Mesquite is a city and an eastern suburb of Dallas, Texas. Most of the city is located in Dallas County with a smaller portion in the east overlapping into Kaufman County. As of the 2010 census, the population was 139,824 making it the eighteenth most populous city in the state of Texas.
The city was founded on March 14, 1878, on land along the Texas & Pacific line outside of Dallas. The railroad, which ran from Dallas to Shreveport, Louisiana, 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 through the late 19th century and early 20th century as a farming community growing cotton, hay, corn and sugar and using the railroad to ship raw goods. The town remained predominantly agrarian until after World War II when the suburban boom also took root in Mesquite. The city's population rapidly grew from 1,696 in the 1950 census to 27,526 in 1960 and 55,131 in 1970.
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 1971, Town East Mall was constructed. The mall was used by director Ron Howard to film portions of the movie Cotton Candy in 1978. The mall's associated traffic and shops would continue to grow the town. By the 1990 census, the city had grown to 101,484 people, nearly twice the population twenty years earlier.
In 1986, the Mesquite Arena opened its doors as the new home for the Mesquite ProRodeo. By 1998, the facility was expanded to include a Convention Center, Exhibition Hall and a Hampton Inn & Suites.
2011 saw Mesquite pass a law that allows beer and wine sales in the city. The measure had been considered several times for many years, but was always blocked by strong protest against the proposed sales. It was one of the few cities without beer and wine sales in eastern Dallas County before the law came into effect.