Burleson is a city in Johnson and Tarrant counties in the U.S. state ofTexas. A suburb of Fort Worth, Burleson is located in the rapidly growing region south of downtown Fort Worth.
The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, known as "the Katy", decided to extend its service from Denison to Waco. In 1881 the segment from Fort Worth to Alvarado was being laid out, and a midway depot was needed.Grenville M. Dodge, representing the railroad, purchased land for the depot and a town surrounding it from Rev. Henry C. Renfro at the site of what is now called "Old Town" Burleson. As part of the agreement, Renfro named the town Burleson, in honor of his teacher Rufus Columbus Burleson, the president of Baylor University. The first lot was sold on October 10, 1881, the date now considered to be the "founding day" of the city.
The Burleson Post Office opened in 1882, inside a retail establishment, as was common for small towns at the time. On February 20, 1895, a fire burned down most of the business district, along with several homes. One of the Katy workers, J. C. Jones, had stayed in Burleson and opened a water works for the town, drilling a deep well that provided dozens of hydrants for the residents, but they were not sufficient for extinguishing the fire. By the end of the 1800's, Burleson was an ongoing rural town, with farms all around, schools, a grocery store, cotton gins and grist mills, a general store, a druggist, a bank, even a jeweler. In 1899, a group of nine women formed a society for cultural advancement, and called it the Eumathian Club. The women acquired books, loaned them, and held readings, discussions, and music recitals. The Eumathian Club celebrated its centennial in 1999, has many notable accomplishments in its history, and is still active in Burleson to this day.
1900 saw the retirement of John W. Taylor, an area farmer who retired to a Burleson house said to be equipped with the town's first in-home bathtub. In 1909 the Texas Legislature passed a bill forming the Burleson Independent School District. In 1911 the Northern Texas Traction Company decided to install an interurban line between Fort Worth and Cleburne, with Burleson as one stop along the way. Construction began in 1912, and the first day of service was September 1, 1912, with some 1200 passengers on the ten passenger runs that day. Two freight runs per day were made as well. The interurban line provided for the first time two very important things to Burleson: easy access to Fort Worth and Cleburne, and electricity. The interurban station was operated out of a drugstore, whose proprietor became ticket master, and who served those coming and going with pastries and soda from the soda fountain. The old drugstore/station still exists, as the Burleson Heritage Museum at the Burleson Visitor's Center, as well as two of the interurban cars from that era.
Also in 1912, a petition was sent to the Johnson County judge proposing to incorporate the "Town of Burleson", including a survey of the town limits that included most of the original town as set out by Grenville Dodge. An election was held, the petition passed, and the county judge ordered it so on May 21, 1912. Burleson was incorporated.
The 1920 census shows the population of Burleson to be 241.
In 1930 the population was 591. Due to the increasing popularity of automobiles, combined with the Great Depression, the interurban line between Fort Worth, through Burleson, to Cleburne closed in 1931.
In 1940 the population decreased to 573, as people had left Burleson during the Great Depression to find jobs wherever they could. In 1950 the population recovered to 791, and grew to 2,345 in 1960, as Burleson started to become a suburb of Fort Worth, perhaps partly due to the opening of Interstate 35 through Burleson that year. The community has gradually depended less on agriculture as the decades passed. By 1970 the population was 7,713, by 1980 11,734. In 1990 the population of Burleson was 16,113, in 2000 the population grew to 20,976, and in 2010 there were 36,690 people in Burleson.
Burleson is served primarily by the Burleson Independent School District (BISD), and also by the Joshua Independent School District.
The Burleson Higher Education Center provides a local campus for Hill College and Texas Wesleyan University.
The average household income is $69,000. There are 1,300 businesses in Burleson which employ a total of 10,500 people.
Fort Worth Spinks Airport, on the northern edge of Burleson city limits, serves Burleson's local general aviation needs. Burleson is about 40 miles from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport via major highways.