If Flower Mound has a mother, it’s Pat Rheudasil. She was a major part of Flower Mound’s birth, experiencing all its early pains and joys.
When Pat was growing up in Lewisville, Flower Mound was a collection of farms and ranches. It was considered part of Lewisville and kids from both communities went to school together, families worshiped together and everyone knew each other.
Pat moved from Lewisville to Flower Mound in 1954, when she married Bob Rheudasil. He ran Black Mark Farm for Edward Marcus.
The Rheudasil’s lived at Black Mark Farm Headquarters and helped grow the ranch operation to over 4,000 acres with three hundred head of the finest Aberdeen Black Angus Cattle in the world. Edward Marcus was Chairman of the Board for Neiman-Marcus at the time.
The couple often entertained wealthy Neiman-Marcus clients at the ranch. Neiman-Marcus clients traveling to Dallas expected a real taste of Texas. A short drive from the downtown Dallas Neiman-Marcus store to the ranch in Flower Mound provided exactly what they were hoping to see– cattle, horses, cowboys and a beautiful Texas Ranch.
The construction of Lake Grapevine and announcement of DFW Airport changed Flower Mound forever. Those major developments put Flower Mound on the map for the first time. Many new families began moving to Flower Mound because of its rural atmosphere, beautiful natural landscape and convenient location.
In 1960, the life of Flower Mound was threatened. The City of Irving filed documents to annex a large strip of land through the middle of Flower Mound. Pat, Bob, and others rolled up their sleeves and fought to save Flower Mound from certain ruin.
Flower Mound won a landmark lawsuit against Irving, stopping its annexation attempt. The town incorporated in 1961 to block further annexation attempts. Flower Mound was born out of necessity– the need to protect it from outsiders who would change its future.
Bob Rheudasil was elected as the first mayor in 1961 and served three terms through 1968. Pat served as Flower Mound’s first Town Secretary from 1961 to 1973. Pat never aspired to be a Town Secretary, but took the job because the Town had no money and needed help.
The early 1960’s were a time of growth and maturity for Flower Mound. With no previous town government, no municipal taxes, or paid employees, Flower Mound was stressed to meet the demands of a fast-growing population. Pat had to invent the town’s management systems from scratch and make do with a shoestring budget.
New development and taxation were major political issues during Pat’s service. Growth, the need for a town tax and preserving the rural lifestyle often collided in spirited confrontations with residents.
Many residents wanted Flower Mound to be the way it was before and several attempts were made to de-annex various parts of town. Pat did more than her part to sooth ruffled feathers with residents.
Pat’s accomplishments as Town Secretary were significant, considering she had no experience with town government or any systems in place in the beginning. She wore many hats and balanced them while raising a family.
“Pat did more for Flower Mound than anyone in those early years,” said Bob Rheudasil. “For the first several years, there was little money and no full-time employees– just Pat.”
Doc Wilkerson, then Town Alderman and later the second mayor, made a motion in 1966, “To begin paying the Town Secretary a salary of $50 per month”. It was all the Town could afford at the time, but probably didn’t even cover Pat’s expenses of serving the Town.
Reading water meters was part of Pat’s duties early on. Penny, Pat’s daughter and my wife, remembers loading into the car with her brother and sister to go read water meters with Pat.
“It was an adventure for us, but Mom didn’t like it,” she remembers. “We often found snakes in the water meter boxes and Mom was afraid of snakes.”
Eventually, Pat deputized Mr. Crosby from FM 1171 to ride shotgun on the monthly water meter run.
“Mr. Crosby was an old man, but he could shoot a snake between the eyes at twenty yards with a slingshot,” said Penny.
The first person many people met when they moved to Flower Mound was Pat. She provided much more than a water meter for new residents and most became lifelong friends with Pat.
You weren’t likely to forget Pat once you met her either. She was a beautiful woman with a full head of dark hair. She was friendly, but not bashful about providing her opinions.
Pat quickly let me know her expectations when I started dating her daughter in high school. She made a strong impression and I feared her more than I feared any grown man at the time.
Cancer took Pat from us in February of 2000. She fought strong and hard for several years, never giving up hope.
The challenges and struggles of early Flower Mound required strong and determined leaders, like Pat. Pat loved Flower Mound and nurtured the town like it was her child.
Pat Rheudasil was an amazing woman and an important part of Flower Mound’s history. She served the town in a time when women were seldom recognized or rewarded for their leadership. If there’s a Mother of Flower Mound, it’s Pat Rheudasil.
Mark Glover is a native of the Flower Mound area and the son-in-law of Flower Mound’s First Mayor, Bob Rheudasil. Mark and his wife Penny live in Flower Mound Farms on their three acre mini-farm called Rheudasil Farms. Mark owns iMark Realty Advisors and helps clients buy, sell, lease and develop commercial real estate.