Midlothian Offers Small-Town Charm Close to Dallas and Fort Worth
PHOTO CREDIT: Brian McCord
When Richard Norman served as mayor in the 1970s, Midlothian was a small community of about 5,000 – the kind of city in which kids ride bikes around town and stop for ice cream sodas at the local drugstore.
Norman’s two children graduated from Midlothian schools, and now they’re both living here and raising their own families – Norman’s four grandchildren – just a few miles from his home.
While the population has grown, the friendly vibe remains.
“This is a great place to live and work,” says Norman, who currently serves as executive director of the nonprofit REACH Council Prevention Services. “We have access to everything in the Fort Worth-Dallas area, but we have all the amenities of small-town living.”
The Best of Two Worlds
Located just 25 miles from Dallas and Fort Worth, Midlothian offers a gentler pace of life with easy access to the nation’s fifth-largest metropolitan area.
One of the city's biggest draws is the Midlothian Independent School District, known for academic excellence and a wealth of innovative programs.
The district is home to the state’s second-largest FFA chapter, a dynamic, student-led leadership development organization for students of agricultural education. Midlothian FFA members regularly win top awards in state and national competitions, and the school district is home to a new, 50,000-square-foot livestock facility and show arena.
A sampling of Midlothian ISD’s many other offerings include the Balanced Literacy Program, an integrated approach to teaching reading and writing; Mathematics Pentathlon, which teaches problem-solving skills through interactive math games and competition; and Advanced Placement and dual-credit courses.
Another major attraction is the city’s diverse inventory of homes, which allows people from different walks of life to find the right house for their budget. Offerings range from comfortable starter homes in neighborhoods with parks and pools to luxurious executive retreats with scenic views.
Jamie Wickliffe was raised in Midlothian, where her family owned a hardware store downtown for 50 years. Today she owns Coldwell Banker Americana Realtors, which is housed in the same downtown building that once included the hardware store.
The city has grown exponentially since she was a child, but Wickliffe says Midlothian hasn’t lost that hometown feel.
“Usually, when a town begins to grow, you lose the opportunity to interact with other families,” says Wickliffe, a mother of four who’s also a city council member and president of the nonprofit Midlothian ISD Education Foundation. “Midlothian has done a great job of creating an atmosphere where newcomers can blend with people who have been here for a long time, and it feels like home for everybody.”
Bringing People Together
Midlothian fosters a warm sense of community through its many outdoor festivals, which range from the Spring Fling Arts & Crafts Festival in May to the Fall Festival in October – an event that draws about 15,000 people each year. The city also offers free outdoor family movies, free summer concerts, community dances and other events along with a farmers market downtown. “We also have a phenomenal volunteer recreational sports program, including baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis and more,” Wickliffe says. “All year long our park facilities are being used – and not just a little.” Plans for a paved greenway through the community are in the works, and the nearby Joe Pool Lake and Cedar Hill State Park offer fishing, boating, hiking, biking, swimming and camping.