Settlers came to the area that is now Irving in the 1850s, and communities such as Sowers, Kit Shady Grove, Union Bower, Finley, Estelle and Bear Creek sprang up in the last half of the century. The new town of Irving, founded in 1903 by J.O. Schulze and Otis Brown, eventually swallowed most of these settlements. Irving was officially incorporated April 14, 1914.
Schulze and Brown, who were employed by the Chicago, Rock Island & Gulf Railway, arrived in 1902 to survey a railroad route between Fort Worth and Dallas. Having decided that this area would be an ideal town site, they bought 80 acres from the Britian family in 1902. The co-founders sold the first town lots at a public auction on Dec. 19, 1903. The post office at nearby Kit was moved to Irving in 1904.
Irving, the man
The City Council adopted author Washington Irving as the city's namesake in 1998. Local historians believe that Irving co-founders Otis Brown and J.O. Schulze decided in 1902 to name the city after Netta Barcus Brown's favorite author. Schulze, a graduate engineer from the University of Iowa and member of the Washington Irving Literary Society, also was partial to the name Irving.
For more information about the city's history, visit the Irving Archives pages, where visitors can view online exhibits of the city's history. Contact the Irving Archives at (972) 721-3729. The Irving Archives staff is located in the former Central Library, 801 West Irving Blvd.
Source: Rice, Joseph. Irving: A Texas Odyssey. N.P.: Windor Publications, Inc., 1989