Rowlett derives its name from Rowlett Creek, which flows into Lake Ray Hubbard and is a major tributary of the east fork of the Trinity River. The creek in turn was named for a waterway running through the property of Daniel Rowlett who moved from Kentucky to Bonham, Texas, in 1835. Daniel, who was a member of the Smoot-Rowlett political family, had no direct dealings with the town that now bears his name. The first post office opened on April 5, 1880, and it was called "Morris" after Postmaster Austin Morris. The town was later renamed "Rowlett". The Dallas and Greenville Railway passed through the town in 1886, connecting Dallas with Greenville, Texas, and the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad. Shortly after its opening, the line was formally sold to the MKT. In 1921 the town was a stop on the Bankhead Highway. The town incorporated in 1952 when its population was 250. In the 1960s the town languished as Interstate 30 bypassed Rowlett. The town has had a building boom since the completion of Lake Ray Hubbard in 1971 – growing to 1,600 by 1973; 10,573 by 1989; 23,260 by 1990; and 44,503 by 2000. In 2003 the town made an unsuccessful formal proposal to get the Dallas Cowboys to move to a 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) "5-Point Park" on the banks of Lake Ray Hubbard when the lease for Texas Stadium expires. On December 26, 2015, a large, violent EF-4 tornado tore through the town during the early evening hours leveling many homes and overturning vehicles on Interstate 30.
Primary and secondary schools
The Dallas County portion of Rowlett is served by the Garland Independent School District, while the Rockwall County portion is a part of the Rockwall Independent School District.
Back, Stephens, Dorsey, Giddens-Steadham, Herfurth, Keeley, Pearson, Rowlett, Cullins-Lakepoint and Liberty Grove Elementary Schools, Coyle and Schrade Middle Schools, and Rowlett High School are located within the city boundaries of Rowlett.
Garland ISD has a free choice program that allows for a student to attend any school within the district.
Rockwall ISD residents are zoned to Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary School, Williams Middle School and Rockwall High School.
Colleges and universities
Residents in Dallas County are zoned to the Dallas County Community College District.
Residents in Rockwall County are zoned to Collin College.
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