Mesquite is a suburb of Dallas, in Dallas County and Kaufman County, Texas (USA). As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 124,523. The city is home to the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, the “Rodeo Capital of Texas,” and to computer video game producer id Software, creators of Doom and Quake. Mesquite is also home to the 2001 5A Division I State Champion Mesquite Skeeters high school football team.
The city was created on May 22, 1873 by A.R. Alcott, a Texas & Pacific Railway engineer, who purchased land along the Texas & Pacific line outside of Dallas. The railroad, which ran from Dallas to Shreveport, began stopping at the newly-created town shortly thereafter and the city began to grow around the railroad. The city was officially incorporated on December 3, 1887.
Mesquite prospered in the late 19th to the early 20th century and became a growing farming community, growing cotton, hay, corn and sugar and using the railroad line to ship the raw goods. The town remained predominantly agrarian until after World War II, when the boom in suburbs also took root in Mesquite as new subdivisions were created. The population exploded, growing from 1,696 in the 1950 census to 27,526 in 1960 and 55,131 in 1970.
In 1958, the Mesquite Championship Rodeo was established and in 1959, Big Town Mall was constructed, the first enclosed shopping mall in the Southwest.
By 1970, LBJ Freeway (I-635) was constructed, connecting Mesquite to its neighbors, Garland to the north and Balch Springs to the south. Also in the 1970s, Town East Mall was constructed. Its associated traffic and shops would continue to grow the town. By the 1990 census, the town had grown to 101,484 people, nearly twice the population twenty years earlier.
In 1986, the Mesquite Arena (now named Resistol Arena) opened its doors for the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. By 1998, the facility was expanded to include a Convention Center, Exhibition Hall and a Hampton Inn & Suites.
Mesquite Independent School District takes students in most of Mesquite. A portion of Mesquite is served by Dallas Independent School District. The minuscule Kaufman County portion is served by Forney Independent School District. The Mesquite ISD portion is served by several high schools: Mesquite High School, North Mesquite High School, West Mesquite High School, Poteet High School, and John Horn High School.
Mesquite is served by a private airport, the Mesquite Metro Airport. The airport is strictly non-commercial, accommodating mostly private propellor planes and small jet airplanes. The airport includes only one major runway.