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Farming Community to Growing Suburb
Celina is going through a time of rapid growth and change with a population that has nearly doubled in the last 10 years making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the DFW metroplex. Due to Celina’s strategic location sitting between major transportation arteries of Preston Road and the expanding Dallas North Tollway, the rapid growth is expected to continue. But it was not always a fast-growing town and had very humble beginnings.
Celina was established in 1879 and the community was named by John T. Mulkey who became the town’s first Postmaster. The town was named after Celina, Tenessee, the former home of Mr. Mulkey. In 1880, a Methodist church was built and for some time also served as the local school. Celina continued to slowly grow, and in 1885, a mill, a general store, and a drug store had been established.
In 1902, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Texas Railway established a rail line about a mile from the original town center. Recognizing the importance of the railroad line to the town’s economy, the residents of Celina moved their homes and businesses near the rail line which is the present location of the Celina town square. In 1907, Celina was formally incorporated with Will Newsom as the new mayor, and by 1915, built the first road specifically for automobile use.
Like many rural Texas towns, Celina’s population declined during the Great Depression, but following World War II, the town started to slowly grow. In 1950, there were 1,051 residents, and by 1990, Celina had a population of over 1,500.
Today, Celina is a fast-growing Dallas suburb with a territorial jurisdiction that covers 78 square miles and a population of approximately 17,000.
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