Jump to content

Joshua, Texas

Coordinates: 32°27′19″N 97°23′37″W / 32.45528°N 97.39361°W / 32.45528; -97.39361
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joshua, Texas
Location in Johnson County and the state of Texas
Location in Johnson County and the state of Texas
Coordinates: 32°27′19″N 97°23′37″W / 32.45528°N 97.39361°W / 32.45528; -97.39361
CountryUnited States
 • Total9.20 sq mi (23.82 km2)
 • Land9.15 sq mi (23.69 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)
928 ft (283 m)
 • Total7,891
 • Density860/sq mi (330/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code817
FIPS code48-38080[3]
GNIS feature ID1338888[4]

Joshua is a city in Johnson County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,891 at the 2020 census.[2]


Joshua is in the Cross Timbers region of Texas, on land patented by W. W. Byers in 1867. The section was sold in 1874 to John Powell. Caddo Grove, 2 miles (3 km) east of Joshua, was the first community in the area. It had its own post office and was a thriving town until the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway was completed from Cleburne to Fort Worth in 1881. The railroad missed Caddo Grove, and a station was built on the tracks at the site of future Joshua. The station was originally called "Caddo Peak", but the name was rejected by the post office because of another community with that name. The name "Joshua" was chosen, purportedly by Dr. D. B. McMillan, after the biblical Joshua. W. L. West was the first postmaster when the community received a post office in 1882. In 1883, Caddo Grove's post office was withdrawn.[citation needed]

The plat for Joshua was first surveyed in 1880, and the community was organized in 1881 when the railroad arrived. The first store, opened in 1882 by W. L. West, also housed the post office. By 1890, Joshua had a population of 300, two steam-powered corn mills and cotton gins, a hotel, a general store, and a newspaper, the Johnson County Record.[citation needed] The railroad shipped farm produce, Joshua's largest export. The first one-room school opened in 1890, and in 1899, it moved into a new building. In 1917, this school became Joshua High School. In 1900 and 1912, Joshua suffered major fires. In spite of this, new businesses continued to open. The Citizen's Banking Company, opened in 1904, was run by J. W. Spencer. Two years later, a public water system began. Truck gardens, orchards, and corn and cotton farms surrounded Joshua.

In 1912, the Fort Worth South Traction Line began to provide interurban rail service from Cleburne to Fort Worth, with a stop in Joshua. Service stopped in 1932 because of the growing importance of automobile travel. The first car in Joshua was purchased in 1913. By 1914, the community had a population of 824, two cotton gins, an ice plant, a bank, a newspaper named the Joshua Star, and four churches. Local farms grew cotton and potatoes.

In the mid-1950s, Joshua was incorporated, with Ted Strube as the first mayor. The population dropped to 550 during the 1950s and rose to 924 in 1970. By 1980, it was 1,470. Because of its proximity to Fort Worth, the population grew to 3,828 by 1990. Joshua had 14 businesses in 1970 and 58 in 1980, when seven local manufacturers made such items as aluminum products, boat trailers, leather goods, and windows. The Joshua Tribune began publication in 1970 and was published until the early 1990s, when it moved to Burleson.[5][6][7]

William Leech West, a Confederate Civil War veteran born in Alabama, but more recently from Mississippi, owned a large farm to the east of the town of Caddo Grove. Family legend says that upon arriving in Texas, he temporarily left his wife and children in the wagon yards in Fort Worth and rode a horse south. His intent was to find an area with no fences. He journeyed for several days until he found the area he liked near the geographic feature of Caddo Peak in Johnson County.[citation needed]

W.L. West owned and operated a grocery store and post office in Caddo Grove, until the railroad bypassed the small community. Along with the rest of the businessmen of Caddo Grove, he moved the entire building housing his store into Joshua when the railroad came. This building, with its actual dimensional lumber, was later dismantled in the 1940s and the salvaged wood used for an addition to his son Samuel A. West's house on Main Street in Joshua. The original house on the old West farm burned in a fire in the 1930s. The Wests donated a large portion of the land for the Caddo Grove Cemetery. His wife and he, and many of his descendants, are buried in this cemetery in a large plot near the center of the cemetery. A portion of the original homestead land is still owned by one of his grandchildren today.[citation needed]

W.L. West's son Samuel Abe West was a prominent citizen of Joshua for 93 years. He was an Army veteran of World War I, although he had a difficult time being accepted for enlistment due to an injury received as a child. While crossing the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad tracks and under a stopped train, the train moved and pinched a portion of his upper arm. Due to this injury and the lack of a biceps muscle, he was only allowed to enlist in the Finance Corps. He served at Camp Travis, which is now in the location of the parade fields at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He ended his enlistment, never serving overseas. S.A. West was mustered out as a sergeant first class paymaster. He was born in a cabin on the West homestead in 1887 and worked in various banking operations for relatives. Later, he owned the grocery store on Main Street in Joshua (where the private detective agency is located now). He was known to lend people money and food during hard times, especially the Depression. When he finally closed down the store in the early 1970s, his son and daughter found numerous unpaid IOUs. He was also a town alderman during the 1950s, a member of the First United Methodist Church and a member of the Masonic Lodge. He was one of the very few Republicans in Johnson County at the time.[citation needed]

Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt Strube was the first mayor of Joshua about 1949 and was one of the founders of the Masonic Lodge in Joshua. His wife, Sylvia Couch Strube, was the first florist of Joshua.[8]


Joshua is located is bordered to the north by Burleson and to the south by Cleburne, the county seat. Texas State Highway 174 (Broadway Street) runs through the city, leading north 7 miles (11 km) to the center of Burleson and south 8 miles (13 km) to the center of Cleburne. Fort Worth is 22 miles (35 km) north of Joshua.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Joshua has a total area of 6.8 square miles (17.6 km2), of which 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2), or 0.47%, is covered by water.[9] The north side of the city is drained by Village Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, while the south side is drained by tributaries of East Buffalo Creek, flowing to the Nolan River, part of the Brazos River watershed.

A hill known as Brushy Knob stands to the west of Joshua, at a height of 1,042 feet above mean sea level.[10]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[11][failed verification]
Joshua racial composition as of 2020[2]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 5,795 73.44%
Black or African American (NH) 131 1.66%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 56 0.71%
Asian (NH) 36 0.46%
Pacific Islander (NH) 23 0.29%
Some Other Race (NH) 15 0.19%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 315 3.99%
Hispanic or Latino 1,520 19.26%
Total 7,891

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 7,891 people, 2,928 households, and 2,066 families residing in the city.


Public education in Joshua is provided by the Joshua Independent School District. The district covers 76.68 square miles (199 km2) and consists of eight campuses.[13]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ Johnson County History Book Committee, History of Johnson County, Texas (Dallas: Curtis Media, 1985)
  6. ^ Joshua Historical Committee, Joshua: As It Was and Is (Cleburne, Texas, 1977)
  7. ^ Lisa C. Maxwell, "Joshua", Handbook of Texas Online, [1] (accessed July 16, 2006), copyright © Texas State Historical Association]
  8. ^ Strube, Sylvia (September 2008). "Obituary". Cleburne, Tx: Cleburne Times Review. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  9. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Joshua city, Texas". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "TSHA | Brushy Knob (Johnson County)". www.tshaonline.org. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  13. ^ Joshua ISD Attendance Zone Map Archived 2012-03-21 at the Wayback MachineJoshua Independent School District. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[12]

External links[edit]