The City of Rowlett is a part of the Dallas, Texas, Metroplex. It covers approximately 20 square miles in eastern Dallas and western Rockwall Counties. The majority of the City falls within the boundaries of Dallas County, with Dalrock Road as the dividing county line. The City is surrounded on two sides by Lake Ray Hubbard, which serves as a water reservoir and recreational lake.
The area now known as Rowlett was first settled in the 1840s. The first post office was opened on April 5, 1880, and was named Morris for Postmaster Austin Morris. The name was later changed to Rowlett, which recognized Rowlett Creek, a major tributary of the Trinity River.
Railroads began to spread westward after the Civil War, which brought new waves of settlers. The roots of many Texas towns like Rowlett were railroads and cotton gins. The Greenville and Dallas Railroad reached Rowlett in 1889. By the turn of the century, Rowlett was a thriving farm community with many stores and services.
In 1921, the Bankhead Highway, the second transcontinental paved highway in America, reached Rowlett. It ran from Washington, DC, to San Diego, California. Rowlett was incorporated in 1952 by a vote of 84 citizens.
The completion of Lake Ray Hubbard in 1971 made Rowlett a lake-front community, and growth became inevitable. From a population of 5,100 in 1978, Rowlett has grown to a population of 54,240 citizens and counting.
The Rowlett Police Department, established in 1971, has a current authorized strength of 128 employees: