The town of Joshua was recorded and surveyed in 1880 and was first organized when the railroad line was extended through Joshua in 1881. Joshua was originally Caddo Oak but the Postal Service would not accept the name because another town in Texas already called that. When Joshua's first postmaster received the notice, Dr. DB McMillen was present and offered the name of Joshua.
Farming was the principal source of income for Joshua residents and cotton was the main crop. In 1883 the first cotton gin was constructed by J.M. Garrett and later a second gin went into operation. At one time 2,500 to 3,000 bales of cotton were ginned annually.
Farming is still important to the Joshua economy, but dairy cows and horse facilities are locate around Joshua and everything from cutting horses to race horses are raised in the area.
Willie Denton College was founded in 1899. At one time, students came from across the state to receive their education in Joshua. In 1909, the Land of Willie Denton College was turned over to the Joshua Independent School District.
The JISD has always been important to the City of Joshua and a great source of pride. In recent years, it has been considered one of the fastest growing school districts in Texas. The school system is also one of the major employers in the community.
Transportation has fueled the growth of the nation and it has done the same for Joshua. When the railroad came through Joshua in the late 1800's, there were five or six passenger trains daily. The first automobile came to Joshua in 1913 and today Highway 174 is the major thoroughfare, with 17,000 to 20,000 vehicles passing through Joshua daily.
With its easy access to the Dallas/Ft .Worth Metroplex there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for businesses and individuals to locate in the area and enjoy financial success. The variety of industries and sources of income means that Joshua is not dependent of anyone segment of the economy. This provides a buffer during hard economic time which many parts of Texas do not enjoy.
Joshua residents are close enough to the Metroplex to enjoy the benefits of the City yet far enough away to enjoy the rural setting. This gives Joshua residents the best of both worlds.