The HEB – Hurst Euless Bedford Area
Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Texas is a trio of cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Due to its location along a major Texas highway system, and its proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, HEB is a major transportation hub for many Texans. Considered a part of the “Mid-Cities” region, HEB shares a school and hospital district while maintaining separate governments.
As of the 2020 census, census workers estimated the population to be approximately 40,000. Citizens recognize Hurst for its remarkably stable economy and a family-friendly environment.
In 1903, the Rock Island Line came to town, building through the ranch land and small communities that had cropped up after the Civil War. William Letchford Hurst, a Tennessee farmer who had settled in the area, donated land to the cause.
The town was virtually nonexistent until industrial projects began in the 1920s. Prohibition (1920-1933) created a small window of opportunity for those making and selling whiskey along the river.
Hurst built its first school in 1940, which helped the town to grow to about 100 occupants. It wasn’t until the construction of a 1951 production plant that the population grew considerably larger.
Named for the county in Tennessee where most of the original settlers originated, citizens established as a community in the late 1840s. In contrast to Hurst, Bedford was a booming town by the 1880s. This was due to the impressive number of businesses, as well as the college founded in 1882.
The highway system was devastating to Bedford, diverting much of its previous traffic to larger metropolitan areas. The population shrunk in size, and the remaining residents lived a quiet life of dairy farming.
After voting to incorporate in 1953, Bedford remained a suburban presence of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There are now over 1,200 businesses and a population of about 50,000.
In 1845, Isham Crowley and his fellow group of settlers decided to make a home on the banks of Big Bear and Little Bear Creek. The settlers built a post office, school, cotton gin, and general store by 1857, though the town of Euless would see a tumultuous decade of closures and population changes as citizens moved away to better opportunities.
Southern Jim Crow Laws demanded racial segregation until the mid-sixties. In a surprisingly progressive move, a district judge determined that Black students had the right to attend school in their own districts and that those districts needed to be funded equally. This case made headlines, as it was rare for a city to challenge such laws. Unfortunately, these attempts were unsuccessful until 1968, as the superintendent decided in favor of separate schools.
The History of HEB
Many landmarks in Hurst-Bedford-Euless have met the criteria to receive historical markers. A building must be at least fifty years old and have associations with an event or prison of great historical context. It might need to contain certain architectural aspects that are specific to HEB, and depict social qualities that are specific to how people used to live.