Lewisville is a city in Denton County, Texas in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2000 census the city had a total population of 77,737. With strong population growth continuing into the new millennium, the U.S. Census Bureau gives a 2008 population estimate of 101,624. Lewisville is one of the older incorporated cities (incorporated in 1925) in the northern area of the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, but it remained a small rural town with just a few thousand people as late as 1960.
The earliest white settlement in what is now Lewisville occurred in the 1840s. Basdeal Lewis purchased the land around which Lewisville would be formed and named the town after himself.
Growth was very slow during the 19th century, with population rising to only about 500 by 1900. The settlement did boast several agriculture-related industries, including a grist mill, a cotton gin, and a livery stable and feed mill. In 1885 the building currently housing the Greater Lewisville Community Theater was constructed on the city’s principal thoroughfare, Main Street. It remains Lewisville’s oldest standing structure.
Lewisville High School opened in 1897, and in 1909 the first bank robbery in Denton County history occurred at the First National Bank of Lewisville. In 1925 residents voted to incorporate the area as a city. Lewisville slowly grew with its first automobile dealership and traffic light appearing over the next two decades. The single signal light, at the intersection of Main and Mill Streets, remained the only one in the city until the 1970s. Another notable bank robbery occurred in 1934 at the First National Bank, this time engineered by Raymond Hamilton of the Barrow gang (minus leaders Bonnie and Clyde, who had visited the city earlier that year).
Construction of the Lewisville Dam began in 1948 and concluded six years later, which expanded the Garza-Little Elm Reservoir into the current 30,000-acre Lewisville Lake. Population growth began to accelerate, and the 1970 census counted 9,264 residents. In 1963 Lewisville became one of the first Texas cities to integrate its school system, with the first two African-American graduates from Lewisville High School in 1965 and a third in 1966. The growth was mainly west of Downtown Lewisville and kept moving further west with houses replacing farms. In September 1969 the city hosted the Texas International Pop Festival on Labor Day weekend, with Janis Joplin, B.B. King and Led Zeppelin performing. Just 13 days after Woodstock the festival drew over 250,000 rock and jazz fans.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport opened in 1974, and the population of cities like Lewisville and Flower Mound, north of the airport, began to explode. The census figures tell the story: 24,273 in 1980, 46,521 in 1990, and 77,737 in 2000. Rapid growth continues, though the city has tried to maintain a small-town ambiance. Recently town home developments have started to become popular with limited space west of Interstate 35. Now that most of West and South Lewisville is filled in with development all the way to Flower Mound and Coppell now the development is looking East towards Carrollton and The Colony where development is still sparse but quickly growing as the higher-income Castle Hills addition is being developed. However, most of East Lewisville is in the Little Elm Fork flood plain so development will be more limited.