In 1848, a man named William Wills, the namesake of our city, was the first settler to come to this area after Texas was annexed into the United States. He settled on what was then titled “Government Vacant Land” owned by the state and obtainable by settlers living on a tract for 3 successive years. Wills built his home, a wood cabin, at the point of timber between the Sabine and Trinity rivers. The original Wills Cabin has since been relocated to Bruce Park at 2nd Street and Commerce Street.
LAKE TAWAKONI STATE PARK
A 376+ acre park located about 50 miles east of Dallas, and approximately 15 miles north of Wills Point, the “Gateway to Lake Tawakoni”. From FM 47 go north to FM 2475 and continue for about 4 miles. Lake Tawakoni State Park opened in Spring 2002 after six years of development and almost $3 million in state expenditures. Lake Tawakoni State Park has 5.2 miles of shoreline along the south central shore of the main body of the reservoir. Lake Tawakoni is renowned for its excellent catfish & bass fishing. Voted Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. Park of the Month in July 2003, the popular Lake Tawakoni State Park features a four-lane boat ramp, 40 picnic tables, campsites, hiking trails, bird watching, and a sandy swimming beach with volleyball court. The park was authorized through a lease agreement with the Sabine River Authority, which operates the 36,700 surface-acre reservoir and Iron Bridge Dam on the headwaters of the Sabine River. All areas are handicap accessible, and admission is free for children 12 & under.
LESTER PARK & CHARLIE’S PLACE
Lester Park & Charlie’s Place was donated to the city by Maxine Hollister Lester, a long time resident of Wills Point and champion of children in need. In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the youth of Van Zandt County, Mrs. Lester was named 2005 Wills Point “Citizen of the Year,” 1985 Wills Point “Woman of the Year”, and also received the “Kiwanis Service to Youths” award in 2003.
Lester Park & Charlie’s Place is a 73 acre public park with large brick meeting facility located just south of Highway 80 on FM 2965 in Wills Point. The area is used as a facility for baseball, Senior Citizens, the Wills Point Youth Soccer Association and many others. A flag pole was donated to Lester Park by the Monning family. In March 2007, Lester Park Playground was built.
VETERAN’S MEMORIAL PARK
In 1991, Veterans Memorial Park on Hwy. 80 was established by the American Legion Post 303 and VFW Post 7837 to honor the men and women who live or have lived in the Wills Point area. The park includes a 105 MM Howitzer cannon, benches, decorative fencing and an American flag that can be seen throughout the city.