1/18/1977 – 4/2/1983
For more than 20 years, S.J. Stovall was an important influence on Arlington’s economic growth and leadership.
In August of 1950, Stovall moved to Arlington to begin a new assignment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As a civil engineer, he designed and supervised the development of soil embankments, major concrete dams and roadways throughout Tarrant County and the north Texas region.
Stovall began his Arlington legacy as a City Council member in 1963. During his tenure with the Council, Stovall worked closely on the Interstate 20 project. As a former employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he used his engineering expertise to help the Texas Department of Transportation navigate the best possible route for I-20 as it crossed through Arlington.On January 11, 1977 Stovall left his position on the City Council to begin serving as mayor. While mayor, Stovall was instrumental in forming Leadership Arlington, an organization that prepares community leaders in the theories and practices of local government. During his three terms in office, Stovall also led the effort to develop and construct the Arlington Convention Center as well as a new and improved Arlington City Hall. Additionally, to ensure a sound economic foundation for the city, Stovall built relationships with companies such as National Semi-Conductor and Wet ‘N Wild and helped convince their executives to move operations to Arlington.
After completion of his final term as mayor in 1983, Stovall continued his public service beyond Arlington by serving on the Tarrant County Commissioners Court. Known as someone that could be counted on to fill big shoes, he was selected to take over the unexpired term of Commissioner Jerry Mebus who died while in office. Stovall continued his work with the commissioners court until retiring in 1985.In 1991, as a tribute to Stovall and his influence on Arlington’s development, the City opened a 52 acre park named in his honor. S.J. Stovall Park is located at 2800 West Sublett Road in southwest Arlington. It features basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, equestrian trails, fitness stations and a playground. In addition, a pavilion and aquatic center named after Arlington’s sister city in Germany, Bad Königshofen, were added to the park in 1992 and 2006, respectively.His dedication to service continued until his death on July 14, 2010.