Settlers started arriving here in the 1840s. The William Alden Hawkins and Larkin Newton families were the first to obtain permanent land titles at the site under the authority of the Peters' Colony. In 1883, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad constructed a rail line through the area from Dallas to Cleburne. Local legend says that one of the civil engineers surveying the route noted the area looked like his homeland, the Lothian Valley in Scotland. The name Midlothian was used for this area on survey maps, and it stuck when the town was incorporated in 1888.
The city is situated within the DFW metroplex, 25 miles from both Dallas and Fort Worth. The city bills itself as the "Cement Capital of Texas" and the "Steel Capital of Texas" because of the number of these materials manufacturers in the area.
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