Fort Worth, Texas, known as the city Where the West Begins , Texas embraces its cowboy heritage while moving forward with a revitalized downtown and major cultural attractions. Today, Fort Worth offers so many things to see and do ? you could plan an entire vacation around them. Including special events all year long. With a friendly population of half a million people, Fort Worth is consistently ranked among the top places in the nation to work, live, and do business by national magazines like Money, Fortune, and Newsweek. The city is home to major corporations like Lockheed Martin, American Airlines, Bell Helicopter Textron, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Pier 1 Imports, and Radio Shack. Fort Worth is easily accessible from major highways. And it's only 17.5 miles to downtown Fort Worth from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the nation.
Fort Worth is on Interstate highways 35W, 20, and 30 and the Clear Fork of the Trinity River in central Tarrant County. In January 1849 United States Army General William Jenkins Worth, hero of the Mexican War, proposed a line of ten forts to mark the western Texas frontier from Eagle Pass to the confluence of the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River. Upon the death of Worth, Gen. William S. Harney assumed the command and ordered Maj. Ripley S. Arnoldqv to find a new fort site near the West Fork and Clear Fork. This site was suggested by Middleton Tate Johnson, who once commanded a detachment of Texas Rangersqv and founded Johnson Station, just southeast of what is now Fort Worth. On June 6, 1849, Arnold established a camp on the bank of the Trinity River and named the post Camp Worth in honor of General Worth. In August 1849 Arnold moved the camp to the north-facing bluff which overlooked the mouth of the Clear Fork. The United States War Department officially named the post Fort Worth on November 14, 1849. Although Indians were still a threat in the area, pioneers were already settling near the fort. When relocating the camp, Arnold found George "Press" Farmer living on the bluff and allowed him to open the first sutler's store. Other early settlers were Ephraim M. Daggett, George W. Terrell, Ed Terrell, and Howard W. Peak. But when a new line of forts was built further west, the army evacuated Fort Worth on September 17, 1853. Settlers then took uncontested possession of the site. John Peter Smith opened a school with twelve students in 1854; Henry Daggett and Archibald Leonard started department stores. Julian Feild ran a general store and flour mill in 1856, and the Butterfield Overland Mail and the Southern Pacific Stage Line used the town as a western terminus on the way to California. In 1855 the county seat war erupted. Since 1849 the county seat had been Birdville, but in 1855 Fort Worth citizens decided that this honor belonged to their town. After a long bitter fight Fort Worth became the county seat in April 1860, and construction began on a stone county courthouse. After a delay due to the Civil War the courthouse was finished in the 1870s, although it burned in 1876.
FORT WORTH STOCKYARDS. The Fort Worth Stock Yards were officially incorporated on March 23, 1893, and the corporation was dissolved on May 31, 1944, but those who purchased it at the later date continued operations under the same name until November 1, 1981, when they leased the facilities to a company that continued using the same name. The Fort Worth livestock market became the largest in Texas and the Southwest, the biggest market south of Kansas City, and ranked between third and fourth consistently among the nation's large terminal livestock markets for five decades, from about 1905 to the mid-1950s. Texans started calling Fort Worth "Cowtown" soon after the Civil War, when drovers began herding cattle from South Texas northward to connect with the Chisholm Trail in Indian Territory and stopping in Fort Worth for supplies. Not until the Texas and Pacific Railway arrived on July 19, 1876, did promoters build pens to hold cattle, but business leaders of Fort Worth already dreamed of packing plants and stockyards to make their community a permanent focus of the cattle industry. By 1886 four stockyards had been built near the railroads. Businessmen chartered the Union Stock Yards on July 26, 1887, and opened their 258-acre facility north of the Trinity River in midsummer 1889. They also chartered a packing company. Local interests invited Boston capitalist Greenleif W. Simpson to visit, with the hope that he would invest. Simpson, with a half dozen Boston and Chicago associates, incorporated the Fort Worth Stock Yards Company in West Virginia because of more favorable tax laws there, and purchased the Union Stock Yards and the Fort Worth Packing Company in April 1893. A neighbor of Simpson in Boston, Louville V. Nile, bought half the shares. The investors struggled because of the financial panic of 1893 and other problems, but in 1896 the company began a fat-stock show that has survived to the present as one of the largest livestock shows in the nation, the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. In 1896 stockyard owners also began a market newspaper that still exists today under independent ownership as the Weekly Livestock Reporter, the largest livestock newspaper in the Southwest. In 1897–98 the company, in connection with the Bureau of Animal Industry, gained nationwide attention by experimenting with cattle dipping to kill ticks.
FORT WORTH AND DENVER RAILWAY. The Fort Worth and Denver Railway Company was chartered on May 26, 1873, as the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway Company; the name was changed on August 7, 1951. The line's promoters, particularly Warren H. H. Lawrence, had begun advocating a line from the Gulf of Mexico to Colorado by way of Fort Worth as early as 1869. The financial panic of 1873 delayed construction of the railroad until 1881, when Grenville M. Dodge became interested in the project. Dodge organized the Texas and Colorado Railway Improvement Company to build and equip the Fort Worth and Denver City in return for $20,000 in stock and $20,000 in bonds for each mile of track laid. In April 1881 the Fort Worth and Denver City and the Denver and New Orleans Railroad Company agreed to connect at the Texas-New Mexico border. Dodge began construction at Hodge Junction, just north of Fort Worth, on November 27, 1881, and by September 1882 had completed 110 miles of track to Wichita Falls. Construction resumed in 1885, when the line was extended from Wichita Falls to Harrold, a distance of thirty-four miles. In 1886 the line was extended thirty-one miles from Harrold to Chilicothe. The following year 194 miles of track were built from Chilicothe to the Canadian River, and in 1888 the line was extended to the Texas state line. The Denver, Texas and Fort Worth Railroad, organized to build the section south of Pueblo, Colorado, had not arrived at the state line, and the Fort Worth and Denver City construction forces continued to build into New Mexico Territory, where the railheads met at Union Park, 528 miles from Fort Worth, on March 14, 1888.
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