Historic East Tawakoni

The City of East Tawakoni, Texas was established June 6, 1967. East Tawakoni is located on the eastern shores of Lake Tawakoni and is the youngest municipality of Rains County; this resort area offers residents the benefits of a relaxed rural community while providing easy access to Dallas.

In 1967, thirty residents voted for incorporation and fifteen residents voted against it. At that time City records reflect that at the time of incorporation, East Tawakoni had over 200 inhabitants. The city has shown steady growth over the years and by the year 2010 boasted a population of 883 permanent/week end residents.

On February 6, 1968, city residents voted 38 to 32 in favor of selling alcoholic beverages. Rains County had been legally dry since the early 1900’s, and the East Tawakoni local option election was the first to be called in the county in over 60 years.

Though East Tawakoni is showing signs of maturity, the growth process has not been painless. In 1970, three years after its birth, the town lost its city hall to a fire which destroyed the entire building including all city records. City officials met in J. H. Sturm’s garage until a new building was constructed later that year.

One of the most exciting things to happen in East Tawakoni was the annexation of Blue Heron Cove in 1986. The city has annexed several subdivisions through the years, but the Blue Heron Cove annexation doubled the size of the city limits to a total of 2-square miles.

Although East Tawakoni buys water from the city of Emory, tax money has been used to purchase a water distribution system and finance a sewer plant. The city also has its own office staff, police force, a voluntary fire department, 2 city parks, sewer and garbage pickup. Street improvements ranked high on their list of priorities and were completed in 2004. Several bond issues have financed improvements to the city services through the years. City taxes in the small city have ranged from $0.4089 (1994) to the current adopted property tax rate of $00.590300 (2015). Rate based on per $100.

The 1st city official’s election was June 27, 1967

1967 elected Grady A. Whitehead as Mayor

Appointed aldermen:

Raymond Briggs

A L Williams

D A (Doc) Vincent

A O Murphrey

T E Bell

Whitehead resigned as mayor in 1973 and John A Smith was appointed

Smith served until Nov 1974 when A L Busby was appointed following Smith’s resignation

Busby resigned in May 1978 and Vernon D Van Asperen was appointed.

Van Asperen was reelected in 1980 and 1982, but was defeated in 1984 by elected write-in candidate Allen Blair.

1986 re-elected Allen Blair

1988 re-elected Allen Blair

1990 elected Duane Travis

1992 elected James “Buster” Thomas

1994 re-elected James “Buster” Thomas

1996 re-elected James “Buster” Thomas

1998 elected Ms. Bobbie Harman

2000 re-elected Ms. Bobbie Harman

2002 elected James “Buster” Thomas

2004 elected Gary Vaughn

2006 re-elected Gary Vaughn

2007 Vaughn resigned and Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Himelright, assume the position as Mayor.

2008-2010 re-elected James “Buster” Thomas

2010- re-elected James “Buster” Thomas

August 16, 2011 Thomas resigned for retirement

August 16, 2011 – City Council Meeting – ET City Council appointed Mayor Pro Tem, Johnnie LaPrade to serve as Mayor until May, 2013. LaPrade has since ran for re-election unopposed and will continue to serve as Mayor until May, 2019.

Before stepping into the position of Mayor, LaPrade had served 3 years experience as a city councilwoman, 4 years Economic Development Corporation and 7 years Spirit of East Tawakoni.

Some of the past secretaries were Mrs. House in 1967 and later were Mimi Owens and Jean Souther (all deceased). Patsy Marshall served as City Secretary from 1994 – December, 2008. Marshall retired from the city to become the first woman to be elected as one of the four Rains County Commissioners. Afterwards Linda Hines served as Secretary, followed by Sue Florey, Jeannie Smith. Elinka Harper is now serving as the City Secretary.

East Tawakoni is supported by the work of their Mayor, City Council, Economic Development Corporation, The Spirit of East Tawakoni (a non-profit fund raising committee), Planning and Zoning Committee, and Board of Adjustments. The Mayor, City Council Members and other committees are non paid citizens working diligently to help their city.

In addition to its use for water supply, Lake Tawakoni has become an important recreation center. Catfishing is one of Lake Tawakoni’s sure bets. Its shoreline at spillway crest, totaling approximately 200 miles in length, offers extensive opportunities for recreational activities. Both private and public facilities have been installed around the lakeshore for swimming, boating, picnicking, fishing, duck hunting, and other uses. Certain areas around the reservoir are particularly adapted for summer homes, resorts, and clubs. The reservoir inundates land in Hunt, Rains, and Van Zandt Counties.