The town of Handley was established in 1884 by retired Major James Madison Handley of Georgia. When Major Handley arrived, he settled on land that was included in the Sara Gray Jennings Survey of 1856. According to the Fort Worth Gazette newspaper of 1888, the most that could be said for the area was that it was good for hunting foxes. By 1901 Handley had 12 houses and 80 residents.
Handley as a town began to grow when the Northern Texas Traction Company bought land in the southern part of the community where it developed a holiday resort called Lake Erie. The company developed its lake and added a roller skate rink, a dance hall, restaurant and rides on a pier above the water.
It has been over 130 years since the T&P No. 20 train first pulled into Handley Station transforming a settlement into a town. In 1902 the Northern Texas Traction Company linked the city of Dallas to the east and the city of Fort Worth to the west with its own electric interurban streetcar line. The luxurious Interurban Rail Lines brought commerce and development to Handley. In 1905 the street cars were moving at 8 mph, but by 1923 the speed had picked up to 65 mph. Though the Rail Line saw its eventual end, Handley continued to grow in its small town appeal and remains today a corner of Fort Worth largely untouched by time.
In 1946 the city of Fort Worth annexed Handley. At that point Handley's independence came to an end. In that year the community of Handley had 510 school students and a total population of around 1,000. Fort Worth, in comparison, had a population of well over 100,000 residents. Today, its once famous Lake Erie is gone having been absorbed by the northern part of Lake Arlington, the street cars and their rail lines disappeared long ago and the Traction company power station is now operated by Exelon Power. Handley's one High School, located were McClung Middle School now stands, closed in 1959 and became Handley Middle School. The current Handley Middle School, which opened in 1980, serves students in grades 6 through 8 and is located in the East Side of Fort Worth. Handley services approximately 500 students.