About Grand Prairie, Texas
Grand Prairie is a city in Dallas County, Tarrant County, and Ellis County, Texas, in the United States. It is part of the Mid-Cities region in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. It has a population of 175,396 according to the 2010 census, making it the fifteenth most populous city in the state.
The city of Grand Prairie was first established as Dechman by Alexander McRae Dechman in 1863. He based the name of the town on Big Prairie, Ohio. Prior to then, he resided in Young County near Fort Belknap. The 1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules shows an A McR Dechman as having 4 slaves, ages 50, 25, 37 and 10. Dechman, learned that he could trade his oxen and wagons for land in Dallas County. In 1863, Dechman bought 239.5 acres (96.9 ha) of land on the eastern side of the Trinity River and 100 acres (40 ha) of timber land on the west side of the river for a broken-down wagon, oxen team and US$200 in Confederate money. He tried to establish a home on the property, but ran into difficulties, so he returned to his family in Birdville before joining in the Civil War. In 1867 he filed a town plat consisting of 50 acres (20 ha) with Dallas County.
After the war, he returned to Birdville for two years before selling that farm in 1867 and moving to Houston, where yellow fever broke out, causing the family to settle in Bryan. In 1876, Dechman traded half his “prairie” property to the T&P Railroad to ensure the railroad came through the town. The railroad named the depot “Dechman”, prompting its namesake to relocate his home from Bryan to Dechman. His son Alexander had been living in Dechman and operating a trading post and farm. The first church in the area was the Good Hope Cumberland Sabbath School, established in 1870 by Rev. Andrew Hayter. The church was later renamed West Fork United Presbyterian Church and remains an active church.