The area around what is now Irving was first settled in th 1850's, and many small communities were established. The founders of Irving were J.O. Schulze and Otis Brown; after arriving in the area to survey a railroad route between Fort Worth and Dallas, they decided it was an ideal town site and bought 80 acres in 1902. The town was founded in 1903, and was incorporated on April 14th, 1914, with Otis Brown as its first mayor. The name Irving is believed to be from Netta Barcus Brown's favourite author, Washington Irving.
The town grew rapidly, developing its own school district in 1909, and relying on cotton growing, truck farming, dairy, and poultry. After developing electric service, a water system, and a volunteer fire department in the 1920's, Irving experienced significant growth in the 1930's. In the middle of the 20th century Irving had a population of 2,615 and annexed many surrounding areas. By the early 1960's it had a population of around 45,000, with many manufacturing plants and transportation, retail, and financial businesses. Irving also became the home of the University of Dallas in 1956 and the Texas Stadium in 1971. Irving's growth has continued steadily to today.