In the 1800s everything revolved around the railroad. Back in 1878 the people in the area began to form a town around the railway which ran from Dallas to Shreveport. Because of the town by the railway the railroad began to start stopping in this new town. Once the railway designated the town as a spot the town grew people began to build post offices and more settlers began coming. It was a slow start but none the less a smart on to make a prosperous city and it worked the city became officially incorporated in 1887. The town continued to prosper and a farming community began. The influx of growing cotton, hay, corn and sugar that the many settlers were growing and the of the availability of the railway to ship the raw goods the town only continued to grow. During the times of the war it seems as if the town growth simmered off and it wasn’t until the fighting was done that the city growth continued. Not only did the growth continue it took off the city's population rapidly grew from 1,696 in the 1950 census to 27,526 in 1960. With the population almost doubling Mesquite Texas was the ideal place to put Big Town Mall, the first air conditioned shopping mall in the United States. Even though the mall was demolished in 2006 you can learn all about it as well as the rest of the city’s rich history at the Mesquite Historical Inc.
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In the early 1900s most rodeos traveling from place to place as there was not enough year round entertainment to keep one afloat in one area. By the mid 1900s Neal Gay thought that the large growth of the town of Mesquite that maybe it could suffice to keep up a permeate rodeo. The rodeo struggled at first but as the town of Mesquite continued to grow so did the rodeo. When Interstate 635 was constructed everybody that lived in Dallas had better access to come and go freely to Mesquite and the rodeo became an overnight success. The mesquite rodeo has been so popular over the days that the facility has hosted Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The success of the rodeo has stuck the fancy of national television and the rodeos held here are broadcasted of on ESPN and then later TNN and Fox Sports Net Southwest. Investors have come and gone and the rodeo only gets bigger and better every year now more than 200,000 people travel to see these rodeos and more than 8 million watch on TV. Popularity grows with the rodeo and people come to see it from miles and miles away. While on your visit in Mesquite you should witness what more than 8 million can only watch on TV.