This map shows the approximate location of the founding settlements of Denton County up to about 1860. The areas shown are not meant to approximate size or population. They are only a guide to the approximate location of the settlements. The areas shown are taken from settlement descriptions in History and Reminiscences of Denton County by Ed. F. Bates (Denton: Terrill Wheeler Printing, 1989 (1913)) and locations of cemeteries related to the settlements.
You may click on the settlement's name to get a brief description of the settlement's location.
- Bridges Settlement1
- Bridges Settlement is the oldest in Denton County and was near the present day city of Hebron in the Southeastern part of the county. It formed in 1846, and straddled the Denton, Collin, and Dallas County lines. The Peter's Colony placed it's headquarters here for administering the land grants in the colony.
- Holford Prairie Settlement2
- This settlement began about 1844 when the King family settled around present-day Lewisville. Later, when John Holford settled in the area, it became known as Holford's Prairie.
- Stewart's Creek Settlement3>
- This settlement was located on the east side of Big Elm (Elm Fork of the Trinity River) centered at the mouth of Stewart's Creek, named for Isaac F. Stewart, who first settled there in 1844.
- Teel Settlement4
- Started by Peter Teel in 1850. It was located on the ridge between Stewart's Creek and Cottonwood Creek and between Little Elm and Frisco.
- Little Elm5
- Formed in 1844 by Kit King and family. The settlement was located on the bank of Little Elm Creek. It contained the first post office in the county, founded during the days of the Republic. The present city of Elm Creek is about 1 mile east of this settlement.
- Hawkins Settlement 6
- Founded in 1853 by the Bates and Hawkins families. It was located neat the Denton - Collin County line on the waters of Panther Cree. This settlement is also referred to as the Kentucky Settlement.
- Rue Settlement7
- Located about five miles up Doe Branch in the eastern part of the county. Settlers were strung out along both sides of the creek. First settled by Louis and Jake Rue in 1854.
- Sand Town8
- The settlement was located between the Big and Little Elm Creeks, along Running Branch.
- Key's School House Settlement9
- Located north Sand Town and south of Ballew Settlement, between the two Elms. Settled in 1846 by Dr. G. T. Key and family, settling about 1-1/2 miles southwest of Aubrey.
- Ballew's School House Settlement10
- Located between Key's Settlement and Pilot Point, and situated east of Big Elm (Elm Fork of the Trinity) and west of Pecan Creek. Began when Aaron Ballew settled there in 1856 with his family.
- Pilot Point Settlement11
- Located three miles south of the Cooke County line, and six miles from the Collin County line. Named for a large grove of oak trees that could be identified from a great distance, serving as a navigation point. The Edleman and Elmore families first settled here in 1846.
- French Settlement12
- Located in the forks of Big Elm and Hickory Creek. It began in 1852 when the French and McCurley families settled there.
- Alton Settlement13
- Located about five miles south of the present city of Denton. This was the third county seat of Denton County, established in 1850 at the residence of Alexander E. Cannon on Hickory Creek. Settlement appears to have began around 1852. The site prove not to be ideal for the county seat, and in 1857 was moved to the present city of Denton. A small settlement remained.
- Denton Settlement14
- The site was determined in 1856 by a popular vote in the county for a new county seat. The land for the new city was provided by Bill Loving, Hiram Cisco, and William Woodruff. This land was plotted into city lots and sold at public auction in 1857.
- Sullivan Settlement15
- Started in 1847 by John and David Strickland along Big Elm (Elm Fork of the Trinity) from the north county line to the mouth of Clear Creek. The Sullivan family actually settled here three years later, in 1850. Being a larger family, the settlement was identified with them.
- Chinn's Chapel Settlement16
- A man named Smith first settled in the area in 1845, but sold out to Abraham S. Loving in 1847. In 1853, he sold to Elisha Chinn. The settlement was named for the first church in the area, called Chinn's Chapel.
- Medlin Settlement17
- In 1847, the Medlin and Eads families settled in the southwest area of the county at the edge of Grand Prairie, locating near Marshall's Creek.
- Elizabethtown Settlement18
- An extension of the Medlin Settlement, located on Elizabeth Creek.
- Denton Creek Settlement19
- Located from the present community of Stony, it extended down Denton Creek to the mouth of Oliver Creek and beyond. This settlement included the present-day cities of Ponder and Justin. It as not a compact settlement, and spread over this part of the county.
- Icarian Settlement20
- Also known as New Icara, this settlement was founded in 1848 by a group of French Socialists, locating on the mouth of Oliver Creek between Oliver Creek and Denton Creek. The settlers called themselves Icarians, hence the settlement's name. The settlement only lasted a couple of years.
- Bolivar Settlement21
- Located along Clear Creek, from the west county line down to its mouth at Elm Fork of the Trinity River in a shoe-string fashion. Often this settlement is referred to as Clear Creek Settlement. Within the settlement, a townsite was laid off in 1859 by Rev. Hiram Daily, who bought the land from the original owner, William Crawford. The town was named New Prospect by Rev. Daily. Another resident, Ben Brown, wanted to name the town for his home, Bolivar, Tennessee. It was put up to vote of the local residents, who chose Bolivar. Settlers began settling in the area as early as 1852.
1. Ed. F. Bates. History and Reminiscences of Denton County. Denton: Terrill-Wheeler Printing, Inc., 1989 (reprint 1918), p. 27.
2. Ibid., p. 29.
3. Ibid.,p. 37.
5. Ibid., p. 39
6. Ibid. , p. 43
7. Ibid. , p. 55
8. Ibid. , p. 56
9. Ibid. , p. 57
10. Ibid. , p. 57-8
11. Ibid. , p. 58
12. Ibid. , p. 60
13. Ibid. , p. 60
14. Ibid. , p. 63
15. Ibid. , p. 72
16. Ibid. , p. 74
17. Ibid. , p. 76
19. Ibid. , p. 79
20. Ibid. , p. 81
21. Ibid. , p. 84