law enforcement officer from Dallas, volunteered as the first police chief of Highland Village. As more and faster services were required, Jim Addison and Steve Paddock were deputized as marshals. In August of 1971, Chance was appointed Chief of Police and operated the Police Department from his home.  His wife took messages from people in need and relayed them to Chance. The first police vehicle was a small eight-cylinder Ford.  The city purchased a siren and a red light and painted a logo on the car.  The siren had such a “small, tinny sound” that a car ahead could not hear it.

When did Highland Village “officially” make the transition from a small lakeside town to “city”?

In 1975 Highland Village hired its first City Administrator. The city began collecting taxes in 1975. The same year the city’s election had a 90% voter turnout with 468 votes cast. The Lewisville Daily Leader reported, “Highland Village turns from a town into a city.”

When did the city purchase its first property and city hall?

In 1976 Highland Village City Council decided it was time to acquire some property and structures to house the city’s departments.  Certificates of Obligation in the amount of $40,000 were issued to purchase 3.92 acres of land with two structures on the east side of Highland Village Road, bounded by Springway and Russell Drive.  The lot contained the old Dairy Crème building and a house.  The property was one of the highest points in the city and would be perfect for a water tower.  The land also had a water well that could be tied into the city’s water system.

When did the city departments move to the existing city hall?

The new Highland Village Municipal Complex was dedicated in March 2000. The facility houses administrative offices and the Police Department.

Highland Village grew quickly

The city more than doubled its population during the 1980’s, from 3,246 in 1980 to 7,027 in 1990. Then in 2000 the city’s population grew to 12,073. Now Highland Village has nearly reached build-out with a population of 15,500.

Highland Village has grown from a weekend lakeside getaway to a thriving community. We’re the safest city in North Texas and in Texas. D Magazine consistently ranks us as one of the best places to live. We have excellent schools. All this has taken the planning of community leaders, the work of a dedicated staff and the passion of our residents to make Highland Village what it is today. We are proud of what Highland Village has become.

I would like to see all of you at our 50th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, February 16, at 7 p.m. at Celebrations Grand Ballroom where we’ll share more of our history, experience some of the fine dining found in our city and dance through the decades of Highland Village.  Get more details here.

Read more about the history of Highland Village here and here.

Happy 50th Highland Village!

 

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