Settlers started arriving in Midlothian 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. As with many Texas towns, growth came when the railroad arrived. In 1883 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad constructed a rail line from Dallas to Cleburne. Local legend says that one of the civil engineers surveying the route noted the area looked like his hometown, the Lothian Valley in Scotland. The name stuck and Midlothian was used on survey maps to identify this area of Ellis County. The Fort Worth Railroad further spurred development with a line from Fort Worth to Waxahachie. The town incorporated in 1888.
Today Midlothian is situated within the D/FW Metroplex, 25 miles from both cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. The city bills itself as the "Cement Capital of Texas" and the "Steel Capital of Texas" due to the number of cement and steel manufacturers in the area.