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The city of Mesquite is a suburb located east of Dallas, Texas. Most of the city is located in Dallas County. As of the 2015 census, the population was 144,788, making it the twentieth most populous city in the state of Texas. Mesquite is positioned in the crossroads of four major highways (Interstates 30, 635, 20 and U.S. Highway 80), making locations, such as Downtown Dallas, Lake Ray Hubbard, Dallas Love Field and DFW International airports, accessible.
According to legislative action, the city is the "Rodeo Capital of Texas". In 2016, Mesquite received a Playful City USA designation, for the fourth year in a row. The city has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, for over 25 years. The city of Mesquite holds the 10th longest reign in all of Texas.
The city was founded on March 14, 1878, on land along the Texas & Pacific Railroad, which ran from Dallas to Shreveport, Louisiana. The locals then named the town after Mesquite Creek. The city was officially incorporated on December 3, 1887, after electing Mayor J.E. Russell.
Mesquite prospered through the late 19th century and early 20th century as a farming community growing cotton, hay, corn and sugar and using the railroad to ship raw goods. The town remained predominantly agrarian until after World War II when the suburban boom also took root in Mesquite. The city's population rapidly grew:
Years before the settlers moved into the area, Mesquite was an open prairie land and a key trading ground for Indigenous peoples. The Ionies, were the western tribe located close to present day Fort Worth. The Tawakonies, were in present-day Dallas. Finally, the Caddo, were the native farmers of the Mesquite land. From 1680 to 1790, after harvest was over, these three tribes held an annual tournament and trading fair.
Many outlaws resided in the area, but Sam Bass is historically known for his train robberies in Texas. In 1878 he robbed a train in downtown Mesquite, escaping with $30,000.
The Mesquiter, was established in 1882 by R.S. Kimbrough, and was Dallas County's longest running newspaper.
In 1946, the Mesquite Rodeo was founded by CC AKA Charlie Columbus McNally, and was one of the only rodeos that had a permanent location. By the mid 1980s, the events were being broadcast by ESPN.
In 1959, Big Town Mall opened as the first air conditioned shopping mall in the United States. The mall was demolished in the summer of 2006.
By 1970, LBJ Freeway (I-635) was constructed, connecting Mesquite to its neighbors, Garland to the north and Balch Springs to the south. Also in 1971, Town East Mall was constructed. The mall was used by director Ron Howard to film portions of the movie Cotton Candy in 1978. The mall's associated traffic and shops would continue to grow the town. By the 1990 census, the city had grown to 101,484 people, nearly twice the population twenty years earlier.
In 1986, the Mesquite Arena opened its doors as the new home for the Mesquite ProRodeo. By 1998, the facility was expanded to include a Convention Center, Exhibition Hall and a Hampton Inn & Suites.
2011 saw Mesquite pass a law that allows beer and wine sales in the city. The measure had been considered several times for many years, but was always blocked by strong protest against the proposed sales. It was one of the few cities without beer and wine sales in eastern Dallas County before the law came into effect.
In June 2015, the Mesquite Arts Center added on a Freedom Park exhibit, in memorial of September 11. The park displays a 15-foot beam that was recovered from the remains of Ground Zero. Mesquite Fire Department received the beam in 2011.
Historic Mesquite Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, organized for the charitable and educational purposes of identifying and preserving historic structures, identifying and securing historic designations for properties, and providing the public with the tools to navigate Mesquite history and culture.
The 36,700-square-foot municipal arts facility houses a 494-seat music performance hall, a black box theater, a rehearsal hall, galleries and support space. The facility serves as the cultural center for the community and is home to the Mesquite Community Theatre, Mesquite Community Band and the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra.
Mesquite Golf Club is a 154-acre, 18-hole golf course for both novice and expert golfers. Operated by the City of Mesquite, the course is open 7 days a week and features a pro shop and driving range.
The city houses 76 parks and multiple recreation facilities. The city has been designated a Playful City USA four years running and opened its Heritage Trail system in 2015. The hike and bike trail system consists of 4.25 miles of concrete trails and sidewalks, three trailheads and other improvements that connect residents from their homes to the Mesquite Golf Club, schools, recreation centers, sports fields, shopping and more.
In 2016, the Mesquite Public Library System was presented with a 2016 Achievement of Library Excellence Award by the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association. Of the 548 public library systems in Texas, the Mesquite Public Library was one of only 43 libraries to earn this prestigious honor. The Mesquite Public Library System] consists of two branches to serve the community. Both branches offer traditional and non-traditional programs.
Mesquite is located at 32°46′58″N 96°36′36″W (32.782878, -96.609862).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 46.2 square miles (119.6 km2), of which 46.0 square miles (119.2 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.33%, is water.
On average, the warmest month is July. The highest recorded temperature was 112 °F in 1980. The average coolest month is January. The lowest recorded temperature was 1 °F in 1989.
May is the average wettest month. Mesquite is part of the humid subtropical region.
The City Council consists of a Mayor and six Councilmembers.
Stan Pickett, Mayor Robert Miklos, Place 1 Jeff Casper, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, Place 2 Bruce Archer, Mayor Pro Tem, Place 3 Dan Aleman, Place 4 Greg Noschese, Place 5 Tandy Boroughs, Place 6 Cliff Keheley, City Manager
Mesquite Independent School District provides primary and secondary (K-12) education to most areas of Mesquite. A small portion of Mesquite is served by Dallas Independent School District. While another small area in Kaufman County is within the Forney Independent School District, the section has no residents. Mesquite also serves an area of Balch Springs.
In addition to numerous elementary and middle schools, Mesquite is served by five high schools: Mesquite High School, North Mesquite High School, West Mesquite High School, Poteet High School, and Horn High School.
Dallas Christian School is located in Mesquite.
Higher education is provided by three institutions. Eastfield College provides undergraduate degrees and continuing education credits as part of the Dallas County Community College District. The Texas A&M University–Commerce Mesquite Metroplex Center provides graduate-level courses and degrees in a variety of fields. Columbia College-Mesquite Campus is located on the Eastfield College campus. It is a private, nonprofit institution that was founded in Columbia, Missouri, in 1851. It provides bachelor's and master's degree programs.
Mesquite is served by a publicly owned and operated airport, Mesquite Metro Airport. The airport includes a 6,000-foot (1,800 m) lighted runway with ILS. General aviation comprises approximately 75% of daily operations, while commercial aviation comprises the rest. Mesquite Metro Airport is popular among transient aircraft due to its location near Dallas and favorable fuel prices.
Two other nearby airports, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field, provide regular commercial passenger service to the region. Love Field is approximately 15 miles (24 km) from Mesquite; DFW Airport is approximately 30 miles (48 km) from Mesquite.
Mesquite is not a member of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, but on April 12, 2011 The DART Board changed its policy to permit DART to contract with non-member cities for services, such as passenger rail and express service. The city and DART staffs have developed a coordinated plan to have a weekday commuter service in operation between the Hanby Stadium visitor parking lot and the DART's Green Line Lawnview Station. This route opened March 12, 2012. The city also operates its own paratransit service for elderly and disabled residents.
Union Pacific Railroad operates an intermodal facility for its freight rail service as part of the Skyline Industrial Park. The recent expansion of this intermodal facility won a Silver award in the Industrial Paving Category by the American Concrete Pavement Association.
Mesquite is served by three interstate highways, one US highway, and one state highway. Interstates 20, 30, and 635, US Highway 80, and Texas State Highway 352 all pass through Mesquite. Belt Line Road also passes through Mesquite and serves as a major road.
As of the 2010 Census:
There were 48,390 households in the city, out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were headed by married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.4% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88, and the average family size was 3.38.
In the city, 29.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.1% were 18 to 24 years old, 27.9% were 25 to 44, 23.7% were 45 to 64, and 8.6% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.
As of the 2000 Census:
About 5.0% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.8% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
Mesquite has a group of Indian Americans, mostly Kerala-origin Indian Christians. Their settlement, one of the earliest of the Indian Americans in the DFW area, was influenced by proximity to Dallas-based hospitals such as Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas and Parkland Hospital as well as having initial low income and difficulties moving to mostly-white northern suburbs.
According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
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