History of The Colony, Texas
Incorporated in 1977, the city’s population has steadily grown from 26,531 in 2000 to an estimated 42,300 today. Bridges Settlement, named after William Bridges, was once located within what is now The Colony. Bridges came to the area at age 23 from Tennessee. Bridges Settlement, the first settlement in Denton County, was later known as Stewartsville, named after Willis Stewart, one of the principals in the Texas Agricultural, Commercial, and Manufacturing Company.
W. C. Peters was a principal founder of the company. Forerunner of the company was the Peters' colony which embraced in whole or part of these counties: Grayson, Collin, Dallas, Ellis, Tarrant, Denton, Cooke, Montague, Wise, Parker, Hood, Erath, Palo Pinto, Jack, Clay, Wichita, Archer, Young, Stephens, Eastland, Callahan, Shackelford, Baylor and Wilbarger. The legislature established the Peters colony in order to attract emigrants to settle there. In 1847 the land company, Texas Emigration & Land Co., appointed English-born Henry O. Hedgecoxe as land agent.
Unpopular with the colonists, Hedgecoxe's office was raided in 1852 by a group planning to seize the land records and depose Hedgecoxe. Hedgecoxe escaped with many of the records, and the armed raiders confiscated the remaining papers and burned down the office located at the south end of today's The Colony on Office Creek. The incident is known in Texas history as the Hedgecoxe War of 1852.
Confusion concerning the validity of land claims by colonists in the Peters' Colony Settlement resulted in an act by the legislature in 1853 allowing colonists to file their claims directly with the General Land Office in Austin rather than through a land agent. Peters' Colony Settlement was renamed Camey Settlement in the early 1900's. Camey Settlement consisted of a school, grocery store, and cotton gin in the 1940's. Stewart's Creek was named after one of the founding fathers of Peters' Colony Settlement. Some of the original colonists, including William Bridges, are buried in Bridges Cemetery located in the eastern part of today's The Colony.
The cemetery is located on private property and not open to the public. In 1969, Fox & Jacobs, land developers, purchased the land. Dave Fox of Fox & Jacobs envisioned a "dream city" patterned after Dallas specifications. The streets were named for original landowners and members of the crew working on infrastructure at the time. One street, John S. Yates Dr., was named for the winner of a local radio contest. The company started building homes in 1972 and averaged 100 homes per month.
The first family moved into their home in 1974. By January, 1977, the area had over 5,000 residents and was incorporated. The name Colony was decided upon but had already been taken. Therefore, the name became The Colony. The first school built was Camey Elementary in 1977. First Baptist Church was the first church to break ground and the Stop 'n Go on FM 423 at South Colony Blvd. was the first business established.