Cedar Hill Museum of History

Cedar Street looking west from Main (about 100 years ago)

Where the past meets the present

Cedar Hill, first known as the cedar brakes, was founded around 1846 by a small group of settlers from the Peters Colony. They traveled to the Dallas area of North Texas on horseback and by ox-drawn wagon following trails beaten into existence by Indians, buffalo and explorers. They came seeking a place to build their homes, to socialize, worship and conduct business.

Attracted to the area by its lush natural beauty, the elevation and rocky slopes provided settlers a panoramic lookout and protection from intruders. The area also offered dense forests, rich Blackland soil, abundant creeks and streams, and opportunity.

Our forefathers turned this rugged territory into the thriving city it is today through hard work, ingenuity, foresight and sheer determination — a city steeped in family values, tradition and rich in history. See our page on the City of Cedar Hill website.

If you would like to join the Museum, download our membership application. The Cedar Hill Museum of History meets the first Tuesday of each month at 607 Cedar Street.

See our displays at the Cedar Hill Government Center, the Zula B. Wylie Library, and at the new Babe's Chicken Dinner House.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – April, 2010

Stephen Clifton Phillips was born in 1952 and passed away on February 2, 2010.

He was born in Oak Cliff and graduated from Kimball High School. He received a BS in Business from Harding University in Arkansas and served in the Air National Guard. He began his lifelong career in the lumber business with his father and became owner and President of Phillips Lumber Company. He mentored Boy Scouts in Troop 520 for 18 years, helping countless young men become Eagle Scouts instilling respect for his high expectations and logical, disciplined focus toward all goals.

Active in the development of Cedar Hill, he served as City Councilman, Mayor pro tem, President of the Main Street Development/Preservation Board and was instrumental in the revitalization of the Downtown Historic District.

He enjoyed traveling to Colorado with his family- wife Robin, and children Jason, Cheryl and Christopher as well as cooking out with his family and friends. He was deacon of the Church of Christ and a generous, kind, caring person with great love and service for his community, church and fellowman. He will indeed be missed by the entire Cedar Hill community.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – March, 2010

Elizabeth Gay Hunt was reared in Cedar Hill and graduated from Cedar Hill High School in 1997. She spent part of her junior and senior years in Argentina as a student in a foreign exchange program. After her high school graduation, she ventured off to Aggieland and completed a BS in Industrial Distribution and a BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Latin America. She also lived in Italy and Costa Rica while studying at Texas A&M; University.

In 2006, Elizabeth enrolled at Texas State University to pursue a BS in Interior Design. Because the Cedar Hill community continues to be important to her, Elizabeth presented an interior and lighting design for the Cedar Hill Museum of History as part of her Senior Honor and Design Thesis. Inspired by the natural landscape, beauty, sense of community and Cedar Hill history, her design concept focused on the museum’s interior and told the story of the Cedar Hill Community embracing history and nature.

Elizabeth lives in Austin, Texas with her three dogs. Currently she works for Rockford Business Interiors as an Account Manager creating more effective and ergonomic enviornments for the workplace. As the owner of eHunt Design she continues to practice lighting design and creates unique sterling silver jewelry.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – February, 2010

Charles Ray Sims was born in 1925 in Cedar Hill just north of the site of Bray Elementary. While still very young his parents bought a home at 406 W. Beltline (east of Main St.). Then later as a young boy they moved to a farm outside of Cedar Hill. Both his grandparents lived in Duncanville and he remembers many get togethers with his cousins there while growing up.

In 1943 he graduated from Cedar Hill High School and spent 2 years in the Army during WWII primarily serving in Asia. When he came home he worked for Reserve Life Insurance in Dallas and car pooled with a group which included Verna Jean Jones. Before he knew it she had moved to the front seat and has been by his side ever since.

After about 15 years in the insurance business, he began working with his cousin at Sims Grocery, then located on Highway 67 when it was only two lanes. In 1968 due to the widening of the highway, the Sim’s Drive In moved to its current location in the historic town square and Charles Ray and Verna Jean bought the business and operated it until 1984 when Charles Ray became Cedar Hill’s first paid Fire Chief.

He had served as a volunteer fireman (and firechief periodically) for almost 35 years prior to becoming employed as Cedar Hill’s Firechief and the Citizens of Cedar Hill sincerely thank him for all his outstanding service.

Our Next Event

The Cedar Hill Museum of History board meets the second Monday of each month at 6:30 pm at 607 Cedar Street. 

Hours and Location

(972) 293-3806

607 Cedar Street
Cedar Hill, Texas 75104
in Historic Downtown

and by appointment
(Call 214 769-8425)

Now on Display

Charles E. Finsley
Memorial Fossil Exhibit

Friday through Saturday
11 am to 3 pm
by Alan Peters,

Paleontologist Alan Peters with Museum visitor Josh Porter