Duncanville, Texas

Duncanville, Texas
Duncanville, Texas
—  City  —
Nickname(s): City of Champions
Location of Duncanville in Dallas County, Texas
Coordinates: 32°38′47″N 96°54′41″W / 32.64639°N 96.91139°W / 32.64639; -96.91139Coordinates: 32°38′47″N 96°54′41″W / 32.64639°N 96.91139°W / 32.64639; -96.91139
Country United StatesUnited States
State TexasTexas
County Dallas
 - Type Council-Manager
 - City Council Mayor David Green
Ken Weaver
Scott Cannon
Anthony Skinner
Grady W. Smithey, Jr.
Johnette Jameson
Dorothy Burton
 - City Manager Kent Cagle
 - City 11.3 sq mi (29.2 km2)
 - Land 11.3 sq mi (29.2 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 725 ft (221 m)
Population (2008)
 - City 42,500 (city proper)
 - Density 3,196.6/sq mi (1,234/km2)
 Metro 6,538,850
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) Central (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75116, 75137, 75138
Area code(s) 972
FIPS code 48-21628[1]
GNIS feature ID 1334786[2]
Website ci.Duncanville.TX.US

Duncanville is a city in Dallas County, Texas (USA). Duncanville's population was 36,081 at the 2000 census, and estimated at 42,500 in 2008. Duncanville is a suburb of Dallas and is part of the Best Southwest area, which includes Duncanville, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Lancaster.



Duncanville is located at 32°38′47″N 96°54′41″W / 32.64639°N 96.91139°W / 32.64639; -96.91139 (32.646333, -96.911309).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29 km2), all of it land.


Settlement of the area began in 1845, when Illinois resident Crawford Trees purchased several thousand acres south of Camp Dallas. In 1880 the Chicago, Texas and Mexican Central Railway reached the area and built Duncan Switch, named for a line foreman. Charles P. Nance, the community's first postmaster, renamed the settlement Duncanville in 1882. By the late 19th century Duncanville was home to a dry goods stores, a pharmacy, a domino parlor, and a school. Between 1904 and 1933 the population of Duncanville increased from 113 to more than 300.[4]

During World War II, the Army Air Corp established a landing field for flight training on property near the present day intersection of Main and Wheatland roads.[5]

Duncanville residents incorporated the city on Aug. 2, 1947. During the post war years, the military developed the Army’s old landing field into the Duncanville Air Force Station, which was the headquarters for the four Nike-Hercules missile launch sites guarding Dallas/Fort Worth from Soviet bomber attack. It also housed the Air Force tracking radars for the region.[6]

When the town's population reached 5,000 in 1962, citizens adopted a home-rule charter with council-manager city government. Sometimes regarded as a so-called "white flight" suburb in the 1960s and 1970s, the city is now known for its racial diversity. (See "Demographics") Its population increased from about 13,000 in 1970 to more than 31,000 in 1988.[4]

Historic preservation

The Texas Historical Commission has designated the City of Duncanville as an official Main Street City.[7]

Duncanville has a long-term commitment to recognizing its history. When the Duncanville Air Force Station was closed about 1970, the entire facility was turned over to the city. The WWII-era barracks and some other structures were initially repurposed for civic and community use. Over time the buildings were systematically demolished, obliterating all signs of the historic base. But the history of the facility lives on in a monument, which stands outside the Library and Community Center.

The “stone igloo,” a spring house originally located near the intersection of Center Street and Cedar Ridge Road, was preserved in a unique way. In the late 1960s or early 1970s it was demolished, thereby producing a supply of rocks that were used to build a replica of the structure at a nearby park and paving the way for the construction of a neighborhood retail center.

Various pieces of the city’s history are preserved at the Duncanville Historical Park, which is located on Wheatland Road in Armstrong Park on land that was once a part of the Duncanville Air Force Station. Historic buildings include the city’s first Music Room.[5]


With the completion of nearby Joe Pool Lake in the 1980s, Duncanville has increased in stature as a popular tourist destination. Overnight accommodations include several well-known chains, such as Motel 6, and Hilton Garden Inn. The city is home to a variety of local eateries and national restaurant chains, some of which have been in business for decades.[2]

Famous residents

Chief Rick Stone - Chief of Police. United States Department of Justice "Law Enforcement Officer of the Year" and the most highly decorated officer in Dallas Police Department history with multiple awards including the Medal of Valor, lived in Duncanville for 16 years.[8]

Singer Elliott Smith moved to Duncanville after his parents divorced and stayed till 14 when he went to live with his father in Portland, Oregon.[9]

Ex-pro football player "Mean" Joe Greene lived in Duncanville during the height of his pro career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tamika Catchings, WNBA all-star, graduated from Duncanville High School in 1997, having played on the women's basketball team that won the state championship. She is the only person to achieve a quintuple double.

Tim Urban, an acoustic, contemporary musician who began his music career in 2007, and gained fame for making it in to the top 7 on the ninth season of American Idol.

Tim DeLaughter (born 18 November 1965 in Dallas, Texas), is a singer and songwriter. He has gained attention as a very energetic and engaging frontman for both Tripping Daisy and his current band, The Polyphonic Spree.

The Current Texas State Attorney General, Greg Abbott is a 1976 graduate of Duncanville High School.

Jerry Hill, Dallas Police Department (Retired) and a long time resident of Duncanville (1964- present) Lead the search detail that discovered Lee Harvey Oswald's sniper perch, and later that day was one of the arresting officers of Lee Harvey Oswald. Jerry is one of the very few people that was closely involved with the Kennedy assassination.

Government and infrastructure

A club that offered a "Naked Twister" night inspired the city to pass a law banning "sex clubs" in residential areas in 2007.[10]

The United States Postal Service operates the Duncanville Post Office.[11]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 36,083 people, 12,899 households, and 10,239 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,196.6 people per square mile (1,233.9/km²). There were 13,290 housing units at an average density of 1,177.4 per square mile (454.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.90% White, 24.76% African American, 0.32% Native American, 1.99% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 6.83% from other races, and 2.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.30% of the population.

There were 12,896 households out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.6% were non-families. 17.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $51,654, and the median income for a family was $57,064. Males had a median income of $39,199 versus $30,145 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,924. The Average Household Income for the city in 2008 is $82,500. About 3.9% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.


Duncanville is served by the Duncanville Independent School District.

The Duncanville ISD portion is zoned to Duncanville High School, which enrolls approximately 3,750 students annually. Duncanville High School currently enrolls over 4,000 students during the 2010-2011 school year.[12] At about 900,000 square feet (84,000 m2), the Duncanville High School campus is the largest in Texas, the second-largest in the nation, and the third largest in the world in terms of physical size. In total, 13 out of the 17 schools in the district are rated Exemplary or Recognized by the TEA Texas Education Agency, and the district's ratings continue to outperform those of the surrouding districts (Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Lancaster, Dallas, Grand Prairie). They also outperform many of the school districts throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Area.

Reports of alleged paranormal phenomenon

Duncanville is mentioned in UFO reports posted on several Web sites. These reports of unidentified flying objects date back to the early 1950s and continue into the first decade of the 21st century.

One of the most important UFO incidents in Duncanville occurred on July 17, 1957, when an Air Force Boeing Stratojet reconnaissance jet (RB-47) was followed by an unidentified object for a distance of well over 700 miles (1,100 km) and for a time period of more than one hour. The jet was pursued while flying from Mississippi, through Louisiana and Texas and into Oklahoma. The object was detected visually by the flight crew, by crewmembers using radar and electronic surveillance equipment on the aircraft and by radar operators at the Duncanville Air Force Station.[13] The incident is listed in Project Blue Book files, where investigators concluded that the UFO was actually an ordinary jet airliner. However, these official findings are widely disputed by critics and investigators, who claim that this well-reported, multi-channel, multiple-witness report makes RB-47 one of the most compelling documented cases supporting the reality of UFOs.[14] (This UFO report also gets a brief mention in Wikipedia’s unidentified flying object article, where the sighting is described as “the well-known 1957 RB-47 surveillance aircraft case.” )

Other documented UFO cases associated with Duncanville include:

  • On April 4, 1952, two radar operators of the 147th AC&W Squadron at Duncanville Air Force Station tracked an unidentified object for one minute at an estimated 2,160 mph (3,480 km/h).[15]
  • On Jan. 6, 1953, the 147th AC&W Squadron in Duncanville received reports of an unidentified flying object northeast of Dallas, Texas. An arrowhead-shaped object was reported by some witnesses. At the same time, the AC&W unit at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, reported that they had picked up a target by radar 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Paris, Texas. This target was moving west at an estimated speed of 600 knots (1,100 km/h) at 7,500 feet (2,300 m) in altitude.[16]
  • On Oct. 23, 1994, witnesses reported three unidentified objects, each about the size of a commercial jet, flying single file at about 1,000 feet (300 m) at high speed but making no noise. The objects suddenly aligned in a triangular formation and made a fast turn. Three F-18 was observed giving pursuit with afterburners. Later, a local television station broadcast news of a large explosion in the area, but no follow-up information was ever released.[17]
  • On Oct. 2, 1999, four unidentified objects were observed moving silently at fast rates of speed during a period of about 35 minutes. The first object was large and triangle-shaped. It was followed by 8 to 10 dim, star-like objects in a V-shaped cluster that appeared solid. Another larger, star-like object followed. The final object resembled a satellite, but was moving at a much faster speed.[18]
  • On April 1, 2004, witnesses reported an unidentified object, described as an egg-shaped red orb, traveling west at high speed.[19][20]


External links

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