Duncanville is a city in southern Dallas County, Texas, in the United States. Duncanville’s population was 38,524 at the 2010 census. The city is part of the Best Southwest area, which includes Duncanville, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Lancaster.
Settlement of the area began in 1845, when Illinois resident Crawford Trees purchased several thousand acres south of Camp Dallas. In 1880 the Chicago, Texas and Mexican Central Railway reached the area and built Duncan Switch, named for a line foreman. Charles P. Nance, the community’s first postmaster, renamed the settlement Duncanville in 1882. By the late 19th century Duncanville was home to a dry goods stores, a pharmacy, a domino parlor, and a school. Between 1904 and 1933 the population of Duncanville increased from 113 to more than 300.
During World War II, the Army Air Corps established a landing field for flight training on property near the present-day intersection of Main and Wheatland roads.
Duncanville residents incorporated the city on August 2, 1947. During the post-war years, the military developed the Army’s old landing field into the Duncanville Air Force Station, which was the headquarters for the four Nike-Hercules missile launch sites guarding Dallas/Fort Worth from Soviet bomber attack. It also housed the Air Force tracking radars for the region.
When the town’s population reached 5,000 in 1962, citizens adopted a home-rule charter with council-manager city government. Sometimes regarded as a “white flight” suburb in the 1960s and 1970s, the city is now known for its racial diversity. Its population increased from about 13,000 in 1970 to more than 31,000 in 1988.